What will be the headlines in education for 2018?
Personalized Learning will continue to dominate the headlines. The educational options that parents have at their fingertips have never been greater. While many make this out to be a battle between Public v. Charter school options, more and more students and their parents are opting out from both with on-line programs that better meet their child’s personalized needs. Schools that continue to view education as the Ford Model T assembly line approach will find themselves as the next educational Blockbuster Video. STEAM, STEM, PLTW, and other health-related programs have become very popular options for school districts to offer. Look for these programs to only increase.
Social and Emotional Learning or (SEL) as it is commonly referred to, will dominate the headlines in 2018! Two contributing factors why 2018 will be “The Year of SEL”:
a. The educational neuroscience and neurobiology are quickly becoming mainstream in helping educators understand how toxic stress, trauma, as well as our new generation of learners, the (i-Generation) that are now fully immersed into our schools, will require a vastly different approach to learning.
b. Organizations such as Casel and The Aspen Institute are helping to establish Core SEL competencies for states and districts to adopt along with identifying evidence-based practices that are aligned to state standards.
3. Play. In 2017, flexible seating became all of the rage in classrooms. This movement was long overdue. But, let’s not forget what has happened over the last three decades in education as high-stakes testing has created an educational environment where social development has taken a back seat. Thankfully, we are seeing more and more schools re-instate or increase “free play” (recess), physical education, and other fine arts programs. With the arrival of i-Gen students, we can no longer view these programs outside of the core curriculum! Great schools understand the need for their students to be college, career, and life skilled ready!
4. Teacher (caregiver) Wellness. If 2017 was about asking, “how are the children?” The question for 2018 will be; “how are the teachers?” Teacher shortages are prevalent in all 50 states with no end in sight. As is the practice during airline emergencies, the oxygen mask must first be applied to the adult before we can be of any assistance to our children. School leaders that understand how climate and culture all interact with teacher wellness to create loving learning environments that all will want to call home, will truly discover the joys to learning!
Call to Action: What will be your 2018 Headline?