A majority of high school students say they’re bored in class every day, according to an Indiana University survey. Twenty-two percent say they’ve thought about dropping out.

More than half said they spent an hour or less per week reading and studying.

Yet, three of four students surveyed said they expected to earn a high school diploma and go on to college.

Where the ones who slumbered through high school will be bored.

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  1. Bill Leonard says:

    As I recall from my own high school days, every high school kid is bored silly in class at some point. And yes, he or she will be bored silly in some of the college courses that will be taken.

    The answer is a stint at what used to be called “honest labor.” Trust me on this*, every kid who works for a summer or a year or whatever at a very boring, dead-end job will begin to reconsider the parameters of “I’m bored.”

    Perhaps it’s the confluence of “I’m bored” with “This is going to be my working life for a long, long time…” unless there is some change in direction.

    *Yours, truly grew up…er, matured, quite a bit over the course of several summers making pretty good money for the time (enough to cover tuition, books and expenses for the academic year) loading trucks and rail cars in a cannery. Working six days per week, 48 hours straight time at heavy physical labor — average weight per case probably 48 pounds — had the effect of focusing my college goals, if not my life goals. I also was in mighty good physical shape…


  2. wayne martin says:

    > The survey of 81,000 students in 26 states found two-thirds
    > of high school students complain of boredom, usually
    > because the subject matter was irrelevant or their teachers
    > didn’t seem to care about them.

    One can only wonder what those designing curricula say in response to surveys like these?

  3. Sigivald says:

    Hell, I was bored in school and hardly ever did homework – because I did it all in class, to keep from being so bored.

    I can’t imagine all of those students so-reporting are bored because the work is boringly easy, but some of them probably are.

  4. Walter E. Wallis says:

    My brother worked with my uncle as a roofer in a Sacramento summer. This makes classrooms a bit less boring.

  5. Catch Thirty Thr33 says:

    Manual labor won’t necessarily be the cure all (because some actually like manual labor and become quite financially successful at it). And nor will this idea, though it might help: having teachers that are very passionate about their subject matter, rather than having teachers who are there for a paycheck. I encountered way too many of the latter in my high school days.

  6. Prof210 says:

    I had the pleasure of observing two English classes and one in geometry yesterday. Few if any signs of boredom. Even I was engaged. Good teaching with high levels of student interaction and input seems to be a pretty effective vaccination against student boredom. Maybe if we encouraged more classroom observations by decision-makers (and perhaps more importantly by other teachers), we’d discover that boredom need not be a major factor in our schools.

  7. Is the purpose of school entertainment?

    Aren’t some subjects going to be boring because of the interests and personality of the students?

    Yes, some teachers are more interesting than others, and teachers should do what they can to make class more appropriately interesting.

    But I think we need to be careful; engagement without content is pointless.