The world today is changing rapidly and education is one of the many fields adapting and evolving to keep up and stay relevant. Education is also required to remain a step ahead having been given the very important task of preparing those of today for the challenges of tomorrow. On this subject, the European Political Strategy Center (EPSC) which is the European Commission’s in-house think tank has identified 10 trends of 2017 transforming education as we know it. As we step into a new year full of discoveries and opportunities, we decided to take a closer look at 5 trends evolving early education.
1. Investing in early education is socially fair and economically efficient.
As EPSC points out, education received in early childhood has the potential to change life prospects of individuals. It promotes cognitive, character and social skills of little children, and gives them an advantage in education, well-being, employability and social integration. Early education also enables mothers to return to work and children from disadvantaged backgrounds to access wider social benefits, making a direct impact on boosting equality. Therefore, investing heavily in early education is identified as a growing trends which is both ‘socially fair’ and ‘economically efficient’.
2. Embracing lifelong learning
Education is no longer limited to an age or a classroom, but a continuous process of acquiring and updating skills and knowledge. Education institutions are required to teach the benefits of lifelong education and make the process attractive, open and inclusive for all. In a climate where we are tasked with preparing children for jobs which do not even exist today, ‘learning how to learn’ is indeed the most important skill.
3. Digital skills becoming a core literacy
According to European Commission research 93% of European workplaces use desktop computers. Majority of the world today is digital and we need to educate children on how to navigate through its complexities. Luckily we also live in a time where the younger generations are more competent in cutting-edge digital skills compared to their older peers. Just as numeracy and literacy, digital skills are also becoming fundamental so it is important to ensure everyone on the planet gets the opportunity to develop these skills and access technologies.
4. Moving from standardized to personalized education
Having moved from an industrial era to a knowledge-based economy, the world today requires highly-skilled individuals with expert knowledge and unique skills. Therefore, education at present is moving from a one-size-fits-all model to one with individualized, digitally-enabled learning paths. This means progressing teachers from being lecturers to ‘learning coaches’ and ‘mentors’, and empowering them to harness the innate talents and capabilities of students.
5. Adapting an interdisciplinary, technology-powered learning approach
Modern day challenges such as climate change, resource security, health, or governing culturally plural societies, require innovative solutions. Therefore, education approaches must be holistic, draw knowledge from multitudes of disciplines and use modern technology to address these complex issues. Finland is already pioneering in this area by introducing phenomenon-based, interdisciplinary teaching in place of traditional subjects within schools. This collaborative and simulating learning approach combined with technology is currently bringing subjects learned to life.
The fun learning approach developed by Fun Academy is based on the Finnish pedagogical expertise combined with best learning practices around the world. It focuses on providing holistic educational solutions to empower teachers to promote scientific thinking, physical activity, healthy nutrition and the meaningful use of technology among children. Closely following the trends which are transforming the future of early education, we aim to provide every child on the planet the best start in life, and life skills to face challenges of tomorrow.