A reader counters: Learn from the burn

We know the stereotype of helicopter parents — those moms and dads who hover around their student children, making sure they succeed at everything, and removing any potential obstacles in their paths.

In my reporting on what high-school students should watch out for when they take college classes, I heard concerns that many high-schoolers may not be mature enough to handle the college experience.

But On Campus reader “asiljoy,” who said she took college classes while in high school, had this response to my post on why maturity is important when high-school students take college classes:

I’m a little weirded out by the continual push to have all children avoid failure at any point in their childhood. I fell on my face in my first chem class at the college level, but like they say, there’s no better lesson on why to avoid fire than getting burned. I’m not saying all children should be pushed into this, but if they meet the requirements and want to give it a try, I say let them.

  • hftfiawh

    It’s always those Chemistry professors…

  • Mike

    There’s no problem with letting students struggle at some level. The problem comes with the consequences of that failure. If failure means dropping out, or even a severely impacted GPA, the consequences could be dire. We’ve created a competition in education where the stakes are to high for students to experiment like that. Once we change that, failure may even be a good thing from time to time.

  • afriedrich

    Although I see asiljoy’s point, I do agree with you, Mike. We have this odd dynamic in society in which everyone, including students, is pushed to take risks. Then they are punished for failure.

    One element that seems to reflect that is — as I’ve been told — the decision by some schools/districts to not give added weight to PSEO courses in a student’s GPA. It seems counterproductive to me.