Imagine 10 years from now, individual subjects are no longer taught in schools. Instead, students work on problem solving, applied learning, and collaborative projects around topics. This article in Science Alert - No more physics and maths, Finland to stop teaching individual subjects, discusses changes being implemented in Finland, that could be a harbinger for a topic-based learning style of education.
Critical thinking, problem solving, and theme-based learning are essential elements of the Common Core Standards. Many schools in the US are already using project based, team driven, applied learning approaches. However, replacing individual subjects like Math or Physics with topic-based learning is a completely different ball game.
A variety of areas in education are undergoing disruption. Student and classroom management, curriculum/content development and delivery, analytics, adaptive learning and assessment, teacher, parent, and student communication, personalized learning, and digital learning are all seeing massive changes. Mobile devices such as iPads, Android Tablets, Chromebooks, laptops etc are accelerating these trends. According to an article in BostInno, education technology startups raised over $1.3 billion in 2014, with K-12 focused startups raising $642 million, which was a 32 percent increase over the previous year.
Content delivery is rapidly shifting from hard-copy textbooks to online and apps. Student-teacher-parent communications are happening on digital platforms. Paper report cards are being replaced with online report cards. Teachers are able to create content and track student progress online. There are academies and charter schools using computer science or math as the platform to teach concepts.
It is hard to argue against that fact that education is in the midst of a paradigm shift, that will leave it looking very different from what it is today. Whether the current style becomes obsolete or not is a million dollar question!
What are you seeing? How are you affected? What changes are you making? I would love to hear your thoughts and observations.