• Arlene Shelton

Education issues and Trends

Our nation is experiencing a renaissance in education. With information now at our fingertips via the internet, it is no longer necessary for teachers to be the providers of information. Instead, the importance of education lies in the ability to facilitate critical inquiry, problem solving, innovative thought, research and collaboration. At the same time that we are experiencing this educational renaissance our national leaders are focused on standardized testing. As a result, teachers are pushed to focus on the results of standardized testing, teaching in a linear fashion being certain that each objective is being taught with precision. This encourages a disconnect in education as each discipline is focused on separate goals as opposed to each of us being focused on the overarching need for our nation to have future ready students who understand the interconnectedness of all aspects of our world. Our nation lacks leaders of tomorrow who possess omni-vergent thinking skills and are able merge knowledge and skillsets from all disciplines to meet future more worldly objectives. Teaching to the test might help our ratings but it will not help the future readiness of our society. Our future society needs individuals who will be able to look at the complex issues of our world, determine which problems match up with their skillset and mindset and focus on innovative solutions to those problems. Our students and our nation are facing a creativity crisis. Over planned, skills based lessons work well to develop rule followers and test takers but hurt the future of our Nation. When our students are out on the job their will be no rubric. The solution to this may lie in offering choice based integrated teaching be it Project Based Learning, Arts Integration, STEAM, etc. Through choice based integrated learning styles students are encouraged to find problems and solve them given a broad objectives instead of given a step by step solution to a set problem with a specific expected response.

The educational process including teaching and professional development is strengthened through our ability to adapt to issues and current trends on our campus and within education. In order to keep up with student needs, we in the educational profession need to be willing to embrace these changes and respond with a profound, thoughtful and meaningful response. Encouraging students to utilize the problem solving skills that adults use to address the issues that arise in everyday life and work to foster confidence in problem solving and overall future readiness. We as adults utilize these omni-vergent thought processes to solve problems. If we as adults are using an integrated approach we should encourage our students to do the same.