Future of education
7 Education trends to look out for in 2022
How is education changing in 2021 – 22? Sally Alexander looks at seven trends that are already emerging and will have an impact in the coming few years.
Emerging trends in education
With all the extra demands that COVID-19 placed on schools, 2020 and 2021 were undoubtedly difficult years for all teachers. But with 18 months’ experience behind us and vaccination programmes rolling out, is it possible to look forward now with some positivity?
We think so, but it’s also fair to say that schools had their fair share of issues even before the coronavirus hit. Here we take a long, hard look at the education sector to highlight the emerging trends we see for 2022.
With disruption likely to continue into 2022, pupil wellbeing will remain at the top of most schools’ agendas. An important question each school needs to ask is whether wellbeing should be a priority over learning, or vice versa.
The answer may well be different from one school to another depending on its pupil make-up and resources. Whatever your school’s circumstances, Bett’s article, which collates wellbeing articles from around the world, is well worth a read.
2. Artificial intelligence
Andreas Schleicher on the OECD Digital Education Outlook 2021
In 2022, the focus will remain on pupils catching up. Absences have affected the whole school population, and Education Endowment Foundation research indicates that even the youngest pupils in the UK are on average three months behind in both reading and maths compared to their counterparts in 2019.
As a result, many schools are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) resources that are able to analyse large amounts of data in real time and provide personalised, targeted content and feedback to reinforce learning.
AI is proving itself an invaluable partner because it supports the role of the teacher, saving them time in both planning and marking.
3. Examination adjustments
After the cancellation of many high-stakes examinations, such as GCSEs, A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and Swiss Maturité last year, 2022 will undoubtedly see examinations return.
In England, the government are looking to support students taking exams in 2022 considering the missed teaching time and grade inflation of the last two years.
Elsewhere, many parties are questioning whether the snapshot that examinations provide and the multiple choice-type questions examination boards favour are really representative of a student’s abilities. This could indicate more changes to come in the medium term.
4. Teacher stress
The amount of stress teachers find themselves under has long been an issue, but it’s not a trend that is subsiding in any way. In June 2021, one industry source reported that teaching is considered to be the third most stressful occupation in the UK, the tenth in the US.
Not surprisingly, that stress has been exacerbated by the pandemic. The Guardian recently reported that 80% of teachers believe that work-related stress had increased since March 2020.
5. Staff retention
Recruiting and retaining good staff is intrinsic to a school operating effectively, but with teacher stress mounting, so are the number of teachers leaving the profession.
A credible industry source indicates that 90% of new teaching job openings are caused by teachers leaving the profession, and that 61% of teachers are actively considering a different line of work.
Proactive schools will be considering how they can optimise staff retention in their processes right from the outset with new teachers. Several key areas for schools to review are outlined in this blog.
6. COVID precautions
Despite the return to school following mass vaccinations, we are not out of the woods yet. Scientists in the UK and across the world are predicting a surge in cases in schools return during 2021 – 22. With more transmissible variants of the coronavirus, there is no doubt that younger age groups will be driving transmission. We must be mindful that students back in school could drive an increase in infections.
Plans are already in place in the UK to provide every state school with carbon dioxide monitors to help them identify areas with poor airflow that are a greater infection risk, and international schools are promoting similar measures, such as wearing masks and reducing the number of students indoors, to minimise cases.
7. Remote learning
With more COVID-19 cases comes more remote and hybrid learning as students will be required to self-isolate. Teachers have developed their capabilities significantly since the first lockdowns, so the mechanics of Zoom calls, lessons over Teams etc., have almost become second nature.
The focus for 2022 will be on the softer skills, which come into play when a student feels isolated or falls behind, for example. An industry leader in school marketing listed some best practices to adopt.
Sally Alexander has worked within the education marketing industry since 2007, all of which with Ambleglow. She has risen through the ranks, starting as an Account Executive and now serving as the Managing Director.
Sally is also a Co-Opted Governor for a local primary school in the UK.
See more about Sally’s work on her LinkedIn page: sally alexander