Over the last several years, education has gone through some major challenges. From digital experiences negatively impacting students’ ability to focus to COVID-19 forcing institutions to conduct all class sessions remotely, education is still in a state of flux today.
When it comes to finding ways to remedy the many obstacles facing education today, one particular solution has emerged that has the potential to positively impact educational institutions in a variety of ways. In particular, a focus on developing campuses to be safer, more engaging environments for students to be able to grow.
Here is how developing campuses to be safer learning environments can positively impact the future of education.
The Role of School Culture in Improving Learning Environments
School culture is a broad concept that encompasses many different attributes in schools. Though there isn’t one pervading definition of school culture, it is typically used as a term to describe the behaviors and attitudes of students, teachers, and support staff along with the atmosphere of educational institutions.
Examples of good school culture include campuses in which students are motivated to learn and school staff create engaging learning environments that motivate growth in students. Conversely, examples of bad school culture typically involve schools in which a majority of students are struggling academically, emotionally, and behaviorally and feel a marked lack of connection to peers and a lack of support from teachers and school staff.
By investing in efforts and initiatives to improve school culture, educational institutions can improve their learning environments in a number of keyways. These include improvements in:
- Student motivation levels
- Student emotional well-being
- Student behavior
- Student engagement
- Staff behavior
When educational institutions have good school culture, there is a marked decrease in students engaging in risky and unruly behavior. One reason for this is that students typically engage in these types of behavior as a means of outwardly expressing some sense of inner problems. At schools with good school culture, students will feel more supported by staff and, as a result, will have opportunities to get help with these problems before they cause disruptive behaviors.
At schools with bad school culture, students engaging in bad behaviors can have a negative impact on all other students by creating an uncomfortable and sometimes unsafe learning environment. When students feel unsafe at school, they’ll be less likely to engage in deep and consistent learning. What this highlights is the immense and significant impact that improving school culture can have on cultivating safer and more engaging learning environments for students.
The Future of Education Is Likely Remote
While some educators have had immense problems engaging in remote learning, the disheartening truth is that the future of education likely lies in remote learning. This being the case, it’s more important than ever to address the issues that can come from remote learning and the negative impact it’s been shown to have on students.
One significant challenge that became apparent during remote class sessions amid the COVID-19 pandemic is the fact that not all students were getting the same level of instruction. In particular, students in need of extra support with specific subjects seemed to be more left behind as a result of remote education.
For these students, remote learning has been shown to be a form of education that isn’t necessarily conducive to academic growth. Given that remote learning will likely become more of a staple in education as time goes on, it’s important to start investing in solutions that make remote learning more equitable for all students in the future.
In addition to leaving some students behind, remote learning has also caused problems in students’ ability to socialize. This has resulted in a drastic uptick in students feeling isolated and experiencing a range of emotional issues. This highlights a need for increased emotional support and guidance if remote education is to be utilized in educational institutions.
The Need for More Emotional Support in Education
Though remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem and made it more apparent, a rise in negatively impacted mental health states in students has been growing for some time. Some claim that a rise in social media use is to blame for the problem while others maintain that it is culture as a whole. Regardless of the origin of the problem, it’s clear that education must make more efforts to support students’ emotional needs rather than just their academic ones.
The more emotionally supported students are able to feel in their educational environments, the more they’ll be able to engage in educational pursuits. If educational institutions are truly intent on crafting safer learning environments that benefit their students in impactful ways, they must invest in more emotional support resources for students as we move deeper into the future.
The Future of Education Is in Jeopardy
Over the last several years, schools have had to deal with a number of difficult challenges that seem to be significantly impacting student outcomes. In order to ensure that the future of education will be an improvement in today’s system, it’s imperative that institutions engage in several key initiatives.
Namely, a larger focus on improving school culture, a commitment to overcoming problems associated with remote learning, and a deeper investment in emotional support for students. Hopefully, as time goes on these topics will become a bigger priority for schools as we move deeper into a new age of education.