Fear of heights

Academic success and extracurricular activities

Academic success, as well as extracurricular sports, are extremely important in the American educational system. However, the majority of American students, especially adolescents, are preoccupied with extracurricular activities that interfere with their academic performance. Bob Chase contends that academic success, rather than extracurricular sports, should take precedence in the American educational system. I strongly disagree with the author since, in the long run, both academic success and extracurricular experiences form students' personalities. Both academic achievements, as well as extracurricular activities, equally contribute to the cognitive and physical development of the students.

American educational system and overall development

American educational system is based on overall development of the students. The overall development would in turn affect the very existence of the United States. It is because the present student generation is the future of the country and it should be able to figure out its accountability towards its safe, secure, and sustainable future. However, according to many research studies, American student population is losing its focus on the purposes of education, which results in their poor performance in the long run. One of such proofs was discovered during Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which showed that United States 12th graders presented pitiable performance and ranked at or near the lowermost level in Math and Science (Chase n.p.). Most of the American teenagers prefer after-school doings and pay lesser attention to their homework and school activities, according to many research studies.

The need for a strict framework

TIMSS advanced some indications regarding the meager presentation in math and science of the U.S students which include a lesser amount of time spend in learning things outside school (Chase n.p.). The American educational system needs to come up with a strict framework to establish better platform for all round development. Also, it needs to be reframed keeping in view the need of the academic performance of the students.

Academic knowledge and extracurricular activities

American educational system is inclusive and treats parents as one of the main force of motivation for the students. They do want a better and balanced performance form their students in academics as well as in extracurricular activities. Subject knowledge increases awareness regarding a specific area of academia but, it may not be enough for overall personality development of the students. Most of the studies have revealed that extracurricular activities are essential for better cognitive as well as physical development. Most of the population would not be happy with only one sided satisfaction i.e., either with commendable academic achievement or active participation in extracurricular activities. According to a survey most of the people agree that "people who are highly educated often turn out to be book smart but lack the commonsense and understanding of regular folks" (Chase n.p.).

Education as a means of lighting a fire

William Butler, a poet, once stated, "Education is not filling up a pail but lighting a fire" (n.p.). His understanding seems beyond academic achievement and extracurricular activities. Majority of the population in America wants their teens be active in both academia as well as extracurricular actives because that is what would be called the overall personality development. Such system would pave better space for 'sound mind in a sound body'.

Reframing the American educational system

American educational system needs to be reframed according to the above quotation. It should incorporate both the academic quintessence and extracurricular activities in its framework to deal with the growing ignorance of the math and science education and, also, to give importance to the balanced synchronization between the two areas of education.

Involvement of all stakeholders

TIMSS recommends more strict academic curricula to facilitate the present academic scenario of the United States. But, that does not mean that the students, teachers, parents, people, and the government etc. should remain as still. All the stakeholders have their respective roles to facilitate the scenario of the education of the country.


In conclusion, academic achievement would not be enough for overall positive personality development of the American teenagers. They would need extracurricular activities to carry on in their lives successfully. Academic subjects would teach them math and science but, the extracurricular activities would provide them with better platform to implement their academic experience in decision making and understand life. Bob Chase, in Fear of Heights: Teachers, Parents and Students Are wary of Achievement, puts academic achievement essential for development but, I think participation in games and sports or real life activities would boost the confidence among the teenage generation of the United States. American educational system need to reconsider its policies towards all round personality development including better cognitive as well as physical development of the teenage and student generation. One of the main advantages of education is modification of behaviours for better, and when we say education, it encompasses both academic knowledge as well as extracurricular activities; we cannot leave any one of these.

Works Cited

Chase, Bob. "Fear of Heights: Teachers, Parents, and Students Are Wary of Achievement." Antiessays, http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Essay-355012.html. Accessed 24 February 2017.

Yeats, William Butler. "William Butler Yeats Quotes." BrainyQuote, https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/williambut101244.html. Accessed 24 February 2017.

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