6 necessary steps to move K-12 education forward in 2021

Six key K-12 education trends, including teachers and parents becoming more open to new ways to teach and learn, and finding value in technology to stay connected, will be necessary to move education forward in the coming months.

According to new data on how the pandemic impacted K-12 education, student engagement became the leading metric of student success, with 92 percent of educators calling it the most important factor. The data from Instructure, the makers of Canvas, also underscores challenges in areas like equity, with low income households more than twice as likely to report difficulty in helping their children remain engaged.

“Our school communities persevered through incredibly challenging dynamics this past year, but overall we came through it more adaptive, open to new approaches and deeply focused on student engagement,” said Trenton Goble, VP of K-12 Strategy at Instructure. “At the same time, there is a lot of hard work ahead. About half of educators and parents feel students have significantly fallen behind due to COVID-19. We know technology will remain pivotal, as the pandemic shifted its role from a nice-to-have to an essential service that connects teachers, parents and students with the entire learning journey.”

The research revealed six key trends that parents and educators across the country feel are important to teaching and learning in K-12 education.

1. Investing in teachers = investing in student success.
High-quality teaching continues to be recognized as the leading factor contributing to student success, and investing in immersive professional development is critical to supporting teacher preparedness, building and deepening skill sets, and promoting teacher efficacy.

  • 85% of parents ranked it as the most important factor.
  • When looking at social-emotional factors, both educators (99%) and parents (91%) rated “the student’s relationship with teachers” as the top factor.
  • Professional development for teachers received the most funding in the switch to remote learning, and is expected to remain the top two priorities for future funding.
Laura Ascione
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