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The importance of rest and relaxation
The benefits of slowing down
Parents have more power and choices in educating their children than they realize.
Many parents are concerned about the changing world and uncertain futures their children face. They are anxious about education, a narrow curriculum, that schools are not cultivating curiosity. They worry about their children being medicated for "learning problems." However, many educators share the same concerns and are campaigning for change.
Parents have three options:
Governments are desperately trying to improve education using strategies such as standardization, testing, and competition, especially in literacy, mathematics, and science. But it is generally not successful.
Finland is following a different path. They don't have a mandated curriculum; they encourage a broad curriculum and seldom do standardized testing. Consequently, they are more successful in education.
Eight out of ten teenagers experience extreme stress during the school year. Parents can help in three ways:
The endless testing was an attempt to raise standards in education. Instead, it resulted in a culture of perpetual competition, causing excessive stress for teachers, children, and their families but with no real improvement in standards.
The purpose of assessments is to support and improve student learning. However, there are much better ways to accomplish this than through countless tests.
Charter schools are independently operated public schools. They have a bigger say in what they teach and how they work.
It is said that charter schools can spread new practices. Some do, and some don't. Another argument is that they give parents more choice in education. But the choice may be apparent and not real.
The purpose of education is to enable students to understand the world and the talents within them so they can become fulfilled individuals and active, compassionate citizens.
The role of the government should be to create the best conditions to encourage such an education. Some ways include adopting a broad and balanced curriculum and developing guidelines and resources to support it.
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