Posts Tagged ‘ grades ’

Kids: Our Parents Care More About Achievements Than Kindness

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

A Harvard University survey of school-aged kids has found that 80 percent of children believe that their parents care more about happiness and academic and athletic achievement than moral attributes like kindness.  The survey collected opinions from 10,000 children from 33 school districts nationwide, and though researchers were not surprised that kids reported parental concern about their happiness, they were taken aback by how strongly children perceive their parents’ attention to be focused on achievement as a priority.  More from Today.com:

Students said that achievement was the most important value and thought their peers would agree. More importantly, students reported that their parents appreciated achievement much more than happiness or kindness. They were three times as likely to agree with the statement “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member.”

This means kids think much less about being nice than they do about getting an A on a test, winning a swim meet, or being best camper. Yet, all this focus on accomplishment doesn’t lead to content kids.

“The achievement pressure can have a bunch of negative results,” says Weissbourd, who is co-director of the Making Caring Common project. “I’m concerned that it makes kids less happy.”

Weissbourd says living up to this standard causes stress and depression and can lead to bad behaviors, such as cheating. Studies have found that 50 percent of students admit to cheating and 75 percent say they have copied someone else’s homework, possibly in an attempt to live up to expectations.

But, teaching children about caring can enrich their lives.

“I think that the irony is that when kids are caring and really able to tune in and take responsibility for other people, they are going to have better relationships,” he says. “And those relationships are probably the most important aspect of happiness. 

Manners & Responsibility: 3 Manners All Kids Should Know
Manners & Responsibility: 3 Manners All Kids Should Know
Manners & Responsibility: 3 Manners All Kids Should Know

Image: Straight A’s report card, via Shutterstock

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Boys’ Classroom Misbehavior May Hurt Grades

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Boys who act out or otherwise misbehave in their school classrooms may actually be doing themselves an academic disservice, a new study published in The Journal of Human Resources suggests.  The study found that in many classrooms, boys earned lower grades than their standardized test scores would have predicted, because their teachers hold their behavior against them.  More from NBC News:

According to the study, disruptive behavior may indeed be working against the wiggle worms of the world.

[Study co-author Jessica] Van Parys and co-researchers analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics involving about 6,000 mostly white, black and Hispanic students from around the country who were followed from kindergarten through fifth grade, starting in the 1998-1999 school year.

Students were given tests in reading, math and science, while teachers also rated students’ abilities in all three areas, as well as rated them on classroom behaviors. The study found that when assessing kids’ academic abilities, the teachers factored in their classroom behaviors.

This ultimately helped the girls and hurt boys. The girls scored about 15 percent higher in behavior (also called ”non-cognitive skills”), which meant they earned better grades than boys, even though they didn’t score as high on the tests.

“Our point is that teachers take into account other factors, either consciously or unconsciously, when they rate the child’s ability on all kinds of subject areas,” Van Parys said. “It’s hard for teachers to be completely objective when they’re giving an assessment.”

Image: Boy in school, via Shutterstock

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