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5 Ways Education is Changing for Your Children’s Generation

Over the years, education has changed with each generation, especially in terms of technology used in the classroom. But over the past five years, the change in education has been significant change not only in the delivery of education but also in the approach to how students learn.

Individualized Learning

Today, schools are more focused on individualized learning. Teachers are more aware of each child’s learning style and interests which allows them to create a curriculum that is almost individualized.

Teachers are realizing that learners are a diverse group who have grown up in an era much different than their parents. They are used to choosing whatever television show they want to watch, purchasing only the song they like and getting news or other information on demand.

Each student has their own level of readiness in the classroom so a “one-size-fits-all” approach to learning no longer works. This makes it easier for teachers to intervene when a child begins to struggle or recognize learning disabilities much earlier in the child’s academic career.

Online Programs

Some school districts have taken an online approach to individualized learning. In one North Carolina school district, students from grades 3 through 12 are provided a laptop and move through personalized online lessons through a virtual school. Teachers are able to review progress and provide feedback while students are not focused on the grade they will receive but meeting the course objectives.

Since moving to this approach four years ago, test scores in the district have risen dramatically while attendance and behavior have also improved significantly.

Applying Learning to the Real World

Schools are gaining an understanding of the need for students to see a real-world connection to what they are learning. Research is showing that students who see how what they are learning can benefit them outside the classroom encourages them to complete projects or assignments with less coaxing.

Teachers are using student hobbies and activities like sports to show them how the math skills they are learning can be applied outside the classroom. Asking students to interview older family members about how their family came to live in the United States is one way to tie the real-world to social studies discussions.

Letting students participate in a community event is another way that teachers are bringing the real world into the classroom.

Flipped Classrooms

Instead of a teacher standing in front of the classroom lecturing, students are now being assigned video lectures as homework. When they are in class, students work collaboratively to apply the knowledge they learned while watching the video.

This allows teachers to see which students understood the lecture immediately and which ones may need additional assistance. It also allows peer-to-peer assistance where students who grasp a concept can assist students who do not.

Marketable Skills Vs College Prep

For decades, high school teachers and counselors focused on sending students to college. There were statistics on how many graduates went on to universities, scholarship awards and more. What was rarely reported was the number of students who were pushed into college who did not succeed.

Today, high schools are focusing not only on preparing students for college but also careers that don’t require a college degree. Many of these careers, like auto mechanics, plumbing and electrical work, have a shortage of qualified applicants. Schools that eliminated technical majors in favor of academics are now reinstating some of those programs in order to prepare students for careers rather than higher education.

These are just a few of the ways that education is changing. Although some of the changes are related to technology, others are on a renewed interest in individual student success.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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