Too much study can damage eyesight

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ElectronBlue's picture
ElectronBlue
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Joined: 27/07/2011
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Too much study can damage eyesight

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17942181

Up to 90% of school leavers in major Asian cities are suffering from myopia - short-sightedness - a study suggests.

Researchers say the "extraordinary rise" in the problem is being caused by students working very hard in school and missing out on outdoor light.

The scientists told the Lancet that up to one in five of these students could experience severe visual impairment and even blindness.

In the UK, the average level of myopia is between 20% and 30%.

Wow. I'm very firmly a believer that children should learn mostly through play at first, with only short formal lessons in KS1, plenty of play breaks (morning lunch and afternoon), plenty of physical exercise and more outdoor runaround time after school. Frankly I believe formal learning can wait, and the focus on standards etc is all wrong. There, I've said it.

I know this is Asia, but we are more and more going down this route hre in the UK, and more and more away from the gentler, Scandinavian model (incidentally, although they are way behind us at age 11, they pass us, educationally, around the age 14-15 mark... a 'slow' start is much better long term it seems. We had a fascinating guest speaker once at uni). In doing so, in our drive to inprive 'standards' are we risking permanently disabling our children?

Barefootgirl's picture
Barefootgirl
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I don't really see what the Finns have to do with this, EB. Finland has the great advantage over jsut about everywhere else that it has a very small population and a long-standing liberal tradition -you can do a lot of things in such a popualtion that you can't do in larger populations. We have a horrible tradition in the UK of undervaluing teachers and teaching as a profession, and until that is removed, there is no hope of follwing the Nordic model at all. Teachers in Finland are well-paid, well-qualified and crucially, well-respected - there is no comparison to the system here.

Plus, what has KS1 learning got to do with the effect on eyesight of school leavers?

ElectronBlue's picture
ElectronBlue
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Ah, I misunderstood the article, I thought it referred to ongoing (from an early stage) lots of time in the classroom/ lack of light/outside time. And presumably it is,  but it doesn't say so.

The rest was just my rant about overworking children and not letting them have enough time to play Smile