3 Education Trends that Address Inequality
Various problems in America trace an ineffective and outdated education system which has failed students.
With the strong link existing between inequality and education, and thus if the education system won’t be sorted out, the goal of solving the problem of inequality won’t be achievable just yet.
Research has proved that current education system does not prepare citizens to compete for the global economy and that the case is far worse for low-income students.
In Boston College, a study of 57 countries showed that only 7% of U.S. students reached the advanced level in eighth-grade math, as compared 48% of students in Singapore.
In 2012 Brookings study showed that a bachelor’s degree is required in 43% or more of the job openings, while only 30% of Americans and 15% of Latinos possess the said credentials.
Despite all these appalling statistics, three disruptive trends which break old educational habits and make way for a system that levels the socio-economic playing field are projected to produce effects which will better prepare our youth for the future.
1. Distance Learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) make courses from the best professors at the best universities available online all throughout the globe.
This innovation started when two Stanford professors took their famous Artificial Intelligence class in public.
With only 50 students who actually sat inside the classroom, in actuality, around 23,000 students were able to complete the course requirements.
The professors realizing the potential of this instruction set-up, they left Stanford last year to start Udacity, which delivers free, non-credit online classes.
Coursera, which was created in 2012 to tie together like Stanford, Princeton, Penn, Caltech, and others in their mission to offer free-of-charge courses online.
Forbes, on the other hand recognized 2tor, another online higher education company, as the number two start-up website which has caused impact to the world, after Instagram..
Less than a year after Udacity’s founding, MOOCs for credit is started charging for fees.
In an arrangement with a commercial company, several of public universities plan to offer MOOC2Degree—free introductory for-credit courses open to students worldwide with the hope that those who pass will eventually pay tuition to complete a degree-granting program.
It is hoped that this model will sooner be free or at a low cost to access.
2. Flipped Classrooms
In a “flipped classrooms,” passive activities, like lectures, are reserved for homework, while collaborative and personal interactions between teachers and students occur during class time.
Teachers can post their own lectures online or they may opt to direct students to other online resources such as those from Khan Academy, which spans to more than 2800 educational videos covering a variety of disciplines.
With this type of instruction, students can pause, rewind, and re-watch as needed. Any questions can be noted by the students and be addressed by the teacher following day.
Teachers can also spend more one-on-one time with struggling students and at the same time promote peer-mentoring, or to assign students who have better grasp of the concepts to serve as in-class ‘tutors’.
This model addressed the problem of chronic absenteeism of students of lower socio-economic backgrounds as they will not miss lectures when they cannot physically attend school.
Also, students with parents who are unable to mentor their children due because of night jobs or low-levels of education can thereby access supportive online materials.
3. Connecting with tutors and study sessions online
The Digital Age led to the rise of online, on-demand tutoring—often for free. Quizlet was founded in 2005 Andrew Sutherland, a 15 year old student when he needed to learn vocabulary for his high-school French class.
Quizlet’s popularity spread, and it is now one of the world’s largest educational websites with around 1.3 study sessions daily.
In lieu of the problems and difficulties faced by our educational system, these three trends and technologies in education serves as tool in order for us to effect the much needed changes.
Indeed education is still the driver of prosperity and thus we must re-establish education as the greatest equalizer of the nation.