Education Will Never Be The Same After Coronavirus – And that’s a good thing.
By Angela Hansen
Founder & President, American Academy of Strategic Education
We need to ask ourselves this basic question: What is the purpose of education? The time is right to answer this question with a new perspective. The objective of education is to prepare young people for their future in a world that is rapidly changing.
Many people have said the world will never be the same after Coronavirus. In the realm of education, this is good thing. Fascinating articles like this (Education Has Resisted Society’s Trends For Decades. Will Coronavirus Turn It Around?) have been popping up since this pandemic begin, suggesting education will never the same. The old system—the one before the virus, failed to meet the most basic goal of education while it was simultaneously creating unnatural stress and anxiety.
With the mandatory self-quarantining, many have been compelled to experience a new reality of education. Here is what we have learned:
- Traditional school is overrated.
- The customary 7-hour school day, Monday through Friday isn’t a requirement for learning.
- Too much emphasis has been placed on outdated curriculum and exams, and not enough emphasis on life skills.
- Flexible schooling is not as frightening as the authorities have scared us into thinking it would be.
- Flexible learning is humane, comfortable, and effective
We must ask, “What are we doing to prepare children to thrive in this ever-changing world?”
Traditional school is overrated
Parents have recently learned that they have been buying a lie for many years. They have been intimidated into believing that sending their child to a traditional school is the “right” thing to do, that “responsible” parents should not question the archaic education system. This untruth has now been uncovered. Parents have learned firsthand that traditional schools are designed to teach the masses and not each child as an individual.
7-hour school day, Monday through Friday isn’t a necessity
Parents and students have had their eyes opened to new schedule possibilities. Parents have seen that children can learn a great deal more in less time through a flexible education program. An average child can learn three times more if he/she is taught through a flexible program at his/her own pace. Since Coronavirus compelled parents to homeschool, many have learned that once the “classroom behavioral management” element is removed, more time is spent learning.
Project-based education is difficult to implement in large classes, therefore it is not typically taught in traditional schools. Flexible education programs that have small class sizes, like American Academy of Strategic Education, are better equipped to teach these skills and adapt to meet the individual needs of each student.
Parents will no longer accept outdated curriculum based on rote memorization. Problem-solving, designing and inventing, creative thinking, digital skills, and collaboration are in greater need. These skills are inherently learned through real-world projects and home-based tasks.
In traditional schools, many of the subjects that are still being taught will no longer be essential in the 2030s. A student that starts in Kindergarten today will graduate from university in the mid-2030s and their career will last beyond 2060. While we don’t know the exact needs of tomorrow’s workforce, we do know the needs are changing with technological advancements.
In traditional schools, many subjects still being taught will no longer be essential in the 2030s. A student that starts in Kindergarten today will graduate from university in the mid-2030s and their career will last beyond 2060. While we don’t know the exact needs of tomorrow’s workforce, we do know the needs are changing with technological advancements.
We have got to stop the exam hamster wheel that burns children out. We must replace the toxic testing culture—which could possibly be responsible for a dramatic rise in mental health illness and suicide—with better, performance-based curriculum projects that include authentic whole-child assessments. Parents will now demand a new culture that reduces the importance of exams and provides a new testing system that does not continue to leave a third of students labeled as failures.
Flexible schooling is not frightening
Parents have recently learned that even without much preparation, they in fact are equipped to take on much of the responsibility previously given to the government to educate their children. Flexible hybrid programs offer parents more influence over their child’s curriculum, methods of delivery, and the family’s daily and weekly schedule. Hybrid academies that offer remote, as well as on-campus programs such as American Academy of Strategic Education, provide parent and student support so they don’t have to go it alone.
Flexible learning is humane, comfortable, and effective
Parents will require a new education system to treat children humanely. Families will have come to appreciate having a flexible schedule that meets their individual needs, comfortable study environments that are safe from enraged classmates, assignments that do not cause an exorbitant amount of anxiety, and assessments that do not cause an overwhelming feeling that they are just one test away from life-long failure.
The recent COVID-required homeschool situation has proven to parents that students do not need to spend all day every day at a physical school plus spend all evening and most weekends doing homework. Parents have also found that for some of their children’s core subjects, they do need newly designed classes with trained teachers. COVID isolation has reinforced to children that they appreciate the interactions they have with their peers. Many parents and children have come to realize that flexible education is most effective when partnering with programs that offer learning opportunities with knowledgeable and skilled teachers and positive interactions and discussions with peers such as American Academy of Strategic Education.
The out-going education system will soon be replaced by a 21st-century model of education that is far more energetic, engaging, and applicable than anything we have seen before COVID.