The average high schooler has approximately two hours of homework every night. This, along with a grueling eight hour school day, pins a students work week at approximately fifty hours. The average amount of work expected from an adult is forty; and anything above is seen as overtime. This begs the question: when kids should be enjoying their time in school, why is our system working them more than most adults?
There’s no question that the U.S has a severe mental health crisis on its hands. There’s an increasing rate of adolescents committing suicide and mass shootings, and the numbers just keep piling up. Many of us high schoolers have known someone who has experienced these unfortunate events firsthand.
One of the reasons for this uptick, I believe, is the workload. Homework uproots stress from school and brings it home to the dinner table. Not to mention, homework has questionable use, and inadvertently causes gender inequality (though that’s a discussion for another time). Why are we making our students work overtime? Shouldn’t we be teaching our students how to have a balance between their school and social lives? This all has circled back to educational norms.
Educational norms are keeping inequality and inefficiency alive for the sake of tradition. Real steps must be taken to modernize the educational system from the classroom upward. If we can get away from the factory model of schools, and get students thinking out of the box, we won’t just make the U.S more successful; we’ll make the world more productive and innovative. By modernizing schools we can help bump our education system to the top, and better equip our students to pursue whatever they please in the global economy.