Race to Nowhere


Article first published as Race to Nowhere on Technorati.

Race to Nowhere is a new movie about our schools, our students and ourselves. The issue of homework causes family arguments, feelings of stress, suicide and illness and some students take drugs to stay up late and finish their work.
We seem to have forgotten that children’s play is their work and they learn best through play. In my science classroom, sometimes the children think they only played but I know they learned so much.
Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences is one of my favorites from Graduate School of Education. Everyone learns best in different ways and we need to support all these intelligences.
After seeing Race to Nowhere, I think the big issue for us is to define success. If success in middle school is getting into the “one” High School and then the “one” college, what does that mean success is for all of us post school?  If you get to the “best” college but with an addiction to stimulants or your best friend commits suicide from the stress, do you feel successful?
We need to reclaim healthy childhood and balance. I want the students in my class to love science and school, to feel passionate about learning and reading. We talk about geography and how people learn and live in other cultures.
Maybe we need to support more GAP year programs and international programs. I am going to work on including more information from the amazing book, Half the Sky.
In the movie when they talked about the Blue School., I thought this looks like a great place to be! What will it take to make happy, creative, motivated kids? How do we remove stress our children and ourselves?
This movie and “Waiting for Superman” has opened up this important discussion about education and our children.  Go see one of them! Start talking to people about it!
Is banishing homework the answer? Is it really the only issue? I think defining success for ourselves and our children is a good place to start.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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