Emerging Trends In Education Essay

How Essays in this Inaugural Edition of Emerging Trends were Identified?

  1. Top of page
  2. What is Emerging Trends?
  3. How Essays in this Inaugural Edition of Emerging Trends were Identified?
  4. Our Intended Audiences
  5. How Emerging Trends Works?
  6. What Emerging Trends is Not?
  7. Current and Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  8. How Initial Entries were Identified and Assembled?
  9. Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  10. How Essays in Emerging Trends Were Reviewed and Evaluated?
  11. Hyperlinks
  12. Viewing Topics in a Broader Context

In planning this work, we, as Co-General Editors, invited leading researchers to discuss their views about the current state of the social and behavioral sciences—and where they see these disciplines going in the future. The authors of these essays were asked to explain their topic in language accessible to educated nonspecialists from different fields, to justify why it is worth knowing about, to summarize what is presently known about it, and, most importantly, to informatively speculate about likely promising questions and lines of research going forward. In many instances, a number of different essays on the same topic were invited in order to provide material that approaches the subject matter from different levels of analysis and disciplinary perspectives, ranging from genetics, biology, the brain, and the individual at one end of the spectrum, to culture, social relations, core social institutions, and other elements of social and economic structures at the other. Wherever possible, our aim has been to bring to bear the perspectives of the core social and behavioral science disciplines of anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Current and Future Iterations of Emerging Trends

  1. Top of page
  2. What is Emerging Trends?
  3. How Essays in this Inaugural Edition of Emerging Trends were Identified?
  4. Our Intended Audiences
  5. How Emerging Trends Works?
  6. What Emerging Trends is Not?
  7. Current and Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  8. How Initial Entries were Identified and Assembled?
  9. Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  10. How Essays in Emerging Trends Were Reviewed and Evaluated?
  11. Hyperlinks
  12. Viewing Topics in a Broader Context

Emerging Trends is published entirely online and designed to grow organically. This initial iteration (Emerging Trends 1.0) consists of approximately 400 essays that cover a robust sample of topics drawn from the core social and behavioral science disciplines of anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. This list of topics is not exhaustive but rather intended to be robustly illustrative of the kinds of topics that current experts believe will be important in the years to come. Subsequent iterations of Emerging Trends, which will be issued periodically, will add new entries from these core disciplines on additional topics as well as essays from other relevant disciplines, such as education, communications and media studies, geography, human biology, genetics, linguistics, and history.

How Initial Entries were Identified and Assembled?

  1. Top of page
  2. What is Emerging Trends?
  3. How Essays in this Inaugural Edition of Emerging Trends were Identified?
  4. Our Intended Audiences
  5. How Emerging Trends Works?
  6. What Emerging Trends is Not?
  7. Current and Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  8. How Initial Entries were Identified and Assembled?
  9. Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  10. How Essays in Emerging Trends Were Reviewed and Evaluated?
  11. Hyperlinks
  12. Viewing Topics in a Broader Context

In order to compile lists of topics for this inaugural version of Emerging Trends, and to identify authors to write informatively about them, we adopted several approaches. Initially we appointed a team of 23 Consulting Editors, leading figures in each of the five core social and behavioral sciences disciplines, and asked them to provide us with lists of topics that they believe will or should figure prominently in scholarly work going forward, and to suggest people especially qualified to write both authoritatively and imaginatively about these topics. Approximately half of the essays (i.e., about 400 entries) in this volume came about by adopting this approach. For additional suggestions of appropriate topics, we wrote to a small list of distinguished scholars, beginning with a select list of former Fellows of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), with which both of us have had long-standing and close associations, inviting them to write essays.

Invited authors were asked to write at a level that would make their essays generally accessible to well-educated, nonspecialist readers. In all but a small number of instances, explained below, we are confident that this instruction was followed. In preparing essays, we asked authors to address our basic questions but at the same time we gave them wide latitude to decide how best to present their ideas. We adopted this approach in favor of a one-size-fits-all template for two reasons: We realized that no one template can easily accommodate the range and variety of subjects encompassed by the vast territory spanning five large, well-established disciplines and fields of study. In addition, we appreciated the fact that the authors are experts on a given topic, and relied on their judgment about how best to present their ideas. Thus, though the entries that follow do not adhere to any one single template, all of them answer the animating questions posed in our invitation: What is your topic? Why is it worth studying? What is presently known about it? What are the important cutting-edge topics of current research about it? What are the topics that are likely to dominate future study?

