It's About to Get Uncomfortable: Education in America | Matt Beaudreau | TEDxSantaCruz

  • Published on May 26, 2015
  • What would it look like to truly collaborate on the future of our schools with all stakeholders, from kindergartners to administrators? Educator Matt Beaudreau argues that alternative and democratic schools are successfully challenging existing educational paradigms, and embracing a radically collaborative approach that could change the face of education for America's children. Hang on-- it's about to get uncomfortable.
    Matt Beaudreau is vice principal at Adventure Christian School in Roseville and a teacher trainer with the Center for Teacher Effectiveness. With his nickname, Education Dude, he has given keynote speeches at education conferences and worked with more than 10,000 educators across the country. He is the lead on a committee to build a state-of-the-art high school in Northern California.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 39

  • Paola A. Sanchez
    Paola A. Sanchez Month ago

    Completely irrational. Allowing students to make the decisions for hiring/firing teachers? What a joke.

    • Insomnia Corpse
      Insomnia Corpse 20 days ago

      Paola A. Sanchez Somtimes you need to think outside the box, have a idea that somone else hasn't already thought and youll understand.

  • Bukhory Ashwin
    Bukhory Ashwin 4 months ago

    USA is not of that!!!

  • Nickle Spale
    Nickle Spale 5 months ago +3

    I've always imagined one day walking in a large university campus among geniuses of all variety, where everyone specializes in something of their own. Like, imagine everyone around you, an Expert in their own field on every possible imaginable thing there was to study, all in one place. I've gone a long time believing that place must've been Harvard; and then I did my research. Ivy league schools aren't much apart from a typical university institution, save for their admirable passing rates.

    • sk8ingthemystery
      sk8ingthemystery 3 months ago +1

      Nickle Spale go to any large school and you'll find that 70% of the students are complete idiots

  • SL
    SL 9 months ago

    People's responses are amazing... I see that your active in the comments so it might've saved me from finding you on some other social medium! My wife and I homeschool and we're looking to reinvent the entire approach because it's just not working. I'm interested in some reading materials or other media resources that cover this more elaborately. Any suggestions?

  • Rosie McGaughy
    Rosie McGaughy 10 months ago +1

    lol captain obvious

  • JoachimderZweite
    JoachimderZweite 11 months ago

    This is rubbish and the top education achievement countries would never consider it which is why they are also top economies as well as producers of highly educated students.

  • Tara Drake
    Tara Drake Year ago +9

    Everyone in my school are very immature even the teachers.

  • ohmusicsweetmusic
    ohmusicsweetmusic Year ago +2

    another education celebrity wanna-be. Cute, well spoken, nice smile.... let's see how he does in an urban all black school. Clueless.

    • Paola A. Sanchez
      Paola A. Sanchez Month ago


    • Nickle Spale
      Nickle Spale 5 months ago +3

      I had a friend named John in high school who was just so full of character, funny, street smart, and inspiring dare I say it. A tall black young man who everyone knew and talked to from time to time. But there was something different about him than anyone else, something that made him the most popular yet ghetto goofball of them all. To me he was king of the regular class, a group of students that would be almost as if set down a path of easy non-honors or AP curricular route, and students of whom had little to no association with the advanced path students like I was. But John was one of the few that knew well and socialized regularly with both classes of students. He could talk to anyone on a level that they could relate, and respect him, and he would always end up the looking the wiser/cooler of two people. He had a charisma like no other and his audience was mainly on the gym's basketball floor. I believe he was on the team for some time too.Now never would it occur to me from his position and intellect that John wasn't actually doing much for school work (and neither was I honestly). Come graduation, I receive my diploma with a 2.09 gpa and John doesn't... It was never fair to me how someone like me could pass high school and he, the great John, couldn't. Sorry for the paragraph, I just felt like our John's were similar lol and I'm researching points for a quick persuasive speech on the system of schooling at it's current state.

    • Matt Beaudreau
      Matt Beaudreau Year ago +16

      Funny you should say that. I actually grew up in an urban school, and started my educational career as a public school teacher in a school with about 3 white children, total. I did quite well there for many years. The fact that I have students who I taught in that environment that have continued to seek me out as adults to thank me for speaking into their lives makes me think I might not have been as "clueless" as you guessed. :) By the way: no celebrity status desired. Guess you didn't have it all figured out, but thanks for watching, and for calling me cute. I'm flattered.

  • JAZJ
    JAZJ Year ago +1

    This is the kind of stupid shit that is making out education system a failure. It is communism in a another form. STOP brainwashing our kids and instilling into them your diabolical, globalist agenda of creating a "cattle" underclass.

    • Jennifer Melek Ozgur
      Jennifer Melek Ozgur 5 months ago

      I hear you, Fieldyr, but JAZJ's comparison to communism is very confusing to me. My understanding of actual communism is the over-presence of government in people's lives, AKA China... To me, Matt's vision is the complete antidote to that model.

    • Fieldyr Hart
      Fieldyr Hart 5 months ago +1

      Matt Beaudreau
      He thinks you're an anarchist because you want to remove many rules. Basically, he heard the buzzwords you used, and assumed that you wanted kids to learn on their own without Teacher guidance. I don't think this is what you meant. He's referring to how the globalist are trying to remove rules and regulations on everything and telling kids to be whatever they want without showing them the reality of the real world. Basically distracting them from the government's flaws.
      What he didn't realize is that you said to let your kids take their own path if it is the RIGHT path. He thinks that you just want no regulation or.. teaching.

