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  • Writer's pictureDr. Patrick E. Crawford

Educational ̶P̶r̶e̶d̶i̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶s̶ Trends & Hopes for 2023

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Leadership Thoughts | Issue #94

I have been studying educational trends with great interest to augment my quest to solve the problem of why most educational innovations fail. As I considered a theme for this week’s Leadership Thought, I initially considered creating a list of predictions for the new year. I retreated to a safer title and changed predictions to trends & hopes. At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I couldn’t come up with any substantial change in education for 2022 that rose to the level of a new prediction. I abandoned this idea when the song by Bon Jovi, The More Things Change (the more they stay the same), kept popping into my head.

Depending on your perception of educational change, some will say education is constantly changing; others will declare that there has been little meaningful change in education for more than 100 years. When we consider instruction and curriculum, there has been little change. Still, believing things that complement the core, like technology and facilities, there has been considerable change.

I shifted my thinking to consider educational trends. As you read about some of the trends in education, I encourage you to mentally place each trend into one of the following categories – an innovative change or more of the same.

Bryan Ballegeer | KI

Why not turn to a furniture design and space use company to examine the trends for the new year? The KI company has been around for a long time and survived the business world because they adhere to the principle that form follows function. They anticipate the different forms of education and design furniture and spaces to accommodate the intended purpose. They identified the following five trends for 2023.

1. Hybrid learning models will evolve.

Hybrid and online learning are not new, but will they continue as an evolutionary journey? The experts at KI believe that when online learning is implemented thoughtfully, it will benefit students and teachers.

2. “Power Skills” will resurge in the classroom.

Almost everyone agrees that skills like problem-solving, collaboration, and leadership are essential for students to be successful, but these skills should be more generally prioritized in education. The United Kingdom is attempting to integrate these skills into the curricula. They have redefined soft skills to “power skills.” The project-based learning model is a trend that facilitates power skills.

3. Educators Will Use E-Games to Engage Students

With more than 95% of children in the United States regularly playing video games, it is no wonder we will see an increase in educational video games. Games have come a long way from the pinball machines and Pacman I grew up playing. The research confirms the value of adults who play online as being more adaptable, better communicators, and more resourceful.

4. Schools Will prepare students for all futures (not just 4-year college).

Only 27% of high school students will graduate from a four-year college within six years. If you find that number shocking, now is the time to rethink the purpose of school. Is school designed to prepare students for more school or life? In an era when the focus is preparing students for college, there will be a trend to focus on all levels of educational attainment.

5. Well-being of educators & students will be a top priority.

Elementary and secondary teachers have the highest burnout rate of any profession in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national emergency in youth mental health. Schools must rethink their mental health programs and opportunities.

My Hope for Education Trends in 2023

Patrick Crawford

These are my hopes for educational improvement in the year 2023.

  1. Recognition that all learning is personal and requires engagement, empowerment, and relevancy.

  2. Standard test scores do not measure what matters.

  3. Teachers are designers of learning and facilitators of practice.

  4. Policymakers, parents, and education entities form a learner-centered alliance.

  5. Courageous educational leaders emerge with a vision for education that meets a child where they are, challenges, supports, and inspires them to achieve.


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