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What Is Fashionable In K-12 Education Today?

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From a longer school day and shorter school week to flipped classrooms and multi-grade teaching, there is a lot going on in K-12 education these days. Some of these trends make the headlines and attract much attention, while others go mainly unnoticed.

All people can be divided into two main categories where the first group consists of those who are willing to accept these changes and the other one is represented by people who do not want to follow these trends and faithfully stick to the traditional old school practices. Whichever category you fall into, you are unlikely to deny that education is not the same as it used to be 20 years ago. Let’s take a closer look at the latest craze in K-12 education.

Education is going further digital. More and more teachers and students are choosing e-content over traditional print books. The popularity of online educational software, game-focused learning, countless instructional YouTube and Khan Academy videos that can teach you namely anything from pre-calculus to organic chemistry and rocket engineering, all of these prove that online content will soon become the most important resource of information.

Students of all ages are given more freedom in choosing what they want their education to be like. They are encouraged to be more initiative and creative in developing their own learning techniques. Teachers are willing to get their help. They challenge students to post comments on social networking sites, run blogs and web sites, create their own learning software. Having students contribute to their learning process has proven to be an effective way to promote their academic interest. Moreover, students do not have to wait until their third year in college to start learning something they are truly interested in. in fact they have unlimited options for turning their hobbies into long-term commitments, which fit into their school curriculum.

Flipped classrooms are no more an oddity. It has become a synonym for academic success. flipped classrooms give teachers more opportunities to interact with their students, which in its turn means paying more attention to their learning needs. So I believe those who say it is here to stay for a little longer are justified in their assumption.

Outdoor science education is another hot trend of nowadays. It is as a matter of fact a very real competitor to online learning. Not only does it help to get invaluable hands-on experience and grow more environment-conscious, but also, some scientists and researchers say, helps to get over such health problems as obesity, vitamin deficiency and headaches.

Shorter school weeks and more instructional time per day were the result of shrinking school budgets rather than a deliberate decision of education policymakers. However, multiple studies show that these changes have actually had a very positive effect on children’s academic performance, lowering the number of at-risk students and improving their overall readiness to take college-level courses.

Multi-grade teaching is another crisis-induced educational phenomenon of today. The acute shortage of teaching staff and even greater pressure for money to keep this staff employed have driven schools to combine students of different grade levels in multi-graded classes. Once again this decision has had unexpectedly positive results, providing for better use of instructional time and greater students’ involvement.

 

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