The Stress of Tests and the Danger Behind That Stress

The National Union of Teachers has stated that while regular testing is important to see how our pupils are learning, excessive testing and the importance we place on some of these tests could be having a negative effect on stress levels in young children.

Tests are a standardised way of finding out who is ‘doing well’ in education and who needs ‘a little extra help’. Unfortunately, there is no right formula for learning.

Some children who don’t work well in exam conditions are fully capable and coherent individuals, whereas others who excel in tests have difficulty solving problems on their own terms.

It is important that teachers and teaching assistants highlight the importance of tests – for nationwide purposes – as well as letting children know that it is not the be all and end all of their cognitive abilities.

It is great when test scores are high, but if the cost of high test scores is the increased stress levels and fear of failure from the children themselves, then we desperately need to re-think our educational strategy.

 

Why Helicopter Parents need to come back down to Earth

The phrase ‘Helicopter Parent’ gained some traction in American education in the early 2000s, the meaning behind the phrase being that a parent or parents pay far too much attention to a child’s development, progress, experiences and problems in their young life. This is particularly strong when looking at a child’s performance in the educational system and it can put unnecessary stress on both the child and their educators in order to achieve the ‘results desired’ by the parents themselves.

Don’t Be Suffocating

It is important to demonstrate an interest in your child’s education and how and why they learn things. However, getting hung up on whether or not they are above or below the recommended reading age, whether they should be having difficulties with spelling, whether they are performing in sports activities as they should, can cause a strained relationship between the parents and the child and can even have a negative effect on the child’s education.

Learning to Take the Initiative

If everything is handed to you on a plate in life, you don’t get a full comprehension of how working hard feels. You can become narrow minded and easily frustrated when presented with barriers. Some ‘helicopter parents’ run the risk of creating children who don’t know how to think outside the box. By stepping back and letting them try to handle problems on their own, you give them space to breathe and space to grow in their own way.