If you ever doubted that most high school students are basically lazy, you now have some proof thanks to a recently completed survey of over 80,000 students by Indiana University. Called the High School Survey of Student Engagement or HSSSE for short the survey found the following results;
-57% of 12th graders spent eight hours or more per week socializing with their friends.
– Females were almost twice as likely as males to spend eight hours or more per week talking on the phone.
– Males were more likely than females to spend at least eight hours per week playing video games, exercising and watching television. Duh!
– 50% spent less than four hours per week doing homework, reading, rehearsing etc…
-32% spent less than two hours per week preparing for class.
-36% reported that they had not written any paper longer than five pages long during the current school year.
-53% of the students said they put forth a great deal of effort in their school work.
What is interesting about these findings is that despite the lackadaisical effort being made by most students 83% of them still expected to go to college. This should be interesting since in high school you can fail for lack of attendance even if you pass the tests and in college if you can do the coursework and pass the exams you rarely have to attend class or if you are an athlete at my alma mater the University of Maryland. Then again with studies being done on the best party schools is it any wonder that high school students put themselves on cruise control figuring the next step won’t be any different.
Why are students bored? Consider the fact that the curriculum has been dumbed down and discourages much original thought or excellence. Add to that a large dose of political correctness where our founding fathers and others are now villains and not heroes and it lends itself to a very ordinary lesson. My own high school age son has often been frustrated at the assignments he has been given, feeling that if he didn’t write a paper exactly the way the teacher expected it he would get a lower grade. In this case I think high school is a great training ground of what he can expect in college.
Don Irvine is the chairman of Accuracy in Media, Accuracy in Academia’s parent group.