Three Current Trends in Education

Although the way we educate is changing, the traditional setting of how we educate has not changed. Often Schools still use the same classroom format used last century, and books are still an essential part of the educational system, based on rigid curriculums.

This is changing, and online education is affecting these changes that are challenging the traditional way we educate.

1. Home Schooling

As more people go online everyday, and our working structures change. The boom in online education has started, that is challenging the way we look at traditional education.

Home schooling is becoming a trend in many countries, as education becomes more expensive, and often still book and exam focused. And the internet provides plenty of sources for families or communities disappointed with the current education system.

International examinations are readily available for students who study at home, and are often recognized internationally. Often they provide curriculums, and even materials on their websites to parents or community leaders, who organize home schools.

This freedom of choice, and of resources does threaten the role of traditional schools, that often are structured around yesterdays education, rather than focusing on tomorrows educational needs for our children.

2. Self-Study

One of the skills that our new generations of net users are learning is self study techniques. These techniques challenge the role of the teacher, who often was the main provider of information through certain books.

Recognizing the achievements of self-study is not easy, but examples of many of today’s successful young entrepreneurs, show that many of them learned more from the web, then from studying at traditional colleges.

In fact, many of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs never went to a traditional college, which often justifies the strengths of self-education.

IB schools recognize this self study trend, and have shifted the basis of education towards an activity rather than a examination based education, and our younger learners are learning to become more independent, because of this change.

3. The Failure of Traditional Education

Traditional Schools and Educational Institutes often based their education on the fact that they produce students who can adjust to life as an adult, and are educated towards the skills needed for the future.

The reality is over 70% of graduates do not work in the field of their study, and often need retraining in the real World. Another reality is that most people are unhappy in their jobs.

A successful education system should produce in theory people who work in the field they excelled to study in, and are happily contributing to society. The opposite has happened, given that only 30% of graduates work in the field they study in, and only 20% of people are happy in their current job.

This may be the ultimate failure of the traditional educational system that produced unhappy graduates that needed retraining, and employees that disliked their work.

Challenging the traditional monopoly of the education system has never been greater, with the birth of on-line education. The inevitable movement from exam based to practical activity based learning, may create Students that enter the real world, equipped with the skills to survive future changes in the 21st Century.

Home School Success

Home school success is gauged differently by each parent. For many parents the fact that their children are safe is the most important factor to them. The fact is that home schooling is not a detriment to your child.

Young adults who were home schooled are becoming very successful today. In recent years the national spelling bee has seen many home schooled competitors. The largest hurdle for young people who are home schooled is college.

Many colleges place emphasis on extra curricular activities. This is a big hurdle for home schooled students to overcome. Students must overcome the stigma of being home schooled. Colleges and Universities are scrambling to accommodate home schooled students.

The emphasis that was once placed on extra activities is being adjusted. It is no longer so important for students to be in sports or clubs. They are adjusting their entry schemes to accommodate the home schooled student.

Many of the highest entry test scores are coming from students who are home schooled. This success is a testament to students, curriculum, and parents. It has become less important to be a part of the chess club and more important what you know.

Home school students are seeing success today. The national spelling bee is one demonstration of where home school students are excelling. Every year more and more top contestants are home schooled.

Home schooled students are succeeding more often today. This is largely due to parents understanding that it is more than just learning facts and figures. Parents understand that they must increase activities outside the home to round out their education.

Special Education Home Field Trips – White Water Rafting

Did you know there are white water rafting programs for special education kids, autistic kids, and kids with down-syndrome? Did you know that one ride down the river for these kids will be an event of a lifetime? Think about it. Best of all when kids of this nature experience something so radically different and new, it causes them use parts of their brains that have yet to be used much. Yes, that’s right it helps with brain development, just as if they were learning how to ride a bike, sing a song, or learn how to do a new skill. Okay so, let’s talk.

Some folks involved in providing such trips down the river for special needs kids tell of how it becomes a life changing experience, so to do the parents. Occasionally, it’s almost to the point that there was “little Junior before the white water rafting trip, and little Junior after.” Some parents note the difference is that profound – to which I say; wow. When I first heard about all this, I thought to myself, no, it couldn’t be that good, but the parents swear by it and the kids after doing it, they’ll never stop talking about it.

My question is; why does it work so well? Perhaps, because special kids maybe apprehensive about the water, fearful, and yet excited at the same time, well, that is just about everything you need for strong memory imprintation isn’t it? Okay so, I’ve read research papers on how the simple task of learning how to play a musical instrument, learning how to ride a bike, or interacting with an avatar on a computer helps develop these brains, and the empirical evidence has been show to prove it so. Thus, maybe these white water river rafting trips are akin to those other activities, but even more so, perhaps that’s why only one trip down the river is enough to trigger changes.

It’s not that normal (whatever that is) kids don’t also go away with experiences and memories that they cherish for years to come, they do too when it comes to river rafting, but for the special education kids who may not get the chance to do all those other activities that regular kids do consider it the most fun they’ve ever had in their lives, and it shows on their faces and their excitement every time anyone mentions it for long into the future. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.