3 Important Trends to Know about Future-Ready Schools

Press Release
Mar 16, 2018
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Rockville, Md. – March 16, 2018 – If education is indeed the passport to the future, then the schools of tomorrow are poised to take the U.S. education system in new and exciting directions. According to Schools of the Future, Part 1: Content and Curriculum, a recent report by market research firm Simba Information, future-ready schools—i.e. schools rooted in the 21st Century Learning Framework—reverse the student and teacher roles as students lead their own progress through a unique learning path, while teachers become mentors and guide.

As part of this unique learning path, students are immersed in an educational framework that encompasses learning and innovation skills; life and career skills; key subjects; and information, media, and technology skills. This results in an educational experience that is cross-disciplinary, personalized, and hands-on, with an emphasis on real-world applications. Curriculum, technology, and the physical space of the school building all inform and support one another.

In its analysis of the schools of tomorrow, Simba identified several key trends. Here are three of the most compelling:

  • Trend 1 - Some components of 21st century learning are evident in today’s schools, to various degrees: Some schools have gone entirely digital in their instructional materials. Makerspaces and project-based learning are gaining traction, sometimes in individual classrooms, sometimes in a library or other hub of 21st century learning within a school, and sometimes in district-wide initiatives. Fully personalized models that take place in learning spaces supporting collaboration and hands-on learning have been implemented in some schools, but they are far from widely established.

  • Trend 2 - As teachers’ role changes, so do professional learning needs: Teachers’, librarians’, and administrators’ professional learning approaches mirror students’ learning paths in the school of the future. Professional learning is collaborative; self-guided; involves coaching, observation, and information-sharing; and is done mostly through professional learning communities rather than top-down lectures. Professional development on specific subjects such as inquiry-based learning or technology is still required, but the emphasis is on continuous problem-solving and collaboration to support students’ learning paths.

  • Trend 3 - Educators, students, and other stakeholders embrace 21st century learning once they understand the concept: As with any new pedagogical approach, challenges include budget constraints and a traditional mindset. But those who have transformed their schools say that, unlike with most changes in a school setting, there is very little resistance once teachers, students, and parents experience a future-ready school and see the benefits. Success factors include having a strong vision; seeking advice and inspiration from those who have gone first; bringing all stakeholders on board early, having them participate in the planning and design, and communicating all along the way; and ensuring that enough time and resources are provided for professional learning.

About the Report

Schools of the Future, Part 1: Curriculum and Content is the first forward-looking part of Simba’s two-volume analysis on the topic of future-ready schools. The report focuses on the changing curriculum needs of future-ready schools—from 21st century learning models to personalized learning and multi-age learning to the changing roles of teachers and librarians—and the changing demand relating to instructional materials, including OER, assessments, robotics, and other technologies. Publishing later this year will be the second part, Schools of the Future, Part 2: The Physical Space, which focuses on the new physical spaces for learning—the changing school environment, both for new construction and the redesign of existing space—that are being implemented to facilitate the future-ready learning experience.

For more information on Simba’s new report, Schools of the Future, Part 1: Curriculum and Content, visit https://www.simbainformation.com/Schools-Future-Part-11362694/ or call 888.297.4622 or +1.240.747.3091 (Int).

About Simba Information

Simba Information is widely recognized as the leading authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industry. Simba's extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspective on the people, events and alliances shaping the media and information industry. Simba publishes newsletters and research reports that provide key decision-makers at more than 15,000 client companies. For more information, please visit https://www.simbainformation.com/.

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