How Essays in Emerging Trends Were Reviewed and Evaluated?

  1. Top of page
  2. What is Emerging Trends?
  3. How Essays in this Inaugural Edition of Emerging Trends were Identified?
  4. Our Intended Audiences
  5. How Emerging Trends Works?
  6. What Emerging Trends is Not?
  7. Current and Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  8. How Initial Entries were Identified and Assembled?
  9. Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  10. How Essays in Emerging Trends Were Reviewed and Evaluated?
  11. Hyperlinks
  12. Viewing Topics in a Broader Context

A key part of the instructions given to the invited authors was to provide informed speculation about areas of research that are likely to (or in their view should) play a prominent role in work in their area of expertise going forward. Given the nature of this assignment, the customary form of peer review, best suited for such purposes as evaluating findings from programs of research, did not strike us as an appropriate way to assess essays to be published in Emerging Trends. Required instead were assessments of two kinds. The first was to read entries closely to ensure that they did in fact speak to the questions authors were invited to think about. Did the author explain the topic clearly and explain why he or she thought it deserves continued study? Did they summarize what is presently known about it and outline future directions of research that seem especially promising? As Co-General Editors, we triaged every essay that was submitted, occasionally supplemented by evaluations by external reviewers who had been told about the purpose of Emerging Trends. In most cases, this triaging process resulted in requests for revisions, some of them fairly minor and others more extensive.

Once vetted in this way, all drafts then underwent a second round of evaluation. We have said that one of our objectives was to ensure that entries be written in an accessible style. For this purpose, we appointed a seven-member Editorial Review Panel. Members, all are well educated and in some cases holding post-graduate degrees, were selected on the basis of their broad but nontechnical familiarity with topics in the social and behavioral sciences, persons whom we judged to be representative of our anticipated audiences of end-readers. They were asked to read essays and tell us whether they were able to understand the basic arguments being presented. On the basis of these readers' reports, authors were asked to make additional revisions to clarify obscure or overly technical sections of their papers, correct for a common tendency to focus heavily on past developments and current findings at the expense of the more challenging task of discussing cutting-edge work, and writing speculatively about promising future directions. Finally, once past these two stages of review, essays were then passed along to the publisher for final copyediting.

The only exceptions to this review process were essays that addressed a small number of topics related to research methods and statistics. In these cases, use of a certain degree of technical language and statistical terminology is inevitable. Our assumption is that those readers who reference such entries will possess sufficient basic literacy in methods and statistics to be able to follow the admittedly technical terminology and formulas presented. For those who cannot, reading the abstracts, introductions, and conclusions should prove sufficient to allow the reader to understand in a general way what the topic of the technical entry is about.

Hyperlinks

  1. Top of page
  2. What is Emerging Trends?
  3. How Essays in this Inaugural Edition of Emerging Trends were Identified?
  4. Our Intended Audiences
  5. How Emerging Trends Works?
  6. What Emerging Trends is Not?
  7. Current and Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  8. How Initial Entries were Identified and Assembled?
  9. Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  10. How Essays in Emerging Trends Were Reviewed and Evaluated?
  11. Hyperlinks
  12. Viewing Topics in a Broader Context

A basic objective of Emerging Trends is to make it “smart,” a reference work that helps promote interdisciplinary and multi-layered perspectives on key topics by directing the reader's attention to aspects of their topic that readers will in all likelihood never have heard of or thought about (much less how to find). To do this, we have created dense layers of hyperlinks that connect each essay with others that focus on other facets of the topic, often written by authorities from different fields of study and disciplines. We strongly urge readers to explore these hyperlinks in order to expand their own thinking about topics that interest them.

Here is an example of how hyperlinks work and why they are so valuable. It pertains to the topic of globalization, but drawn from a long list of possible examples that illustrates the great utility and value of exploring the hyperlinks assigned to each essay. A perusal of the index reveals essays about it written by anthropologists, economists, political scientists, psychologists, and sociologists. These essays cover topics such as culture and globalization, global economic networks, globalization “backlash,” immigration and globalization, globalization of capital, international conflict, globalization and terrorism, and how people think about and visualize globalization. These are all cross-referenced in hyperlinks attached to each of these essays.

