5 Educational Trends for 2016
Do you know what 50 percent of NASA’s employees have in common?
The answer, as surprising as it might be for some people to understand, is that they are dyslexic. The employees are chosen for these highly regarded positions due to the fact that they possess amazing problem solving skills and spatial awareness. While we don’t need to be rocket scientists to understand the problems our dyslexic children face, we should be aware of some new emerging trends in the field of dyslexia education.
As we flip over the calendar for a new year, it’s a great time to look ahead for education trends emerging in the area of dyslexia. Thankfully, this year looks to be full of promising innovations and positive approaches to help our children embrace their unique learning and thinking styles to thrive in school settings and maintain learning levels that are equal or above their peers.
Here are some emerging trends to watch for in upcoming months:
Awareness about dyslexia will be growing.
This year expect to see a push in the schools for early intervention and identification in students. This will ultimately help educators, parents, caregivers, and children embrace the diagnosis to improve a child’s educational experience. As more information becomes available regarding the science behind dyslexia, we will see social media campaigns and parental advocates spreading the word about this learning difficulty. Currently, #saydyslexia is being promoted on the Internet in an effort to inform educators about the specific needs of children with dyslexia.
Schools will focus more on dyslexia and related processing differences.
In 2015, the Department of Education issued a formal statement clarifying that dyslexia falls under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. They recommended that teachers include dyslexia in IEP’s (Individualized Education Program) if it would help “meet the child’s educational needs”. This is important, because until recently, dyslexia was often overlooked by educators and schools, with only 1 out of 10 dyslexic children qualifying to receive in-school services. This meant many children have missed out on receiving needed educational support or opportunities to develop their strengths.
“Maker Spaces” are emerging in classrooms.
Educators and innovators are adapting the way they present and teach lessons to help children focus on their strengths. This allows dyslexic children an opportunity to fine tune and develop their talents. Some school districts are turning to technology and nonprofit groups to find opportunities for hands on learning projects that allow students to manipulate materials and tools while working on technology projects. This engages students, allows them to develop their curiosity, and allows a work area that encourages higher level learning skills.
Children will be interacting with a variety of educators to get more individualized instruction.
Look for Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in your child’s district. These relatively new ideas are being implemented in many schools and they allow students to receive individualized specific support or programs to help them become more proficient in core academic areas. Expect your child to be working with a team of educators in and out of the classroom.
Technology will help excite and engage students to overcome learning barriers.
Parents and educators will be able to harness technology to introduce games and apps to teach concepts or offer meaningful practice outside of school hours. There are some wonderful apps on the market geared specifically for dyslexic users that use voice recognition or read aloud text to a user which can bypass frustration with typing or writing. Also, teachers are utilizing apps that use fonts and background colors that make reading easier.
Research and studies have shown that dyslexic people process written words differently than most, but at the same time they often excel in areas of creativity, spatial reasoning, and thought processes. This large demographic (20 percent of the U.S. population) shares a unique experience that can lead to advantages in schools, jobs, or home lives. The year 2016 looks to be on task for focusing on the positive and helping our children maximize their opportunities so they can shoot for the stars in life.
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