Trending Ideas in Education to Be Excited About

Mar 13, 2017 by

Preparing students to be well-equipped for the future is the ultimate purpose of education and what most schools aim to achieve. But the elements of what we call “a complete education” are constantly being overhauled. The education provided to students 20 years ago was significantly different from what students experience today and it will change even further by the time grade school aged students graduate from college and enter the workforce.

Thankfully, there are many schools and institutions that are focused on the future and have begun innovating. Here are some trends in education to be excited about:

  1. Teaching real world skills.

A school in Portland, Maine, teaches students all the life skills they need that were not taught in public school. The school is aptly called The Adulting School. For example, skills taught include how to balance a checkbook, how to cook a nutritious meal, and more. The exposure this school has received has led to a number of high schools adopting this approach. Chicopee Comprehensive High School now sets aside a day where students can learn about budgeting, taxes, and wise spending. In other examples, Vector Marketing offers work for students where they can learn how to close sales while also getting paid for their time. Giving young adults and teens real-world skills will smooth the path to them becoming independent adults.

  1. Meditation and mindfulness to help kids destress and think smarter.

Meditation is a life skill that can help individuals cope with uncertainty, stress, and the ups and downs of life. And it is not just your yoga teacher saying so anymore. Harvard Health Publications ran an article at the end of 2016 outlining the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. That is not the first time researchers from Harvard have studied the effect of mindfulness on the brain. Additionally, CEOs have done it, Steve Jobs did it, Oprah Winfrey does it. Now, forward-thinking schools are also providing meditation classes for students. Mindfulness meditation is seeing a rise in schools across the US. And the results are looking good. Students that attend these sessions report feeling calmer and happier.

  1. Teaching internet literacy.

Students are rarely without smartphones these days, so it may cause a person to wonder why the need to teach internet literacy. Internet literacy is different from social media expertise or being able to text and carry on a conversation with a teacher at the same time. Internet literacy involves knowing that not all sites are trustworthy. It involves being able to determine and pinpoint trustworthy sources. One definition of digital literacy has it that it is about providing students with the ability and knowledge to use technology. With an increasing amount of socializing now being done online, problems arise that must also be dealt with. For example, cyber bullying, trolling, and more. Many schools are taking active steps toward educating students and their parents on online etiquette, as well as how to avoid becoming a victim online.

  1. Teaching coding at a young age.

Schools that want to take it a step further past simple internet literacy are looking to coding as the way to prepare students for the future. A report from a market analytics firm found that programming jobs are growing 12 percent faster than the average.

Teaching coding to students might seem a premature step to some. But most of the entertainment consumed by today’s generation relies on code. So children are exposed to the benefits and can see connections quickly. Australia is leading the charge. Starting in fifth grade, computer coding will be taught in grade schools. The UK’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is also considering including it, too. While it has yet to become a required element in the US, schools that understand its importance are including it in their curriculum.

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