“When are we ever going to use this again?”
This is a question teachers hear over and over. From history to science, students seem to wonder how learning these subjects will affect their lives long-term.
After seeing a disconnect between knowledge and application, many educators put this question to good use. New teaching methods, models, and trends in education were the result.
More and more educators are now providing real-life applications to not only solve this question dilemma but to also improve the quality of education. Their response is a full reassessment of how the education system and classroom can operate.
Education now has the ability to be more than just tests, homework, and lectures. Education can now also focus on developing a student’s ability to be fully prepared for the real world.
Want to learn more about current trends in education? Want to know how to use them at your schools? Read on to find out.
Current Trends in Education: From Research to the Classroom
While some schools and teachers still use the traditional teaching model, many schools are opting out. There’s no getting around the impact of technology in education, but some schools are taking current trends in education a step further. Explore the following trends in education and learn how to employ them at your school.
1. Project-Based Learning
Project-Based Learning takes students’ love for group work to a new level.
In PBL, students work in groups to finish a project. The classroom teaching structure is also based on employing one project after another instead of teaching individual, sometimes disconnected lessons.
All the assignments within the project build on top of one another to produce a final product. The project also will have a real-life application. This is meant to show students how completing the project is beneficial long-term.
Each individual assignment is needed for the final product, but the final project presentation usually carries the most weight when grading. This is somewhat similar to another trend in education known as standards-based grading. In standards-based grading, the focus is on the ability to master a skill instead of grading the learning phase.
Read more now about standards-based grading and how it differs from traditional grading.
PBL also incorporates guest speakers and individual work to give students the full scope of what working in the real world can be like. To start PBL in your own school, educate teachers on how to use PBL in their classrooms. Encourage them to collaborate with one another and to determine how to include a variety of standards into one project.
2. Integrating Technology
Technology in education is booming. Ten years ago students likely wouldn’t have been allowed to bring their laptops to school, but now many schools provide laptops to students at no cost. Some schools even allow their students to use their cell phones to conduct research, play interactive classroom games, and use social media for classroom projects.
Using technology in your own school can be achieved by allowing students to use their cell phones for school work or by investing in laptops. However, investing in laptops is usually more beneficial since it guarantees that every student has equal opportunities to participate.
3. Construction and Architecture
Schools are beginning to understand the powerful effects architecture and construction have on learning. Spaces can sometimes divide students and make them feel separate from the overall school culture. The quality and the condition of the school building can also affect learning and student behavior.
Many schools are now opting for collaborative spaces for students and teachers alike. These environments can promote a sense of inclusion and teamwork.
By incorporating student group workspaces, group offices, and glass walls schools can promote a sense of unity. To achieve this at your own school, welcome classes and groups to work in shared spaces or even in the hallway. You can also welcome students to use large open spaces like the cafeteria or the gym as study spaces.
4. Student-Centered Learning
Student-centered learning works by switching the focus from teachers being the experts and gatekeepers of education to giving the students the responsibility to seek out knowledge themselves.
Student-centered learning is particularly feasible in the Digital Age. With the invention of Google, students now have an abundance of knowledge right at their fingertips. Student-centered learning focuses on teaching students the “how” rather than the “what.” For example, by teaching them how to find a reliable source versus teaching what information is valuable.
Student-centered learning also places more responsibility on the students to regulate the classroom. By allowing the students to help in making the classroom rules, for example, students take more ownership in how the classroom environment flows.
5. Social-Emotional Learning
Social-Emotional Learning in the school system focuses on seeing students as whole, dynamic individuals. They seek to foster a student’s sense of confidence and self-awareness as well as their academic skills.
For example, by teaching students important skills like conflict-management, self-regulation, and how to become a great leader. As a result, students can become more in-tune with themselves and others. Students are then better able to relate to one another and to make responsible decisions.
To include this in your own school, integrate it into your school’s culture. Create school-wide campaigns and activities for teachers to employ in their classrooms. Encourage teachers to highlight this important skill set into their daily classroom culture and lead by example.
Internships and apprenticeships are beginning to take off in education. As technology and career begin to take center stage, students now have more opportunities to explore before deciding what they want to do after high school.
Some schools are even creating “tech wings” and entire buildings devoted to career and technology learning. What’s more, is that local businesses and industries are also getting more involved in the education system. This not only improves the student’s development but also can improve the local economy by increasing the number of skilled workers.
Trends in Education: Choosing the Best for Your Students
Current trends in education seek to improve our education system. Many of these trends are a result of a fast-changing world in which we all have to adapt. From technology to changes in the workforce, these trends are meant to enhance rather than change the landscape of academia.
Want to teach your students about entrepreneurship? Check out our blog post to learn all about mastering entrepreneurship.