High school students spend about 6 to 7 hours at school every day. On top of that, Canadian and American students get about 6 hours of homework every week. We need to lower the number of homework students get because research has found it can have physical, mental and social implications. School hours need to be shorter and we should get less homework because it takes away valuable time for students to engage in creative processes and skill building.
Our school system does not have much room for creative development. In school, we sit at desks all day listening to teachers talk. We do specified assignments and write standardized tests. Our education system is very structured, it is almost like a factory, you have students going in, being told what to think and what to do.
One of the ways we could help students to be more creative is by giving them more time to think. Teenagers need time for thinking to engage in creative processes. Shortening school hours is a great place to start at.
I know many students, including myself, who are very passionate about things outside of school such as music, dance, painting, photography, leadership, equestrianism etc. Now let’s take music, for example, it takes a lot of practice to get good at it, so the issue here is that sometimes it is almost impossible to get desired amounts of time to practice.
I play a few different instruments and it is really hard for me to practice them for a good amount of time every day because I also need to do my homework. But homework isn’t a necessity for a good education system. Countries such as Finland and Korea give their students less than 3 hours of schoolwork every week and their education system is ranking at the top.
Our education system has a narrow meaning of what intelligence is. Usually, we think of academically exceeding children as smart but in reality, there are just so many other ways one could be smart.
This quote from Sir Ken Robinson from one of his interviews sums it up quite nicely, “Intelligence is very diverse. It’s like the world’s natural resources. Everyone’s born with immense natural resources inside them. And like the Earth’s natural resources, these things often have to be discovered. Kids can go through their entire education, and adults can go through their entire lives, never knowing what they are capable of because their talents remain hidden.”
We need to understand that there are students who are passionate about other things in life that are just as important. They should get the time put their time and effort into it and get better.
Such long school days and so much homework are one of the main causes of stress and anxiety among teens. If we shorten the school days, students will have more time to participate in creative projects. They will be able to put in more time to what they are passionate about, which will help them in their career. We need to do what is in the best interest of our future generations.