Published On: Tue, Jun 26th, 2018

Top Trends In Education For 2018

Educators, administrators, and those in higher education who are committed to ensuring quality experiences for students across the ages (and for new growth opportunities for themselves too) should be excited for the year ahead. There’s no question that 2018 will bring light to a variety of topics and issues that could monumentally affect the way we teach and the way students learn. Read on article prepared by essay 4 us, to learn about some of our predictions and trends in education that we’re seeing and anticipating, and be sure to follow the embedded links to explore the topics in more depth. 

photo/ pexels

The Most Popular Trends in Education in 2018 

The Earlier The Better 

• Early childhood education also has wider social benefits: it increases the likelihood of healthier lifestyles, lowers crime rates and reduces overall social costs of poverty and inequality. It enhances future incomes: full-time childcare and pre-school programmes from birth to age 5 have been shown to boost future earnings for children from lower-income families by as much as 26%.

• Early childhood education can ease inequality by enabling mothers to get back to work and support the household’s budget with a second income. In most countries, women’s participation in the labor market is clearly linked to the age of their children. Across Europe, 20% of women declare family responsibilities as the main reason for not working; lack of available care provision for young children is a primary reason. 

Early childhood education can lay the foundations for later success in life education, well-being, employability, and social integration. This is even more valid for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Investing in pre-school education is one of those rare policies that are both socially fair – as it increases equality of opportunity and social mobility – and economically efficient, as it fosters skills and productivity. But all these benefits are conditional on the quality of the education provided. 

Graduation The End Of Learning Is Not 

Learning how to learn is the most important skill of all. 

Demands for competences keep evolving. Investing in lifelong learning, including through more learning on the job, is the best promise to maximize future employability. Employers are already the biggest contributors to adult learning, accounting for roughly 50 % of all spending, and workplace innovation is key to acquiring and updating skills. Education establishments also need to teach the advantages of continuous learning and work out more attractive, open and inclusive ways to bring people in different phases of their life and professional cycles back into education. 

Most children entering primary school today are likely to work in jobs that do not exist. 

• People change jobs – and even professions – much more often than a generation ago. The average European worker has gone from having a job for life to have more than 10 in a career. 

• In an aging society, with a workforce that is shrinking, Europeans will have to work longer. Those aged 40+ must be given substantial opportunities to update their skills. 

• Less than 11% of Europeans aged between 25 and 64 are engaged in lifelong learning. On average, only 6% of older workers (aged 55 to 64 years old) currently participate in training and education schemes. 

Digital Is New Literacy 

• Today, 93% of European workplaces use desktop computers and there is almost no job that does not require basic digital skills. To illustrate, in 2016, half of the European construction workers needed basic digital skills to perform their jobs. 

• A vast majority of workplaces (88%) have not taken any action to tackle the lack of digital skills of their employees. 

• For the first time in history, young people are more proficient at a sought-after skill than their older peers. This may have profound ramifications for labor markets that are still very much based on seniority and years of experience. 

• Unequal access to digital skills and technologies often overlaps with known cracks in social protection systems. And, with the rise of e-government, online shopping, banking and smart mobility, lack of basic digital skills may lock individuals not only out of work but also out of society. Just as numeracy and literacy skills are fundamental for every citizen, regardless of discipline and profession, too are digital literacy skills. They will become necessary to succeed in today’s society and labor markets where ubiquitous connectivity is the new normal. 

Humans Are Not The Only One’s Learning 

Intelligent robots and drones can help farmers to reduce crop losses caused by pests and diseases, while also decreasing agrichemical use, thanks to an earlier and more precise identification of crop enemies, enabling a more precise chemical application or pest removal. Researchers predict drones, mounted with multispectral cameras, could take off every morning before farmers even get up, to identify pest problems that the farmer could immediately address them. Similarly, wearable devices like those designed to track human health and fitness, are already being used to monitor cow fertility and detect early signs of illness, alerting the farmer via smartphone. As these technologies develop, too will the role of the farmer, requiring new skills and digital competence. 

• Advances in high-performance computing are enabling an artificial intelligence revolution whereby machines can learn and take on ever more complex tasks. 

• As humans may increasingly find themselves competing with robots – and no longer only on routine tasks and low-skill jobs – educational systems need to refocus on the very skills and competencies that have been central to the success of the human species in the first place: creativity, problem solving, negotiation, adaptability, critical thinking, working together, empathy and emotions, and cross-cultural communication. 

photo/ lil_foot_ via pixabay

Growing Global Competition For Universities 

• The world’s first universities were set up in Europe. But today, the highest ranking universities in the world are not European. Dominated by US-based institutions and a handful of UK universities, no EU27 university is in the top 25 worldwide. 

• At a time when European universities risk falling behind, bringing more world-leading researchers to Europe could bolster European research excellence and global competitiveness. 

Media Literacy Wanted 

• Close to 8 out of 10 middle school students cannot distinguish ‘fake’ news from real news. 

• With the emergence of automated accounts (bots), the spread of disinformation has never been easier. 

• Through the use of algorithms, social media can create powerful echo chambers, entrenching preexisting beliefs, views, visions, and animosities, and they can also be used as platforms for the dissemination of external influence. 

• The fake news phenomenon is likely not a short-lived one and requires media-literate citizens to discern the fact from fiction. Consensus-building, the backbone of democracy, becomes a daunting challenge in such an environment. Some remedies can come from the social media providers. But more importantly, our educational systems must integrate critical thinking, information evaluation, and media literacy as some of the top skills for the 21st century from very early ages. 

Author: Vladislav Panasenko

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