7 years into my career and I spend a lot of time thinking about what the school environment is going to be like when I am approaching retirement age. Already within my career I have seen a drastic change in the way that schools are held accountable by the actions of student. I have been witness to an increasing amount of emphasis being placed on standardized tests and the belief that regardless of background the school is solely responsible for the development of the child’s education. Society has increased the pressure on the schools to not only provide a quality education for students, but do so with less of a budget, all while creating an authentic experience for each student. So…
- What does the future of education hold?
- What will the schools of tomorrow look like?
- How will schools adapt to meet the needs of society?
What does the future of education hold?
The trend that I am seeing in education is a move toward an individualized education plan for each student. In much the same way that we differentiate instruction for students with disabilities and for gifted students, we also are involved with intervention pyramids and step programs that are designed to provide remediation for students that need it and also catch students from falling behind. I see a future of education that involves accountability and tracking for all students and a specialized curriculum that both challenges the student and provides the basic skills that are necessary for success in a community.
What will the schools of tomorrow look like?
There is little question that technology in education is not a trend, it is a movement that must not only be accepted but embraced. With a growing demand on schools to meet the needs of all students technology will become an even bigger player in the future of our schools. The schools of tomorrow will find the role of the teacher changed drastically from a deliverer of information to a facilitator and monitor of progress and success. Teachers will unlock the tool shed that students need to be successful and they will show them the way, but not make their minds for them.
How will schools adapt to meet the needs of society?
Schools in the future will look very different from the way they do now. Instead of paper and pencils and desks, think laptops or tablets and couches. Students will be well versed in global learning communities and may be “in” classes that are taking place physically thousands of miles away. The gathering of students in classrooms may still take place, but students in a classroom will be at different spots at the same time and the teacher will need to be a master planner and multi-tasker capable of creating authentic learning experiences for a wide variety of talent levels. Schools of tomorrow will be collaboration centers and places where students will enjoy the demands and challenges of learning as their experiences will be completely dependent on their interests.
These are just a few thoughts though. What do I know about the future? I am just a guy with some thought rooted in the knowledge that the demands that society places on schools are high and the need for meeting those demands has never been more important. I am looking forward to the exciting change that will take place until that day that I hang up my chalk/expo marker/lcd clicker/tablet/etc.