Parents must be aware of these evolving education trends

Not only teachers, but even parents need to keep a close eye on the upcoming trends in the educational front to prepare their kids for any eventuality

By Amit Mishra

The COVID-19 crisis has turned our world upside down affecting almost every sector. The year gone by has been very challenging for one and all but students in particular have been more impacted. Given the current scenario, it’s tough to know exactly what the upcoming school year would look like. The best way is to keep up to date on current trends in the educational sphere so that you can get back to school more informed, irrespective of whether you’re in a classroom or teaching at a distance.

In a new era of innovation, education is not limited to the curriculum. Parents want their children to be more self-dependent, learn entrepreneurial and life skills so as to be ready to cope with challenges which life throws at them. Moving from a job seeker mindset to an entrepreneurial mindset, confident enough to build their own career choices. Technology has created a major impact on the learning and teaching methodologies and many ideas have emerged on how education will evolve in this new ‘Stay at Home’ era. Not only teachers but even parents need to keep a close eye on the upcoming trends in the educational front to prepare their kids for any eventuality. Educational institutions will also need to embrace new and innovative trends in 2021 that will positively impact students, teachers, and parents alike.

Some evolving trends in education, such as shifting from STEM to STEAM, cultivation of empathy, industry-based learning, customised learning plan, integrated learning techniques, entrepreneurial learning and life skill development.

Shifting from STEM to STEAM

While a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)-based curriculum that prepares students to enter the workforce with practical, high-demand skills is more familiar with students and parents alike. However, adding the arts alongside these subjects (thus creating STEAM: STEM plus arts) can significantly improve the academic performance of your students.

For example, an arts assignment when combined with math and science lessons can help low-achieving students understand STEM subjects better. In addition, it improves creativity—a useful skill for any academic subject. STEAM curriculum is also shown to provide a well-rounded and practical education than STEM alone.

Cultivating empathy

A positive character encompasses compassion for others, good communication skills, empathy, and a good relationship with fellow classmates.

Empathy is extremely crucial to build up a trusted and friendly relationship among students which will help them in future relationships as adults. The teachers must encourage interaction among students and include more group activities on a regular basis.

The schools which focus on cultivation of empathy have higher achieving students as their outcome.

Industry-based learning

While we all agree that work will never be the same, even if we do not yet know all the ways in which it will be different. However, parents and teachers must strive to prepare kids to face any problems that may come their way.

Gone are the days when students sat passively at desks while professors lectured endlessly, expecting the class to soak up all the knowledge.

A project-based learning approach allows students to collaborate, think critically and work in a group to develop innovative projects and come up with solutions to complex problems. All of these skills are must haves for any career choices to make in future and even prepares them for their journey to entrepreneurship right through college if they want to pursue it.

Companies today are offering industry-relevant projects to students so that they can adapt to a new way of learning while learning the skills expected by the corporate world.

Integrated learning approach

Integrated learning approach offers a mix of classroom learning with some amount of direct teacher intervention and partially through self-directed activities. It might be perfect if students are learning from both school and home next year.
As it is still difficult to say how and when students will get back to schools, many experts in the field believe that a blended learning approach will surely see a significant rise this academic year.

Customised Learning

Personalized learning has been on the rise for the past few years, more so to support individual student progress because each child can move at their right pace. In addition, adaptive software programs offer teachers the flexibility to use the same program for all students in their classroom—including those with learning disabilities.

The bottomline

As guardians of their future, let’s prepare our kids to learn how to tide off this crisis with an entrepreneurial mind-set by imparting the right mix of education and technology at hand while giving them the opportunity to chase their dreams with immense confidence.

Modelling entrepreneurial skills early in children

Entrepreneurship skills turn children into leaders, therefore, it is necessary to impart these skills early in childhood. A future thought leader in whatever sector, role or career choice they choose, your ward will stand out from the crowd. Today, with the uncertainty in regular jobs, the upcoming gig economy and constant upgradation of technology, these skills will help sail through the tough times.

Parents play a critical role in passing on essential skills and knowledge to children and regular mini lessons on these skills can encourage their creativity and observation skills. Other routine activities to impart life skills include taking them along to banks and stores, making a purchase and demonstrating negotiating skills. Children’s minds are very receptive, hence parents can impart some skills or virtues through their daily activities. Parents can play a very important role in developing self-esteem, resilience, empathy, industriousness, problem-solving attitude, creativity, and optimism. With these virtues children can make themselves impactful thought leaders of the future.

(The writer is Co-Founder, Kidzpreneur)

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