TEDxPhilly- Chris Lehmann- Education is Broken

This video talks about how badly high school is structured, how much the repetition of the schedule is detrimental to students, how the material taught in high school is barely used outside of school, and how much busy work is given to students. I agree that the high school model needs to change. High school needs to be altered more to the growing and modern teens of today. High school needs to cater to students interests instead of bombarding them with repetitive assessments that the students might not understand or enjoy doing. Engaging students is key to their learning process, and unless they are engaged in the lesson, there’s a changes that they will not do so great, or that they’ll even do the assignments!


I remember when I was in high school, I never skipped any of my classes until the end of Junior year and onto Senior year. I remember doing poorly in school during freshman and sophomore year, but when I got to Junior and Senior year, even though I wasn’t attending all of my classes, I happened to be getting all A’s! Now, this didn’t make sense to me while I was in school, but once I graduated and reflected it all made sense to me! I was in the Student Government Association (SGA) during my Junior and Senior years. The environment was so warm and welcoming, Ms. Scott, our sponsor as well as some of our IB English teacher, had such a relaxed classroom setting and structure. In SGA, we did a lot of group activities and committee activities. We were assigned to 3 different committees during the school year, and during our off peak seasons, we’d work on group activities as a class and also work on individual assignments. Even though I wasn’t a fan of my classes, my classmates and school officers in the class would help everyone out with school work and any potential problems. I loved going to SGA! I got my homework done, I got to work on assignments for that class, which were school sponsored activities that we would coordinate and run, and I also got to express my creativity through all of the projects we would get.


I learned so much more than I thought at the time. I gained confidence in schoolwork, I gained confidence in public speaking, I’m way more organized than anyone I know, I know how to prioritize tasks, and SGA also helped me figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! How did this one class affect me so much? Because I enjoyed what I was doing! We basically learned while coordinating our activities, we integrated English (writing speeches and what not), Math (dealt with a lot of money), Science (we made a bunch of different things in the class that took a lot of brain power), History (we incorporated events in the past and included them), Art (this is where I developed a great painting technique), Organization (everything we did was by the books and on a tight schedule, there was no room for mistakes),  Technology (We provided our own audio and visuals), Real Life tasks (we dealt with the Virginia government on several occasions, dealt with VDOT, security offices, school administration, the whole school, the community outside of school, banks, stores, fundraising, volunteer work, and so on). This one class, that was meant to just be an extra curricular activity, taught me more than I could have ever have learned in all 4 years of my high school career. This class engaged my interest because I felt like I was someone important doing something to benefit something/someone other than myself.


I think that making high school students participate in activities that broaden their mindset is very important and will urge them to do better. Getting involved in abstract activities, or even having them think outside of the box will help them get engaged in course content and help them succeed and participate. Students should be exposed to things they’ll be able to use outside of school! I think it’s very important to acknowledge that these students will only be in school for the 4 years that they’re enrolled; not everyone goes off to college. I think that learning valuable life skills in school is crucial to the students experience in school! I know that it definitely benefitted me! I wasn’t even thinking about college until my first year in SGA when some SGA Alumni came to visit us and told us about their experiences in college! This made me want to look into it more, and my teacher Ms. Scott provided us with information and even wrote some of our college recommendation letters! I’m so happy to have been in SGA, and if high schools can provide that type of experience for every student, I think a lot of students would have positive things to say about high school!

Education is Broken Video


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