However, one of the most relevant and interesting essays listed as a hyperlink to those on globalization might otherwise escape the attention of readers simply because it scarcely mentions the term “Globalization” at all. Titled “Organizations and the Production of Systemic Risk” it is authored by Yale sociologist, Charles Perrow. By “systemic risk” Perrow means human-made and natural disasters within, say an organization or system of governance that impacts other organizations and units with which it interacts. Although the term “globalization” never appears in his essay, his entry is filled with examples that highlight the fact that increasing global interdependencies mean that risks and dangers arising in one sector are bound to affect the entire global regions in ways that are often totally unexpected and completely unpredictable. Some of these risks arise from the fact that organizations that are interlinked globally manufacture and transport hazardous chemicals or explosives or use radioactive materials in core production processes that hold the potential to endanger whole nations, regions, and continents. Other risks result from drugs and foods that are improperly prepared or are distributed by the organizations that manufacture them without thought given to the dangers they pose for the end users living elsewhere in the world. Still other dangers are posed by the interconnectedness of world financial markets. Perrow's point is that the modern world is full of complicated interdependencies and these magnify the impact of risky organizational behavior.

Perrow's point is more than the fact that these global connections make the world a more dangerous place in which to live; in addition, he stresses that these interconnections often cannot easily be foreseen. To illustrate his point, he describes the role that domestic policies within China played in the 2008 economic meltdown that hit the United States with such force. China does not have a strong social security program that requires individuals to pay into a fund to cover medical emergencies, unemployment, or living costs for retirement. This is because in the past, responsibility for looking after elderly parents fell to their children. However, with the introduction in 1979 of the one-child-per-family policy, this arrangement no longer proved feasible. Therefore, families had to save on their own, depositing their money in state-run banks. Given the immense size of its population, Chinese banks gradually accumulated enormous wealth and the banks had to find ways to invest it. The United States is and has been the investment of choice for foreign nations for many decades, and this is where Chinese banks invested their money. This in turn made capital cheap for US organizations. US mortgage banks and companies, using money loaned to them from China, were then able to lend money to private citizens to purchase homes. However, the terms of these loans became increasingly risky through vehicles such as credit default swaps—and eventually a few such firms were doomed to fail. As they did, the interconnectedness of the ever-larger and fewer-surviving financial institutions enabled the failures to spread widely, affecting not just banks but also insurance firms and the bond market and eventually other nations. The housing bubble burst and the meltdown began, a completely unanticipated consequence of the Chinese policy introduced to deal with its exploding population.

This example illustrates the sense in which Emerging Trends is designed to be “smart.” Readers are led to consider connections they may never have thought about, presented in a way that enables them easily to discover how to learn about these aspects of the topic.

Hyperlinks for each entry are provided in a special section labeled “Related Essays” at the end of each essay. In certain cases, many hyperlinks are provided, underscoring the relevance of the topic for other topics discussed elsewhere in the book. In each instance, we have identified the title of the work and the discipline of the author or authors. We did not capture every relevant connection by the process followed in constructing these hyperlinks, but we did note enough of them to have the effect of greatly expanding the end-readers understanding of the topic in a manner that is genuinely interdisciplinary. We welcome suggestions from readers about additional hyperlinks that should be included.

Viewing Topics in a Broader Context

  1. Top of page
  2. What is Emerging Trends?
  3. How Essays in this Inaugural Edition of Emerging Trends were Identified?
  4. Our Intended Audiences
  5. How Emerging Trends Works?
  6. What Emerging Trends is Not?
  7. Current and Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  8. How Initial Entries were Identified and Assembled?
  9. Future Iterations of Emerging Trends
  10. How Essays in Emerging Trends Were Reviewed and Evaluated?
  11. Hyperlinks
  12. Viewing Topics in a Broader Context

Discussion of promising and likely directions for study of topics covered in this work is based mainly on research in particular disciplines. But just as scholarly work on these topics is emerging, so too are developments in the world at large that are certain to have an impact on the phenomena being discussed. For example, the emerging technology of 3-D printing will likely transform major sectors of the worlds of manufacture and of work. Developments in the field of electronic communications will carry major implications for systems of education. Increasing life expectancy is almost certain to impact financial, medical, and other sectors of society, which will expand the range of topics in areas such as study of the life course and will shape intergenerational relationships in decisive ways. Newly emerging forms of electronic communications carry implications for education, for child rearing, and for how people relate to one another. Continued terrorist activities will have profound implications for systems of national security, for the ability of currently stable governments to govern, and for the preservation of basic human rights.

