The American educational organization Challenge Success, together with the NBC channel, conducted a survey of more than 10 thousand students from 12 secondary schools in the United States. The study included children who have been studying remotely since spring 2020, as well as their peers who have the opportunity to attend school at least once a week. Children filled out questionnaires and answered questions about psychological state, sleep quality, academic workload, academic performance, as well as interaction with teachers and classmates.
While more than half of respondents reported being more stressed in 2020 than before the pandemic, the problem was most prominent among students who study remotely. Eighty-four percent of children who studied online showed symptoms of nervous exhaustion, headaches, sleep problems, and other signs of severe stress. These rates were lower for children who have the opportunity to attend school – 78%.
Schoolchildren who study remotely were significantly more likely to say that now they do not have an adult to whom they could turn for support. They also worry more about academic performance compared to peers who go to school and interact with educators. The study showed that distance learning significantly increases the workload: children at “remote locations” spend on average 90 minutes more on homework.
In general, the pandemic negatively affected all schoolchildren, regardless of the format of education. So, the number of high school students who are not happy with their studies and they consider it a pointless occupation has increased by 48% compared to the indicators before the pandemic. The number of adolescents who openly declare that they are not interested in studying has also increased by 12%.
This data differs from the results of a survey conducted in the spring of 2020 by experts from the University of Bristol among students in 17 schools in England. The results showed that not having to go to school every day reduced children’s anxiety levels by an average of 10%. The survey also showed a 2% decrease in depression symptoms in boys and 3% in girls.
In addition, during self-isolation, adolescents began to have a much more positive attitude towards school and towards teachers. Many students stated that they value school much more than before the pandemic, and boys noted a more attentive attitude on the part of teachers.