If you walk into our school, you can tell the environment radiates an atmosphere that is completely created for children. The bright and large rooms are full of laughter and dedication. There are several outdoor play areas to ensure a developmentally appropriate learning and playing where children can develop their skills.
The teachers will provide each individual student with the support and commitment they require to feel confident learners and individuals. New school energy gets driven by a few important trends:
- Student-centered. We have learned from software and marketing developments to consider user experience in a deep way. That has resulted in a totally renewed focus towards learner experience. Nellie Mae’s Education Foundation states that student-centered teaching and learning will engage students in their personal success, and will also incorporate their skills and interests into the process of learning.
- Access. Today, internet access is far cheaper than access to textbooks, so providing take-home tech devices to allow for anytime-anywhere learning would absolutely make sense.
- Next-gen learning. Modern-day learning models are blending face-to-face and online learnig experiences to come up with competency-based and personalized learning sequences.
- Broader aims. It’s absolutely clear that relational skills and mindsets are just as crucial as academic knowledge.
- Projects. Our economy is project-based, and project-based learning is a good way to integrate academic subjects and to develop career readiness skills.
- Connections. Today it is more important than ever before to acquire work experience. It also has never been any easier to get technical training or earn college credit, and there are high school students with have graduated with an AA degree. Individualized learning plans and good advisory can be very helpful to students for making connections and planning their academic or professional futures.
- Competency-based education (CBE). To promote college and career readiness, quite a few high schools have shifted to educational models of competency-based learning. These require that students are advancing upon mastery, and the students will receive differentiated guidance and support, and they will participate in related assessments.
While policy openings are contributing a lot to space for highly needed innovation, it is the fact that teachers and school administrators are investing so much time and effort in new learning environments that takes most of the systems’ energy. The good thing is that school networks, school districts, and funding organizations are providing lots of great support. Let’s take a look at some new variables when it comes to learning.
- Better prep. Practically all states have adopted higher standards (Common Core) in writing, reading, writing, and math. Over time, that will result in far better college preparation.
- Better mindset. As they follow the next-gen model leads, more and more K-12 schools will promote a growth mindset as well as high agency learning. Better executive functions will also result in improved self-management and persistence.
- More credit. The further expansion of college credit and dual enrollment options will increase the number of students that will enter college with a better amount of credit.
- Better LX. The more and more widespread application of blended or personalized learning will result in a generation of highly demanding students that will expect high-engagement learner experiences (LX) and the possibility to customize their personal education pathways. More and more learners will be looking for more applied and active learning in a variety of settings.
- More CBE. There are more and more K-12 students who are able to study at their own pace and that are progressing in line with their demonstrated mastery. Competency-Based Education (CBE) is slowly but steadily working its way in, including credit for outside or prior learning, individualized paced learning, or ongoing enrollment.
- More options. On top of more school choice, in most states, high school students have unlimited access to online learning possibilities and more and more access to externships (authentic external learning experiences, so not at school). The combination of these elements will result in a more demanding learning environment and set the stage for a more varied Higher Education experience.