Top 10 Trends in Schooling in 2010
Jan 9, 2010 Teaching 2887 Views
2010 Top 10 Trends (Predictions) in Australian schools
1. Continued increase in use of data to push accountability - the trend to measure educational performance will continue to extend down from the state, system, school and year levels to individual classes and teachers. These ugly and crude measures will force all to confront the reality of the 'elephant in the room'. Teacher effectiveness is the key factor in student learning.
2. Tailoring of individual learning through recognition of prior learning (RPL) - this includes a revision of 'lock step' approaches where students progress from one year level to the next in almost total accordance with their chronological age. The increased use of mastery learning will see students move on to more challenging learning opportunities if they can demonstrate they can already do what the teacher is about to teach.
3. Increased use of interactive whiteboards will accelerate the connection between the classroom and the real world. Data projectors becoming more common in classrooms will open connections with real world examples and applications of what students are learning. Teachers will soon see the value of interactive whiteboards as part of their skill set and use this to cater for different learning styles better than they have ever done before.
Once a good teacher has started to utilise the potential of this tool, they will wonder how they ever taught without one! This will also expand the chasm between the technologically literate teacher and those who are increasingly left behind.
4. Demand for principals to return their emphasis to teaching and learning and away from facilities and BER projects. The welcome injection of federal funds into capital projects in primary schools has added another burden to principals and highjacked the recent moves to have principals regain status as leaders of teaching and learning. This will return to the agenda with gusto in 2010.
5. Constructivist approaches to teaching and learning - finding out what the students already know and teaching from there. The limited amount of teaching time and increased demands to cover more content and a broader curriculum both highlight the importance of using time well. Knowing what students can already do and starting from there is more important than ever.
6. 'Just in time' learning - the increased push for accountability and the use of data to presume performance will lead to increased targeting of learning to borderline students. By identifying students on the cusp and targeting programs on pushing them over the line to the next level, schools can achieve short term performance gains.
7. Increased demands on schools to be surrogate parents - real parents are finding time with their children harder and harder to find due to their financial and career commitments. While the GFC may not have hit us as hard as other countries, things are still tough in suburbia! Parents are stressed and have limited time with their children.
8. Paperless classrooms - increased use of laptops and the internet will reduce the reliance on textbooks and paper. This will lead to more self paced learning and current sources of variable validity
9. Continued reliance on Google and increased reliance on Bing! as sources of relevant information. Teachers will need to further increase the emphasis on choosing valid and reliable sources of information.
10. The relentless push for a National Curriculum is finally gaining some momentum. The 'carrot and stick' approach of a succession of Federal governments is showing some signs of finally addressing the crazy inconsistencies across the various states and territories of Australia.
The current situation stems from the error of leaving education out of the 1901 constitution. By default education therefore became a State responsibility and we have suffered the consequences ever since.
Teachers need clarity and consistency in what the curriculum they are expected to teach. Whilst we may finally have enough momentum to address this disparity in a curriculum sense, we are still too parochial and political to agree on other national reforms (yet!)
Watch these 10 Trends evolve in 2010! Hold on and get ready for yet another busy year!