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“Beyond Measure”

I came across an interesting article titled, “It’s Our Job to Rescue Kids from Burnout,” by Jill Suttie. It talks about the overscheduled and overtested young teenagers preparing their every hour around being the most competitive candidate for college admissions. “Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation” is a book by Vicki Abeles who discuses the downfall in meeting the rigorous academic demands and the concerns that our youth are paying for it.

Whether parents push their kids beyond these limits or self inflicted, these youth are paying a toll on their overall well being, having to study long hours, participate in extracurricular activities (i.e. join sports, play an instrument, take language classes outside of regular school), and volunteer community services. According to Abeles, “our children are so overly taxed by work and activities that they have no time in their lives to relax, to dream, to think creatively, or to just be happy; instead, the pressure to ‘succeed’ is making them stressed out, anxious, and depressed.”

We must recognize as a society that not just the students but also the parents are caught in this systems which they can’t do much about. Thus, leading our youth to believe that achievement is a priority that takes precedent over their physical and mental health. It is with no doubt that our society is focused on competitiveness and achievements. However,  we must learn to resolve the damaging aspects of our current system as scientific evidence “suggest that many of the things we think contribute to a better education  actually have little impact on learning and, in some cases, actually lead to poorer results.”

Do you agree that “doing homework is practically useless” as mentioned in the article? What are your thoughts?


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