Sunday, March 15, 2009

2 Million Minutes

This is a documentary called Two Million Minutes (click to watch video), which profiles six high school seniors in US, China and India, and shows how vigorous the other schools are while US kids are cheerleading, parying, playing video games, etc.

"Regardless of nationality, as soon as a student completes the eighth grade -- they have just Two Million Minutes to prepare for college and ultimately a career.This important documentary examines how students in India and China are being better prepared than American students to compete in a flattening world."

It's not quite that negative and does highlight the creative spirit of the US kids, but the implications are clear: we need to do more math and science to compete in the world.

Two Million Minutes:

PS -- Two Million Minutes refers to the number of minutes a typical child will spend in high school and asks, what will they do with that time?


The Washington Teacher said...

I agree that as a country we do need to do more in terms of math and science and improving education. But I also value the importance of the development of the whole child. Colleges are now looking for more well rounded applicants not just those with all A's and high test scores but also students who have a well rounded profile and are actively involved in extra curricular and volunteer experiences in their own communities.

As a provider, I often encounter many children with anxiety related conditions in our schools in part due to the fact that the pressure is always on and they are never allowed the opportunity to be children. I am concerned when many including parents subscribe to a belief system that supports and discounts the advantages of extra curricular activities- not unsupervised video game playing. Structured, adult supervised extra curricular activities such as cheerleading, girl & boy scouts, little leagues, sports, bands, also are educational experiences and provide opportunities for our youth to learn social skills, conflict resolution and team work and also help kids learn skills needed to sustain attention. These are skills many of our schools no longer teach. These activities also develop one's emotional intelligence. Without emotional intelligence- many are unable to effectively cope when they face challenges and have to get along with a difficult boss or challenging co-workers or a dysfunctional family and lack independent thinking skills. The research suggests that Americans get fired from their jobs not due to their inabilities but more often due to deficits in not being able to get along with others on the job.

Let's support improving education in this country based on our own terms which may be different than what works in China and India. Let's also support the development of a well rounded whole child who will grow up to be not only smart and capable but happy, mentally balanced, remain employed and able to get along with others as well as cope with life's many challenges.

ms.angala said...


I agree that as a country we do need to do more in terms of math and science and improving education. But I also value the importance of the development of the whole child. You are right with the points you made.

We should not forget too that we are now living in a borderless world which presents a bigger opportunity for our young minds. America has to make sure that they have the right skills and are ready for the global competition.


Promethean Planet


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