How to relieve the current serious education anxiety

 To some extent, today has entered an era of global education anxiety. In East Asian societies such as China, Japan, and South Korea, extracurricular tutoring has a long history. The participation rate of extracurricular tutoring among Korean and Japanese elementary and middle school students generally exceeds 60%. Beginning in the 1990s, tutoring in the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries also began to expand greatly. In Europe, participation in private tutoring is most prominent and lasts the longest in Southern Europe. Western Europe, North America and Australia have also seen significant growth in recent years. For example, more than 20% of high school students in the United States will take extracurricular tutoring before university entrance exams. In 2014, nearly 40% of students in London received tutoring. Only in Northern Europe, the scale of tutoring is still small, but it is also growing.

The background of education anxiety sweeping the world is that the world we live in is undergoing major changes. Piketty, the author of the best-selling book "21st Century Capital", found that since the beginning of the 21st century, it has become increasingly difficult for classes to move around the world. This phenomenon has caused great anxiety among middle-class parents: According to Bourdieu's cultural capital theory, cultural capital cannot be directly inherited. Therefore, the success of education becomes the key to determining the future of children.


Compared with the world, the causes of Chinese parents' education anxiety are more complicated. The 2018 "Chinese Parents' Educational Anxiety Index Survey Report" showed that the comprehensive education anxiety index of Chinese parents reached 67 points, and the overall situation is relatively anxious. The report conducted a survey from the four dimensions of social environment, educational resources, family relationships, and parent growth. It found that among high-educated parents in second-tier cities and above, about 70% of parents felt anxious about their children’s education. Among them, under the environmental change dimension, academic performance, school safety and mobile phone addiction are the top three concerns; under the parental growth dimension, 75% of parents feel highly anxious about their own growth. Along with this, the 2019 China Child Development Report showed that nearly 80% of primary and middle school students did not sleep up to the standard, and nearly 70% of children applied for extracurricular training classes. The serious education anxiety of Chinese parents and the heavy burden of schoolwork brought about by it have become one of the key issues that Chinese education must face urgently today.

Psychological research explains the mechanism of anxiety: anxiety = uncertainty × powerlessness. There are two variables in this formula: what you don't know (uncertainty) and what you can't control (powerlessness). The more uncertain you feel, the weaker you will feel, leading to a series of psychophysiological and behavioral responses, such as insomnia, cognitive impairment, loss of self-control, and a series of subsequent psychosomatic diseases. The current education anxiety mainly has three pressure sources: external, internal and environmental: first is the imbalance of high-quality educational resources; second is the parents’ own educational disability, such as the anxiety and social pressure of the re-stratification of the society, and their own Educational knowledge is insufficient; thirdly, advertising and marketing by the media and stakeholders spread a large number of wrong educational concepts, which greatly amplifies this anxiety.


At present, the education policy level of our country proposes to change the unscientific education evaluation orientation, solve the "two only" in the field of education (only scores and only enter higher education), and promote the "double reduction" of primary and middle school students (reducing the burden of children's homework and off-school training) ), to make a systematic answer to education anxiety. The formulation of these policies has a relatively sufficient pedagogical basis: First, the "Coleman Report", one of the milestone documents in the history of education, has long discovered that the most important factor affecting children's academic performance is not the school, but the family. Establishing and developing a good personality such as self-confidence and self-esteem is the most critical part of a child's growth. Secondly, a study by the University of Tokyo shows that cram schools do improve children’s cognitive and learning abilities, but they are also negatively related to the development of non-cognitive abilities, which is closely related to personality growth and future success. . Third, with the development of educational research, since the 21st century, people have increasingly tended not to treat parents and schools as two separate elements to be separated, but as a whole home-school collaboration community to start construction.

Specific countermeasures to deal with education anxiety can include: First, build a comprehensive modern education quality governance structure, and promote the high-quality and balanced development of data-driven education. With the help of artificial intelligence education applications, it realizes efficient classroom based on evidence-based decision-making, the whole-process management of "teaching evaluation and management" and the dynamic and precise allocation of high-quality education resources, thereby optimizing education supply. Second, build a cooperative education mechanism for schools, families and society to promote family education. Adjust the parent's education concept, so as to effectively identify the fragmented education topic manipulation pushed by the mass media, and resist the deep psychological modeling and code control initiated by commercial marketing. Third, promote the development of children's intelligence and personality, and advocate education that focuses on process wisdom. Promote the transformation of educational concepts, based on the concepts of "respectful education" and "creative education", from the basic knowledge and basic skills training that is the most important for talent training in the industrial age to the development of discipline thinking and interest that is most important for talent training in the post-industrial society So as to truly realize the fairness of the starting point, fairness of the process and fairness of the result of education from a lifelong perspective. 



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