"Our cheating numbers are unbelievable. We have 90 percent of the kids in our study at the secondary level admitting to cheating at least once during the year...Why? Because you're tired, you're exhausted, there's high stakes. And it's not that they don't think it's wrong. They know it's wrong, but they feel they don't have a choice."
-- Denise Pope, Stanford University Graduate School of Education, Co-founder, Challenge Success program
"A mindfulness practice helps cultivate your attention span, instills mental discipline, moves your brain in the direction of more empathy, better at solving problems...All of these positive benefits come from the mindfulness practice, and then identifying your own emotions, and then how you connect with other people."
-- U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), author of 'A Mindful Nation'
Applying for college is increasingly nerve-racking as more and more students compete for a limited number of admissions to the best schools. Add to that the pressure cooker of high-stakes standardized testing, with teachers' jobs and school funding on the line.
The result is an epidemic of stressed out students, with elevated rates of cheating, abuse of "study drugs", and sleep-deprived high schoolers, who take on a heavy load of extra-curricular commitments to beef-up their college applications.
This new one-hour special examines the level of stress experienced by many secondary school students in America. We probe the causes and effects. And we look at positive coping skills kids can learn -- and ideas on how to restructure school life to minimize stressful conditions.
This hour is also available as separate half-hour Humankind segments 194 and 195.