    • Matt Beaudreau
      Matt Beaudreau Year ago +2

      Not sure what you are referring to...

  • Friseal1
    Friseal1 Year ago +1

    Interesting to see someone advocating taking what has already been highly popular home education models and apply it to public/general education. But the idea that students are "equal" to their educators is foolishness. As human beings, certainly! But as viable decision makers, not so. A "true democracy" is not a good idea for any successful society for it's just another name for "mob rule." That's why the USA is actually a democratic republic.

    • Matt Beaudreau
      Matt Beaudreau Year ago +5

      I would argue that the decision making of the students would shock you, but that the decisions being made are also in the context of how to treat one and other, sensible school behaviors, etc. These are not life or death decisions by any means, and nobody needs another person of any age to tell them what they are interested in.

  • Átila
    Átila Year ago

    Einstein is not a model for anything, people still giving him credit to things that was even his ideia...

    • Matt Beaudreau
      Matt Beaudreau Year ago +1

      No credit given. Point wasn't about him- it was just about students in general. Agree that he sometimes gets credit where it is not due!

  • Koneko
    Koneko Year ago +1

    I love this so much!

  • Bethany S
    Bethany S Year ago

    Does anyone know where I can find the full script of this speech? I am thinking of using part of it for a forensics piece. Thank you.

  • Judy Yero
    Judy Yero 2 years ago +11

    Couldn't agree more...but educational policy makers know there is "something better"--they send their own kids to those schools!...and yet they insist that public schools must retain one size fits all mentality, telling students what, how and when to learn for 12 years. Learner-centered/progressive schools have existed for years--for those who can afford to send their kids there. Their graduates are independent thinkers, lifelong learners, and kids who grow into caring, responsible adults who ask difficult questions and recognize their own ability to change the world. One has to wonder if that's what those in power do NOT want...because it would create a citizenry that would be much more difficult to govern and control.

    • lynnthegreat10
      lynnthegreat10 8 days ago

      You are a smart lady Judy!

    • Mohamed Ahmed
      Mohamed Ahmed 6 months ago

      man. This what felt but I couldn't articulate it. I lacked meaning and purpose in my school.

    • Sara Young
      Sara Young Year ago +2

      +Judy Yero Well said.
      Not EVERYone is wondering... some of us are pretty sure. I was lucky enough to go to one of those non-affordable schools when I was in grade 2, but only for half of the year, partly because of the expense, and partly because my learning style was even less structured than theirs, which was definitely better than regular school.
      I think I would have done better if I had been able to go for longer, because really part of my issues were with adjustment, and it was an enormous shift to get used to this relaxed environment being my new normal. I kept waiting for the bell... Then later, when I reentered the mainstream school I was re-traumatized by the ... loud. Everything loud happening all at once, with 500 + students, having just come from a maximum of 15 students in my room and like 60 in the whole school... I was in that school from mid second until I finished the 6th grade. I was passed along with barely a D each year because I was "tall" for my age, and they didn't want the younger crowd to be uncomfortable around me. That's what we were told.
      I'm nearing 40 now and watching my special kiddo go through the resource room program and it's going to be so much easier for him in school than it was for me, knowing now about him, what we didn't know then, about me.
      However, it's still a struggle, a battle, actually, and I'm not the only parent who is tired of butting up against a system that's designed to make the mainstream students dumb enough to follow instructions and smart enough not to think too much about they are owing far more than they can possibly hope to earn in their lifetime, AND afford to live.
      I have very little hope that the system designed for the special needs children is really any different in it's ultimate goal. The basic goal for how his supports are, is basically to try to mirror as best as possible, a normal school schedule, with a shift of at least six to eight subjects each day expected. We reduced his school days to start later in the morning, so he could be more ON more of the time while there, and it's working nicely but his days are still very full and when he returns home, he is exhausted.
      Also there isn't anything to address the needs of adult learners not having thousands upon thousands of dollars to go to college or university, and yet require a modicum of guidance and possibly sounding-boards for their learning.

  • Daniella Rocha Silva
    Daniella Rocha Silva 2 years ago


  • Agile Learning Centers
    Agile Learning Centers 2 years ago +4

    Some wise words, Matt.
    Thanks for the shoutout!

  • Atsushi Saitoh
    Atsushi Saitoh 2 years ago

    What's he saying at 3:28-3:30?
    Can somebody catch the words?

    • Matt Beaudreau
      Matt Beaudreau 2 years ago

      Glad to help! Let me know if you have any questions.

    • Atsushi Saitoh
      Atsushi Saitoh 2 years ago

      Thanks a lot!
      I've been trying to translate your speech into Japanese for some friends of mine who are interested in alternative schools.
      Your comment is really helpful! :)

    • Matt Beaudreau
      Matt Beaudreau 2 years ago

      +Atsushi Saitoh - "school has mostly failed Jon"

  • Kevin Wilcox
    Kevin Wilcox 2 years ago +3

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    • 朱金桃
      朱金桃 2 years ago

      。g十g喔喔哦欸案愛健康。。。 。。。。。好,。。兇殺愛