When starting my research, I wanted to get a true understanding of how students around me feel about their learning experience. I created a survey that would get a basic idea of the feelings within my school, the results were compelling and provided evidence to the claim that our school system does not do enough to help its students. 124 highschool students responded to my survey in the past month. The most concerning response was to the question “Do you often get stressed about the grade expectations at your school?”, only 6 people or 4.8% of students gave the answer no. This statistic from my own research made me curious about the mental health issues associated with high school in particular. In an article by Alexandra Ossola, a science writer for The Atlantic found in her research that, “49 percent of students reported feeling ‘a great deal of stress’ on a daily basis. Half reported doing three or more hours of homework per night, and 26 percent noted that they had been diagnosed with depression.” (Ossola, para 6.) She continues to discuss that the students mentioned their main points of stress were caused by grades, homework, and getting accepted into college. In my survey I made the final question a place where students could leave final comments, an anonymous students mentioned, ”Trying to balance all of the things colleges want to see: good grades, music, language, sports, and clubs is near to impossible and the stress is starting to get to all of us.” He/she brings up the point that school is not our entire life and there are great expectations for all other aspects in life.  The largest issue in schools relating to a fixed mindset is the desire for good grades more than understanding what they are learning. My survey showed that only about 8% of students value learning more than grades. Connecting to this is the aspect of cheating on tests and homework. 82 students admitted to cheating or cutting corners while working on homework, and 39 claimed they cheated on a test or quiz. While seeing this data I was astonished by the amount of people. The reason stated in the comments was because they felt as though there was pressure on them to achieve a certain grade. Not only is the fixed mindset of the education system creating stress and unhealthy tendencies but also creating dishonest and morally corrupt students.

Ossola, Alexandra. “High-Stress High School.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 9 Oct. 2015, www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/10/high-stress-high-school/409735/.    

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December 21, 2017 6:21 am

The results of your survey are very intriguing! As a high school student, I too feel the stress of getting good grades and doing extracurriculars and being an active member in clubs. There is a lot asked for a high school student to be successful and students are sacrificing learning for grades. It is interesting to see that in your results you found that a small percentage of students valued learning more than grades, but from what I see and hear from high school students (and myself) I am not surprised. School is extremely stressful at times and the pressure for high grades is increasing, which is stressing out high school students even more.

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