Stu­dents Un­happy s in School, Sur­vey Find

The Miracle - - Youth - By Stephanie Wat­son

Tired…bored…and stressed. High school stu­dents from across the coun­try have weighed in on their emo­tional state in school — and over­whelm­ingly, they’re un­happy. The sur­vey, called Emo­tion Rev­o­lu­tion, is a joint ef­fort be­tween the Yale Cen­ter for Emo­tional In­tel­li­gence and the Born This Way Foun­da­tion, co-founded by Lady Gaga. Its goal: to take the emo­tional tem­per­a­ture of Amer­ica’s youth, find­ing out how kids re­ally feel about the time they spend in school. Through the net­work­ing power of so­cial me­dia sites like Face­book and Twit­ter, the sur­vey gath­ered data from a di­verse sam­ple of 22,000 stu­dents. Kids were male and fe­male; gay, bi­sex­ual, and straight. They rep­re­sented a cross-sec­tion of eth­nic and so­cioe­co­nomic back­grounds.The sur­vey started with an open-ended ques­tion: “How are you feel­ing?” To which most of the stu­dents—75 per­cent—re­sponded with neg­a­tive emo­tions. “To me this is a pretty stag­ger­ing find­ing,” says Marc Brack­ett, PhD, the study’s lead au­thor and direc­tor of the Yale Cen­ter for Emo­tional In­tel­li­gence. Stu­dents noted they were bored in school 70% of the time, and stressed 80% of the time. Kids who’d been on the re­ceiv­ing end of mean or cruel be­hav­ior were most likely to feel lonely, hope­less, or afraid. “To me, that’s some­thing we need to think more about,” says Brack­ett. “What does it mean in terms of our na­tion’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem? ”Then stu­dents were asked how they want to feel in school. Their an­swers: “Happy, ex­cited, and en­er­gized.” The mi­nor­ity of sur­veyed kids who felt their teach­ers en­gaged them in the class­room felt less bored, more re­spected, and hap­pier. Brack­ett hopes the sur­vey will em­power young peo­ple and lead schools to in­cor­po­rate more so­cial and emo­tional learn­ing. That type of learn­ing helps kids man­age their emo­tions in bet­ter ways to create a more pos­i­tive learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment. “We need to close the gap,” he says. “We need to make schools places where all stu­dents feel happy, ex­cited, en­er­gized, in­spired.”

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