High school was originally created during the Industrial Revolution as a way to train factory workers. Most high schools today still follow that original model — down to the bell schedule.
But research helps us understand what works best in terms of teaching strategies and teen brain development. For example, we now know there’s no such thing as an “average” student, and it’s better to let kids learn at their own pace. Educators are finding students are more engaged when they can relate to what they’re learning and the school culture is inclusive.
So how could your local high school make changes to improve? This video is part of our Transforming High School project with articles, videos, Season 3 of our podcast, and tools to help parents and educators understand why high school is the way it is — and all of the modern, research-backed ways it can change for the better. Not all schools need exactly the same changes, but there are solutions for every community. Discover what you think will work for your child and your school and share it with your child, teachers, the principal, the superintendent, and the school board. When parents raise their voices, change really can happen.
Find out more about Transforming High School
- Watch: The problem — and promise — of high school
- Read: How culturally responsive teaching prepares students for true success
- Read: What is an anti-racist school?
- Read: Making high school reading more inclusive
- Read: How trauma-informed teaching helps kids succeed in school
- Watch: What is early college high school?
- Watch: The power of giving students voice and choice
- Read: How schools can help overloaded teens
- Read: 7 ways schools can help teens suffering with mental health issues
- Read: Giving students voice and choice
- Read: Understanding the power of project-based learning
- Read: How dual enrollment can fuel college success
- Read: How mastery-based pacing helps every student succeed
- Read: The most important class isn’t what you think
- Listen: The problem with high school
- Watch: Documentary films and videos to help rethink high school
- Listen: Podcasts to help rethink high school
Thank you to Barrett Rosser, PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education for sharing her expertise. Thank you to Teacher Evelyn Lara for sharing her expertise and teaching strategies. Ms. Lara teaches at IDEA Frontier College Prep, which won a GreatSchools College Success Award.