On Thursday, Nov. 3, a movement to transform education is hitting UT’s campus.
The Chancellor’s Honors Program will show a free screening of the award-winning documentary, “The Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture,” at 6 p.m. in the UC auditorium.
The film focuses on the high-pressure lifestyle high school students face, a lifestyle that leads to stress-related illness, depression and burnout across America’s secondary education system. These problems can extend to universities, fostering mental health issues as well as the aforementioned problems.
“The Race to Nowhere” has received praise from the premier news publications of the country, including The New York Times and Washington Post. The latter published an article by Valerie Strauss that called for presidential attention to the struggles presented in this film.
It’s no coincidence that such an eye-popping documentary was chosen by the Chancellor’s Honors Program.
“We believe these topics are of particular importance to honors and other high-achieving students and have seen in recent years an increasing amount of students with mental health issues, partly due to academic pressures,” Carey Smith, graduate student in public administration and graduate assistant for the Chancellor’s Honors and Haslam Scholars Programs, said. “As the university’s academic profile improves, so does our need to recognize the pressures placed on high-achieving students.”
In addition to the screening, students will also have access to a panel immediately following the showing, staffed by faculty from the UT Counseling Center and the Department of Educational Psychology. This panel will field questions and respond to comments offered by students in attendance, as well as offer questions and comments of their own. Particularly of interest will be their collective insight on the mental, psychological and social issues facing American students today.
Ryan Clark, freshman in piano performance, said he cannot wait to see the film.
“After going through the Advanced Placement program, I’ve become disillusioned with that entire ‘plug and chug,’ ‘do nothing but study hard and memorize facts and formulas’ curriculum,” Clark said. “I am anxious to see an articulate response to our current model of advanced high school education.”
Space is limited. To register for a ticket, visit http://rtnutknoxville.eventbrite.com/.