Perhaps most impactful of all are the multitude of anticipated consequences associated with continued climate change and global warming. Numerous reports alert us to the profound implications of climate change for all aspects of our lives, including findings issued by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of WHO and the UN, as well as numerous articles in Science, Nature, The Economist, and other equally respected sources. These reports warn off extensive coastal flooding due to rising ocean levels, widespread drought in presently temperate and fertile agricultural regions, dramatic weather events such as cyclones and hurricanes, rising temperatures, the extinction of plant and animal life forms essential for supporting human life, and a multitude of other similarly calamitous events projected to occur as a result of global climate change.

These anticipated consequences of climate change have enormous implications for the ways that we think about future work on many of the topics written about in this reference work. Even a short list of obvious topics would include essays on food supply, health and health care, migration, immigration, disaster relief, conflict between states, maintenance of civic order, preserving human rights, income inequality, disruptions to energy markets, the so-called “wealth shocks,” fiscal crises at every level of government, levels of violence and civil unrest, displacement of populations due to large and difficult to control forest fires, declining air quality, disappearing sources of potable drinking water, diminishing quality of life for large segments of the population, to mention just a few. Several recent reports estimate that within a matter of a few decades, more and more places throughout the world will become uninhabitable and others (including the American south, where outdoor labor during daylight hours will no longer be feasible) will be challenging to live in during large parts of the year.

In this introduction, we cannot hope to provide a full discussion of all of the implications of emerging developments in the wider world for the topics discussed in this work. However, we invite readers to be mindful of them and to think seriously about how newly emerging technologies, patterns of climate change, advances in medical science, and developments in other areas are likely to impact the topics that will structure future research in the social and behavioral sciences.

Current Trends in Education Categories

Recent Trends in K-12 Education

The computer and the internet's evolution these past few years have been staggeringly fast. A computer that used to fill an entire building in 1965 has about the same computing power as a modern-day cellphone. Most of the popular forms of media like TV, radio, and print are slowly being nudged from their pedestal by the internet. Everything seems to have changed drastically these couple of years, and this includes the K-12 education system.

Some say that this change has been a long time coming. There is an analogy that uses fairy tale character Rip van Winkle to describe this; Rip van Winkle has just woken up from his hundred year slumber and stares in amazement about how much everything has changed in the time that he was asleep, he almost did not recognize anything, until he went into a classroom. Rip van Winkle recognized immediately that it was a classroom because nothing much has changed in the K-12 educational system since he fell asleep in 1906.

Thankfully, educators are starting to change with the times. The trend in K-12 education these days is that learning institutions should try their best to keep up with the recent advances in technology to better teach their students.

Here are some of the more popular trends in K-12 education today:

The Use of the Internet and Social Media as a Teaching Tool

All students these days know how to use a computer and the internet, and most of them are using social media networks to share their thoughts and to support each other. Educators these days know how to harness the power of the internet and social media to get in touch with their students, and hear their thoughts.

How the Condition of Educational Facilities Affect Performance

Basically the better the building's condition, the better the students and their teachers perform. There was a survey done with different schools in the US as subjects, they sought to find out just how much of an impact a school building's condition and facilities affect the students and teachers. Some results point out that better facilities led to less truancy, smoking, and substance abuse in the students. It was also determined that with better school buildings test scores rose up significantly. And even the behavior of the teachers and how well they instruct their students seem to increase along with improvements in the school.

Students Teaching Teachers

Students perform better when they have the opportunity to tell their teachers what things in the classroom needs improvement. Contrary to the old belief that students are too young to know what they need, K-12 education systems now give the students the opportunity to give pointers to their teachers on how they can better deliver their lessons so that the students can understand.

It was also found that giving the students the chance in contributing and even revising the classroom rules actually make the students abide to them; it gives them the feeling that they actually have a say on what goes in the classroom. Students tend to follow the class rules now since they had a role in making the rules and regulations.

Paying Close Attention to Each Students' Needs

Educators are not looking at their class as a collective; they see them as different individuals with different needs, which is why some students lag behind the others when it comes to the lectures. Educators can help these students keep up by giving them personalized attention.

These are just some of the recent trends in the K-12 education system. These are promising signs that show the educational system in the country is improving and no longer stagnant.

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