4 Things that Will Be Old-Fashioned in Education by 2023

Education is a process of evolution. It’s like surgery, as more research and technology is released; the profession is modified completely. Take open heart surgery for example. The concept was taboo 60 years ago; but today, though it’s still a dangerous procedure, it’s one that is offered in hospitals across the nation. The classroom in many respects is just like the OR and somethings that may be taboo today, may be the new normal ten years down the road. So, what are these things and what exactly will they be replacing?

Algebra I as High School Level Math

When I moved to a new school for high school I was shocked to find that I was in the low level math class.  I had been in honors math 8 at my old school. But in that school district no one took Algebra I until ninth grade; in my new school however, it was expected that Algebra 1 enrollmentstudents would take Algebra I (and sometimes even Geometry) in middle school allowing them to take Geometry or Algebra II as ninth graders. Though this once surprised me, it is increasingly becoming the national standard.  In fact, enrollment in middle school Algebra I has sky rocketed since 1990 increasing from 16% to 47%.

Cursive and Handwriting Instruction

Since 2010, 45 states and the District of Colombia have accepted the Common Core State Standards which do not include cursive instruction. With the use of technology in the classroom, some educators feel that cursive is a useless tool. Meanwhile, others feel that failing to instruct students on handwriting and cursive in particular will have long-term effects from reading primary source documents down to giving someone your John Hancock. Either way, cursive seems to be on the way out.

College = “Higher Education”

Out of my four grandparents, only one holds a degree. My maternal grandfather took 12 years to earn his Bachelor’s Degree working a full time job, supporting a family, and putting himself through night school through it all. It’s probably one of his most proud accomplishments. My maternal grandmother chose not to go to college telling me, “School was never her thing”. Both my paternal grandparents couldn’t afford it.  My grandparents are upper middle-class Americans. Yet their view of “higher education” isn’t the same of the middle class American graduating high school today. A new study showed that 30.4 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. While that number may not seem startling, it is the highest it has ever been in the nation’s history jumping 4.8 percent in the last ten years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reflects that 66.2% of the students who graduated or earned their GED in 2012 went on to a two or four year college.

Rote Memorization

In 2008 the shocking statistic was released that 37% of young Americans couldn’t locate their home country on the map. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably rolling your eyes at that statistic (who are these people? Honey Boo Boo and Miss Teen South rote memorizationCarolina?)  But think about it a little more.  In a day where everything – a map, statistic, language, fact, book, song, etc. – is all only a click away, why would you memorize anything? Obviously, not being able to locate that giant land mass known as the United States on a map is concerning, but the emphasis on rote memorization that once existed in the classroom is yesterday’s news.