Sunday, March 21, 2010

Race to Nowhere - The Dark Side of America's Achievement Culture

I want to make all of my readers aware of a new documentary film by director Vicki Abeles titled Race to Nowhere. This documentary explores the negative impact of America’s high pressured and achievement-focused culture on our nation’s youth. Are the demands and expectations placed on young people today leading to a generation of burned out, depressed and disengaged youth? This is the conclusion of many educators, therapists, and other professionals who work with students and appear in interviews throughout the film. The method of teaching is also, arguably, leaving graduates ill-prepared to enter the workplace. Educators feel pressured to teach to tests rather than develop minds and impart skills necessary to succeed. Sadly, the despair felt by many youths has had and continues to have repercussions that impact and even destroy families. Ms. Abeles’ goal is to raise awareness of this distressing trend with the hope of starting a national dialogue that challenges our beliefs about the effectiveness and sanity of our education system and culture.

While the film is not yet widely distributed, screenings are taking place around the country. The movie is coming to the New York area the week of March 22. For those of you who live in or near Westchester County, you will have the opportunity to view this enlightening documentary on Tuesday evening, March 23 at 7:30 pm at the JCC Mid-Westchester in Scarsdale, NY. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the film’s website and by going to the “Screenings” page. Whether you can attend the screening or not, I encourage you to check out the website and watch the 3 minute film trailer. I believe this is a movie every parent to see.

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