Published: Stanford Social Innovation Review
High school should be a launching pad to a meaningful life. Instead, it’s often a missed opportunity filled with apathy, purposelessness, and incredible amounts of stress. The three words most frequently used by students in the United States to describe their high school experience are “tired,” “stressed,” and “bored.”
This is largely because US high schools are unengaging and based on a hundred-year-old model designed for a different era. US high schools are depressingly archaic, reminiscent of giant factories or prisons, with block scheduling and teachers still lecturing to students in time-chunks that have no correlation to teenagers’ brain and body chemistry. We still have rigid, industrial-era roles for adults—principal, vice-principal, counselor, and teacher. This antiquated model, coupled with the “college arms race” and the standardized testing craze, is wreaking havoc on students’ mental and physical health.
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