File this under “new heights of insanity”: a British high school considers banning homework to “reduce stress” among students. The Times reports on efforts by Eve Jardine-Young, the principal of Cheltenham Ladies’ College, to “boost” students’ mental health:
She said it was not clear that handing out homework in two or three subjects was appropriate today. One answer might be university-style “flip learning”, where pupils read up on material before classes, she suggested. The school also considered whether it might improve its girls’ wellbeing by admitting boys, but decided against it.
Ms Jardine-Young said that she was deeply concerned by what she regarded as a crisis of adolescent stress and unhappiness. The average age at which depression was first diagnosed had almost halved from 29 in the 1960s to 15½ early this century, she warned.
“What we’ve been reflecting on a lot in the last few years are the big national trends and international trends in the worsening states of adolescent mental health,” she said. “We’ve created this epidemic of anxiety for ourselves as a society, and if our obligation as educators is to try to the best of our ability to set young people up as best we can for whatever the future may hold, then to ignore this whole area or to trivialise it is really irresponsible.”
This is the kind of story that really does speak for itself. Who knew that an epidemic of mass insanity would lead a generations of parents to warp their kids into weak and fragile Precious Snowflakes who are simply unable to cope with the normal stresses and strains of daily life? Today’s children will grow up in a dangerous world in which the forces of order are staging a disorderly retreat before the geopolitical ambitions of dictatorships on the one hand and the pornographic fantasies of blood-crazed religious fanatics on the other.
There are real monsters out there and homework isn’t one. If kids are not taught to manage daily life, they certainly won’t be able to face the ordeals that await them as adults.