Certainly the youth of today are inundated with school studies, tests, college preparatory, and extracurricular activities. All pursuits that are believed to help them get ahead in life, but is the stress of achievement so overwhelming that it’s causing physical and mental sickness to our youth? Are American students running so fast only to get absolutely nowhere?
These questions are what Vicki Abeles, Producer and Co-Director identifies in her documentary Race to Nowhere. In her recent interview with CNN http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com, she expresses the need for change in the education system. After recognizing the stress that lead her own daughter to hospitalization as well learning of a committed suicide by a thirteen-year-old girl in her community, Abeles was determined to something about it.
“Childhood has become indentured to test scores, performance and competition. We face an epidemic of unhealthy, disengaged, unprepared kids trying to manage as best they can,” saysAbeles.
However, many may feel as if this is America’s society: a culture with high stakes to achieve the most and obtain the best. Furthermore, when parents are working two or three jobs to make ends meet, or on a one-person income, how does a parent, guardian or teacher not push their youths to become more competitive in a global changing economy, and to not fall down the social ladder?Can parents, teachers, educational advocates create an environment in which youth can triumph without the mass amount of stress that comes from chasing success? There are solutions that exist, and it’s not in a dreary database style or academic language without pictures. Abeles suggest that it’s about changing one’s mindset.“The quantitative approach to education is not working”, she says. The world has change, and the mentality in schools, homes and communities must change as well.
One of those changes would be placing passion into the equation.The importance of following passion and allowing American’s youth discover who they are is essential in order for them to move forward in the world and do something they love. Passion is the fuel that ignites us. This means allowing youth to show their spirit, empathy, and their compassion towards something. With passion we have the burning desire to make things better, to go after our dreams. Passion fuels our persistence. As Vicki put’s it, its not about lowering the bar, it’s about creating a new way.
Can America carve a new path?
It’s their future, your vision.Since September 2010, 1500 communities have showed the film.