Creativity is all around, bringing joy and allowing the development of new knowledge while applying all the senses. Using imagination helps students find meaning in their education and supports the synthesis of information.
Heading into a new era of education, leaders in curriculum and development are incorporating creativity into the educational process. Education experts expect game-based learning to lead the educational trends, speculating its spread to classrooms across the country. Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a role in data-driven decisions expected to impact students and learning at every level.
Trends in Education
Many jobs that today’s students will seek in the future don’t yet exist. To adapt and keep up with the in-demand skills of the future, educators must make changes in the current curriculum and instruction models. A recent Forbes article predicts 150 million new technology jobs in the next five years and says it is important not only to change what we teach but also how we teach.
Reflecting on the rapid digitization across the globe and in all industries, not just education, informs educators of what students need to succeed in 21st-century society, including some of the following essential qualities:
- Global citizenship skills
- Innovation and creativity skills, including problem-solving and analytical thinking
- Technology skills such as data science and programming
- Interpersonal skills
The Changing Classroom
A wide range of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and major technological advances, are responsible for the tectonic changes and shifting priorities in the world of education. The popular education blog Create & Learn recently published a report on emerging educational trends, which can be confusing for teachers and parents.
Experts predict teachers will act more as facilitators rather than content deliverers. Key facilitators for the trending changes in education are:
- Digitized content and online learning
- Personalized, self-paced and self-directed learning
- Collaborative, project-based and problem-based learning
- Bite-sized lessons
- Immersive learning
Create & Learn also notes that the changing classrooms will feature everything from social and emotional learning to AI and learning analytics. Experts say learners should expect more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science and Technology, interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, all based in Mathematics) learning, personalized online lessons and a focus on creating global citizens. The game What Would You Do? is an example of a global lesson. In this learning game, students discuss dilemmas faced in communities outside their own by examining personal values and discussing differences.
As new tools, research and strategies become available, education continues to evolve and impact students as communicators and learners. A report posted on public school review indicates common core standards are among the most helpful guidelines for educators.
These standards help students meet learning goals and prepare them to think deeply, which helps improve performance in all aspects of education and future careers.
Project-based learning (PBL) is considered one of the most important aspects of common core state standards and allows students to achieve a higher level of learning. PBL allows students to shift focus from simply acquiring knowledge to practicing skills.
Hands-on teaching is the cornerstone of the evolution taking place in education. Studies have shown that students retain more information and learn better when actively engaged in their lessons.
Influencing Future Instruction
New and evolving concepts in elementary school classroom instruction suggest students should spend more time learning to read before they can successfully read to learn. An explanatory piece in The Atlantic asserts schools today value reading-comprehension skills over knowledge.
Natalie Wexler writes that the results of this concept are devastating for all students but especially for poor kids: “Science can wait; history, which is considered too abstract for young minds to grasp, must wait. Reading time is filled, instead, with a variety of short books and passages unconnected to one another except by the comprehension skills they’re meant to teach.”
To gain the administrative skills necessary to supervise effective, positive and productive instructional programs and encourage student learning, classroom teachers might consider the online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Curriculum and Instruction – Leadership program from Eastern Michigan University (EMU). Students in this program hone their aptitude in creating curriculum plans, evaluating programs and learning how to influence instructional design.