Following our recent article, Raising Awake Children in a Broken School System, which discussed the school system from a parent’s perspective, we invited contributing writer Andreas Toupadakis Ph.D, a lecturer at University of California, to offer his thoughts on tertiary education today…
The Science of Living
Chemistry was the only subject I was teaching for several years prior to 2005. However, along with chemistry, I have since had the opportunity to also teach at the University of California at Davis a freshman seminar titled, “From Self-Awareness to Personal Growth for True Success in and after College.” Teaching not only chemistry but also the seminar brought me awareness of several very important issues related to student life.
I soon realized that the students’ performance was directly related not just to how hard they were studying, but also so much more to the measure of their enthusiasm. During discussions on their performance, when the topic would shift to why they were taking classes they were not finding interesting and meaningful, they would invariably burst into tears.
I realized that most students are in great psychological pain and under pressure mainly because of parental influence. Parents and students are afraid of the future, especially because of today’s economy. In addition, some parents desire to live their own unfulfilled dreams through the lives of their children. Students invariably state that they are afraid to tell their parents that they do not like studying what they are studying because they are afraid they will lose their moral or financial support. Many of them do not even dare to tell their parents about their school performance because, as they say, they do not want to make them unhappy.