Our recent chat on edweek.org, “Student Academic Pressure: Too Much or Too Little?,” prompted hundreds of questions and comments that showcased how differently educators, researchers, policymakers, and parents view this issue. Many think today’s students are overburdened with academic work both in school and at home, while many others believe today’s students are not held to high standards and have a questionable work ethic.
Whatever their opinion on that question, one theme that resonated within this chat is that the type and quality of teaching and curriculum in U.S. schools needs to be improved. “It’s not whether students have too little/too much pressure,” said one chat participant, taking issue with the title of the chat. “It’s whether the pedagogy is sound and the material developmentally appropriate.”
Undoubtedly, many chat participants argued, poor to mediocre teaching combined with poor to mediocre curricula is a recipe for creating unmotivated students who see little value in what they are being taught. And if they see little value in what they are learning, how can you expect them to maintain a strong work ethic in their classes?
The question I have is: What percentage of schools do you think fall into the category of having poor to mediocre teaching and poor to mediocre curricula? And of those that do, what should be done to improve those schools?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.