As a veteran educator who taught for multiple decades in both public and private institutions, I vividly recall those beginning of the year faculty meetings and professional development sessions where we were all introduced to the newest initiative, program, or curriculum for the coming school year. I would be handed a big stack of stuff, boxes of books, maybe attend a half-day training, and then I'be be sent on my way with a pat on the head and well wishes.
Curriculum designed to teach STEM skills through an interdisciplinary approach is becoming increasingly available. As opposed to teaching these STEM subjects in isolation, a STEM program provides students with real-world, problem-solving abilities needed for college, career, and beyond.
While it’s critical that students develop solid reading and literacy skills so they can be effective learners, most educators understand the importance of developing a love of reading that extends beyond schooling and into adulthood.
Neck and neck with COVID-19 for hottest topic of 2020 is the discussion around systemic racism and its antidote, antiracism. For educators, the specific focus of this conversation is how to move toward anti-racist curriculum and instruction. We are endeavoring to turn all of the dialog, debate, and social outrage into teachable moments. We are also, in some ways, building the plane as we fly. We're still working to achieve a shared understanding of terms, knowing that it's important to agree on what we mean when we talk about anti-racist curriculum and instruction.
The role of school is not purely academic learning—educators are focused on the whole child, or the idea of the academic and social-emotional needs of students. Research shows that a traditional academic model alone doesn’t prepare students for success in the information age. Embedding 21st-century skills as part of any curriculum helps prepare students for a modern world and workforce. Ranging from the ability to collaborate with others, to critical thinking, to creativity, 21st-century skills prepare students for a world where the jobs they will likely hold don’t yet exist or will drastically change with technological advances.
A focus on social-emotional learning (SEL) allows educators to impact student outcomes associated with five key attributes: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Research shows that students with stronger SEL skills perform better academically and are more successful when facing adversity both during school years and later in life.
While we are all excited to put 2020 behind us, EdCuration has some new things in store for 2021 that make the transition to the new year even more exciting. We have designed new programming to benefit everyone involved in making curriculum and instruction decisions on behalf of K-12 education. The first is the launch of this blog.