When educators were surveyed about the most pressing challenges to the sector, they replied that surprisingly little has changed. They did, however, mention that what they saw change were the ways in which they saw the global community responded in solving said problems. Three of these innovative trends are detailed below. These trends change the way we look at education, and it’s time for stakeholders to take note of them.
Neuroscience has the potential to shape education reform by setting a baseline based on how the brain processes information. In doing so, the resulting curricula can boost literacy and cognitive development. For example, reading is based on visually recognizing small objects (in this case, letters) as patterns. Neuroscience has shown that people learn in small increments and then connect the elements together, like letters into words, and the brain interprets this similarly to facial recognition. This is the foundation of reading, which builds forms the foundation for learning and comprehension.
Also known as Massive Online Open Courses, MOOCs utilize similar technology to video lectures created by many universities, but the key distinction here is in scale. With the scale comes great potential. Supporters of MOOCs expected that the open courses would replace the current model of higher education, and while that hasn’t happened, it does provide a cost-effective alternative. MOOCs are able to make world-class education accessible to millions of people, from university courses to corporate training. Where this really shines is in developing countries, where MOOCs are providing opportunities for people who otherwise would have limited access to education.
Negative Population Growth
Lowered fertility rates and the migration of well-educated young people into cities is taking a noticeable effect on education. Unfortunately, the number of primary school students is decreasing, which means that many schools are consolidating. The consolidation of schools increases the distance between home and school for many students, and this affects access to education for many people. Countries with negative population growth need to find new incentives to maintain their commitment to education, and with the growing number of small schools, there may be a need to start multi-grade teaching again.