Monday, October 28, 2013 - 23:44

If you’re like me, it’s been a few years (okay, maybe more than a few!) since you were a high school student.   In that time, education in America has significantly changed.  Gone are the days of a teacher standing in front of the classroom, lecturing while students passively take notes.  Today’s classrooms are much different. 

Students learn so much better doing rather than simply listening, which is why schools are offering more project-based learning opportunities.  When students are actively engaged, they obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they're studying.  Requiring students to ask questions, seek answers, and collaborate with others to solve problems better prepares students for real life. 

Also, many teachers are implementing the “flipped classroom” teaching model.  In short, a “flipped classroom” switches around the traditional order of teaching with the purpose of creating a more in depth and supportive environment in the classroom when the teacher is present and able to help students. For homework, students will watch video lectures created by the teacher, where they will teach the lesson and give examples in the same way the students would receive it in class. However, because the students are watching the lessons on video, they can pause, rewind, or re-watch any segments of the video at any time.  The classroom time will be spent putting into practice the concepts described in the videos.  The students often work in small groups on a set of problems or activities to help them practice and develop full understanding of the concept.

With the push for increased STEM education in schools, many courses incorporate a combination of science, technology, engineering and math into a single course that build upon each other and can be used with real-world applications.  Traditionally, math and science are taught as separate courses often without the use of any technology. The STEM movement integrates all disciplines and puts them at the forefront of education in America.  This creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and prepares the next generation of innovators with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.  Innovation leads to new products and processes that sustain our economy.

Education in America has changed so much in the last 20 years, I wonder what is in store in the next 20 years!

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