They say the only constant is change, and for evidence of that fact, one needs only to look at the evolution of the modern classroom. Indeed, few fields have undergone more meaningful shifts in the past twenty years than education. Social, economic, and technological factors have all influenced the growth and development of contemporary scholastics. Yet, new parents might not be aware of these relatively recent developments. After all, unless you’ve spent time in an elementary-school classroom in the last few years, it’s difficult to know exactly how teaching techniques differ from those of ten, twenty, and thirty years ago. Here then are four things all parents should know about the current state of education:
Modern Classrooms are Bilingual
Most public-school teachers will work in a classroom environment with at least one student who is currently learning English –– or who speaks English as a second language. What’s more, many elementary schools are promoting second-language programs. Some schools even integrate second-language classes into their regular curriculum. The good news for parents is that the younger children are when they begin to learn a new language, the easier they’ll be able to adapt to it. Plus, there are a myriad of benefits to studying a foreign language!
The School Social-Scene is Online
More and more kids are spending time with each other remotely through programs like Skype or on social-media platforms, rather than hanging out face-to-face. It’s important for parents to understand that children value their social-standing greatly, and that how they interact with others online and through text messages could differ drastically to their disposition in “real life.”
Physical Fitness is a Priority
Given the worrying and severe prevalence of childhood obesity in the US, it’s no wonder that school administrators have begun to place a premium on offering healthful lunch choices and emphasizing physical fitness. Just as parents can prep their kids for classes and help them become a great learner, so too can they take the time to talk to them about maintaining a healthy diet.
Technology is Constantly Evolving
Once upon a time, a classroom was comprised of relatively simple tools: staplers, pencils, a chalkboard, books, desks, etc. Now though, students have access to a wealth of educational resources from the mainstream (like a smartboard) to the wildly innovative (such as a Qball throwable microphone). The fact remains, however, that more and more educators are implementing new technologies into their lesson plans. As such, parents should be aware that their children may spend more time watching videos and filling out interactive website pages than they do reading traditional content or completing conventional assignments. On the plus side, these tech advancements can offer major academic benefits to young learners!