Innovation in Learning Study Group

East Coast: My lens...

By: Nerissa Edwards

In 1985, the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA  found that 18% of incoming freshman were anxious.  By 2016 it had skyrocketed to 41%.  The American College Health Association has it at 62%.  At WUHSMS,  we are seeing this increase in our students anxiety as well.   But why? Some research correlates the data to social media. Others to the overwhelming task adolescents have to “do it all perfectly.”  Still others to the lack of sleep (or interrupted sleep with many students sleeping with their phones so they don’t miss out.)

At MIT it was mentioned that they are looking at changing their first year program because many of their students are “sad” resulting in risky behaviors.  The String Theory School in Philly’s principal talked of student joy  -- but it was not clear how this was infused into their model.  Meadowbrook School requires students to engage in projects with an empathy component.  How will what we are doing change the mental health of our students?