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Fear of Heights: Teachers, parents and students are wary of achievement - Essay Example

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This is reaction paper on ‘Fear of Heights: Teachers, parents and students are wary of achievement.’ When I read Bob Chase’s article, I was really surprised by what he said, as I have never experienced any of the attitudes or situations he talked about, and nor do I believe his title statement to be true. …
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Reaction Paper on 'Fear of Heights: Teachers, parents and are wary of achievement.' Bob Chase (1998) When Iread Bob Chase's article, I was really surprised by what he said, as I have never experienced any of the attitudes or situations he talked about, and nor do I believe his title statement to be true. The fact that it was written in 1998, when I was 10 years old, made me think that possibly things have changed for the better and that the issues discussed in the article no longer apply in such a negative way.
My parents have always encouraged us to work hard to get the best possible grades, as they really believed that a good education and a degree were important. They passed on the ideas and values that the benefits of learning would give a sense of personal achievement and would lead to better career opportunities. That did not mean no fun, no friends and just studying all the time. Like a lot of people I know, I thought sometimes that homework and assignments were a nuisance, but we all did the work. Not everybody likes every course or subject they need to study, nor can we all be brilliant at everything, but I know we accepted that and tried to get the best grades.
Thinking about subjects leads me on to teachers and their attitude to students. My experience has been that in the courses I enjoyed most, like math and computer studies, I related well to my teachers and seemed to try harder, but I would say that was normal. Most people develop confidence when they are good at something and this spills over into other areas of learning, helping them to do better. It is also true to say that people helped each other, worked quite co-operatively, and there was no great divide such as Bob Chase suggested. Maybe we were lucky, because most teachers I have come across encouraged people to do well and learn as much as possible. The people with lower grades sometimes got extra help, and I was never aware that the 'high achievers' were a cause for worry, nor were they particularly unpopular. I think the writer was making generalizations, especially in the example he gave about the brilliant girl being shy; this is not always the case. I have also heard of teachers who would automatically award an 'F' mark if a cell phone rang, never mind chatting on one in class!
It is not fair to assume that clever students had fewer friends and did not join in extra curricular activities. On person I knew was great at Art and Design and English, she loved them and became a real asses to the Drama group, designing sets and directing plays, coaching other students. She put her talents to work and developed them further. Another person, who never could get higher than a 'C' average, joined the Athletics team and was good. As a result, he gained more confidence and after a short time, his grades improved.
So I find it difficult to accept that teachers, parents and students just want 'average, popular people' who are not interested in getting the most out of all aspects of high school education. I think more people are taking harder courses in preparation for college, and I believe that colleges look for personal skills that come from involvement in co curricular activities, such as team working, communication, self-discipline, mutual respect and so forth.
After looking at the article and relating the contents to personal experiences, I have to say the issues no longer apply. They are not a true representation of most students' high school experiences today, whether 'average' or 'brilliant', and certainly they do not reflect mine, or those of many people I know. The most important aspect of learning is that it has to have elements of fun, and in high school, we had that. I consider that to be very fortunate for us, as I would not like to have been in high school during the period discussed by the writer. I believe that parents and teachers have been positive influences and that I have responded by seeking to achieve the best I can, something I hope to continue to do.
























Works Cited
Chase, Bob (1998) Fear of Heights; Teachers, parents, and students are wary of
Achievement. April26 1998
17 March 2007 http://www.nea.org/columns/bc/980426.html Read More
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