Pressure on students to score high on tests is universal. As we see in America, the pressure is from many sources– getting into the “right” school, peer competition and even government mandates to “do well.” Test stress also plays itself out in families– tension builds up between parents and children to the point where it can actually negatively effect the child’s test performance and cause family dysfunction. In my book Test Success!, I have dedicated a chapter exclusively for parents.
The journalist, Alex Lo, is right on, He quotes the Pisa study which concludes with the following statement: “All parents can help their children achieve their full potential by spending some time talking and reading with their children – even, perhaps especially, when their children are very young. Teachers, schools and education systems should explore how they can help busy parents play a more active role in their children’s education, both in and out of school.”
When a journalist calls the public’s attention to simple, practical, research-driven solutions, he or she is doing a great service: culling the most current scientific findings– in this case in education– and sharing them with the widest possible audience. Thank you Mr. Lo, for your service. As an educator I greatly appreciate that your eyes, ears and heart are open to what can help us all: increasing positive connection between parents and children. This is a gift that children can carry forth when they face the stresses of tests, and life. And that will make a world of difference…quite literally.
In my next post I’ll share some specific pointers for parents to help reduce test stress. Stay tuned, and please share your stories– as a parent or a child — of how “engaged parenting” has helped you.