Pardes Student Hits the TED-Ed Stage
August. 2018 TED-Ed Clubs has posted Pardes student Jennifer Marhoffer’s TED-Ed Talk on their Club website. With its network of over 3,000 clubs in 115 countries, it’s a big deal! Jennifer’s Talk is a powerful call for schools to stop cutting the arts in education and to recognize their critical role in contributing to higher test scores, overall academic success and personal achievement. “Have you ever played an instrument…been in a school play…created beautiful art pieces in art class?” she begins. “Imagine it all disappears from schools across the U.S. No music, no theater, no art pieces, no arts.”
The Pardes student bemoans how taking the arts out of Middle School “leaves subjects dry and boring.” She points to “arts based, hands on learning programs that enhance students’ in-depth understanding of science, math, history, and language arts. Instead of students sitting at a desk with a history book at hand, students can use a musical instrument, paint, dance, draw,” she explains.
“The arts really do reinforce teaching,” says Jennifer. “They allow students to be creative and develop crucial skills for thinking out of the box. This stays in the brain for a long time.” In her talk, she points to creative ways to learn and retain complicated subject matter like mathematical equations by putting them to song, or making science come alive through drawing.
“I want people to know that the arts are being cut out with all the cuts in funding, but sports aren’t. Students do a lot better in general, when they do any arts program.” The Pardes student has been dancing since she was little, and she’s mindful of how this makes her more creative and helps her to relax to do her homework.
When asked what she most appreciates about being singled out for attention, the now Eighth grader replies, “It feels good to be a voice for people who don’t have a way to get this message across.”