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SIS Schools – Leading the Pack on Delivering Major Trends in Education

The other day I was pondering about what to write about in my next blog, so I opened up the World Wide Web, went to Google and quickly typed in “current trends in education”. As educators, we place great effort towards ensuring that we are up to date, with open minds, we collaborate and then evaluate new trends and decide upon implementation of the ones we deem worthy and we create our own. We also do the same for any prescribed changes in pedagogy.

After entering “current  trends in education,” listed below are the first ten categories that popped up, there are surely more but these were the ones that topped the list.  I wasn’t overwhelmed with surprise, though I was refreshed to see, that of the top ten trends, SIS has been naturally delivering on them for years. Please have a look at the list below and have peace of mind, that at SIS schools, we don’t merely follow the path,  we forge new ones.

Major Trends in Education 

  • Alternative Assessment
  • Character Education
  • Collaboration
  • Conflict Resolution/Mediation
  • Constructivism
  • Multicultural Education
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Critical Thinking
  • Inquiry Based Learning
  • Differentiated Instruction

For further information on each, please read ahead.

Alternative Assessment

Alternative assessment is a form of student performance grading that allows for a more holistic approach to student assessment. The traditional form of student assessment involves the average grading of a cumulative set of work for a given time period. With alternative assessments, students are enabled to provide their own responses rather than simply selecting from a given list of options. Alternative assessment can also encompass a portfolio of work or projects to represent an entire use of concepts, similar to the way a traditional final examination is intended to be a cumulative demonstration of material learned over a given time period.

Character Education

What do you often hear people say about your children? Are they honest, trustworthy, caring or responsible? These qualities that people see in your children is how their character is defined. Basically, they are the values that make up the person who they are. It is a collective measure of their total personality. Character education is about more than teaching between what is right and what is wrong, it is about students embodying such practice and doing what is right. Character education isn’t about punishment,when mistakes are made, it is about reflection and understanding and then followed by positive redirection.

Collaboration

Collaborative learning a system in which two or more people cooperate in a learning experience to share and contribute to each member’s understanding of a topic and to complete a given task. Collaborative learning continues to be an increasingly popular option in our culture, as our school systems have recognized that students can be overly competitive at times, causing difficulties for these students when they enter the workplace, especially in positions that require collaboration.

Conflict Resolution/Mediation

Some schools have already employed mediators to help out in settling difficult conversations among children and teenagers. Originally as the post of a guidance counselor, a mediator who acts both as a bridge and a balance to facilitate peaceful coexistence in an academic institution. Though for more in depth meditation, teachers and form teachers fill this roll. Not punishing, but rather using reflection and then teaching both sides how to healthily resolve their differences or problems. Understanding one another with respect and compromise are valuable lessons to learn.

Constructivism

Constructivism in education has roots in epistemology (the theory of knowledge, especially in regard to its methods, validity, and scope and the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion). The learner has prior knowledge and experiences, which is often determined by their social and cultural environment. Learning is therefore done by students’ “constructing” knowledge out of their experiences.

Multicultural Education

Education has changed in a way that means learning is now achievable through a number of different perspectives – perspectives which might be different from conventional schooling. With the world becoming a smaller place due to easy travel, the population of a school can be rich and representative of many different nationalities and faiths. Education must happen under the acknowledgment that students cannot be treated as one bundle. Differentiated and personalised teaching must happen, opening up to everyone an opportunity to learn off of their differences. 

Cooperative Learning

Termed as a way of learning in which the students learn in groups. In this type of learning the students interact with each other and build upon their school relationships, which is different from the traditional way of teaching. The main idea behind cooperative learning is to teach the students to be a functional part of a group, so that they have grouped responsibilities as well as individual responsibilities. This type of learning not only increases the study skills of a student but also develops communication skills.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. Someone with critical thinking skills is able to understand the logical connections between ideas and identify, construct and evaluate arguments.  They are able to detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning and solve problems systematically. They must identify the relevance and importance of ideas and reflect on the justification of one’s own beliefs and values.

Inquiry Based Learning

This type of learning mainly involves guiding the learner to understand. Inquiry implies, possessing the skills and attitude to ask questions about new resolutions and issues while gaining new information. The dictionary meaning of Inquiry is seeking knowledge, information, or truth through questioning. 

Differentiated Instruction

In simple words, differentiation or differentiated instruction is a method in which lesson planning and instructions are offered to students with a vast range of techniques to increase their study skills. Hence, differentiated instruction strategies are necessary for the students to be able to learn. Not all people learn things in the same way. Years back, some  students were ostracised or deemed incapable of learning, when in fact it was actually the teachers who were the ones incapable of teaching in different ways. By personalising learning, it gives every student the opportunity to learn.

With the implementation of all of the above, we have set ourselves up for success in making our SIS Vision and Mission a reality for all our learners.

Our Vision:

Inspiring Learners Toward Greater Heights.

Our Mission:

To spark curiosity and inquiry while developing values and 21st century skills.

We prioritise learners and personalise learning to make a better world.

This work was supported by http://www.teach-nology.com/currenttrends/