Why high yielding crops can kill the love of learning
Most parents believe that preparing their children for a successful life means sending them to a good school. If their student achieves academic success, he is on the verge of having a happy life, at least that is what we believe. Then, in 2019, the National Academy of Sciences named high-performing American high school children as a ‘at riskgroup for mental health problems.
Now, new search suggests that the problem of high yielding crops is an international problem and is particularly intense around mathematics. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, identifies “a complex process in which the national culture promoting good mathematics achievement lowers interest in mathematics studies.” And the problem is worse for girls than for boys.
So, not only do top school cultures lead children to mental health issues, but they can also kill the very love to learn that they are meant to instill.
“I think we need to take a more critical look at the idea that we can judge a country’s school system primarily by the level of achievement achieved by its students – other important aspects, such as which students feel interested in their school work, can get lost in the process “. says the author, Professor Kimmo Eriksson of Mälardalen University College and Stockholm University in Sweden, in a Press release. “It appears that cultures that promote good math scores may also tend to kill many students’ interest in math studies and I have found this negative effect of high-level culture to be stronger among students. girls than boys. “
Eriksson became interested in the matter when he noticed an interesting discrepancy. He already knew that research has shown that higher performing cultures correlate with less enthusiasm for learning in children, especially when it comes to math. But he also noted that while a large body of research has found that girls are less interested in math than boys, there are many countries where girls are more interested in math than boys. What could explain this difference?
To find out why, Eriksson studied data on more than 500,000 grade 8 students in 50 countries from the 2011 and 2015 waves of the International Trends in Mathematics and Science Survey (TIMSS). He specifically examined the correlations between mathematics performance and student interest levels.
Eriksson found that the more a country did in math, the less interest children had in math. On the other hand, when countries had a lower national level in mathematics, children were more interested in mathematics. And although it occurs in both sexes, the effect was stronger in girls. In countries like Kazakhstan, Oman or Malaysia, girls are much more engaged in learning mathematics than they were in countries like Japan, New Zealand or Sweden.
Gender-related interest in math was also directly correlated with gender differences in math achievement. So when girls don’t like math, they don’t do well.
Interest in schoolwork is culturally sensitive
“By emphasizing how particularly sensitive girls’ interest in school work is to the culture of high performance, my work can perhaps inspire researchers and policy makers to recognize and respond to this challenge,” says Eriksson. “How can schools promote high performance in mathematics without killing students’ interest in their schoolwork?” ”
The fastest way to kill a child’s love for just about anything is to get them to do it. This is why talented children now regularly tire of sports in college. And if you doubt that connection, think of children and vegetables. No one is forced to push a child to eat ice cream, but parents regularly urge their children to eat vegetables. The relationship is obviously with children: parents only push them to eat disgusting food.
It’s time to step back on the kids and find a way to educate about learning for fun. But it’s not something that parents can do on their own, after all of our children spend most of their waking hours in school. And American schools are so driven by constant testing measures that there is no time for “exploring” learning. Isn’t it time that we as a culture recognize what is happening to our children and take the pressure off?