New ideas to reduce academic stress


Have you ever wondered how education differs across the globe? Many high schoolers do not take into account learning methods of other cultures, and this is because it often does not affect them in the slightest. However, China is starting to use new methods that they believe can improve the education of their students while not increasing stress levels or starting students too early in their educational experience. I believe that these methods can be used in our Ann Arbor Public Schools community to help out students of all ages.

The Chinese government has been pushing for the elimination of placement tests in all schools around the country. Many institutions have used this practice so each student has an equal opportunity of education, especially at a younger age. This practice allows students to lower academic burden and pressure at a young age. In an interview with China Daily, Yu Minhong, the president of school tutoring services, said, “Nurturing a child is like planting a tree. Although a large amount of fertilizer can make the tree grow quickly, it will grow morbidly later., just like lots of ‘young geniuses’ in China who turn out to be ordinary when they grow up.”

I have seen many students with this issue. At a young age, these students were pressured to perform well in school at high-level tutoring programs like Kumon and Cambridge. While these programs work well for younger ages, they do not affect the students as they become older. Placement tests should be eliminated for younger ages at Pioneer for these very reasons.

The main complaint of Pioneer students is the amount of homework they receive. Students often have two to three hours of homework, which eats up a lot of their time for doing other activities. Districts in China are developing a new system that reduces the workload of their students. This involves the use of homework deadline times differently. If students are not finished with their homework by the time, they do not need to complete it. The cutoff for elementary schools is 9 pm, while the middle school cutoff is 10 pm. This can be incorporated into our community and if applied correctly, can relieve the stress of many students by giving them time for many activities while still learning at a smooth pace.

Many students become extremely stressed around the time of major assessments and know what it is like to feel burdened by multiple tests. The Chinese government has been pushing for the reform to reduce academic tests and are trying to promote education that fosters overall development. Reduction of tests can positively affect the students here at Pioneer. Students will be able to learn successfully without the stress of major tests.

These educational changes that the Chinese government is attempting are focused on reducing stress for students of all ages. We should try to apply these changes, such as the elimination of placement tests, homework cutoff time, and reduction of major assessments in order to reduce academic pressures here at Pioneer.