Giving Compass' Take:

• Julia Freeland Fisher breaks down five education innovations she hopes will catch on in 2019.

• How can funders help to advance education innovation in local communities? 

• Read about higher education trends to watch in 2019

1. ‘Unbundle’ what we mean by SEL: Social-emotional learning. Soft Skills. Habits of mind. These critical but sometimes elusive ideas have gotten their fair share of love over the past year. But pulling back the curtain on the research base, the paltry supply of reliable SEL assessments can make the current energy around SEL interventions feel anemic at best, and hollow at worst.

2. Commit to threading the coherent curriculum needle: One of the fundamental tensions we hear articulated is whether a coherent, evidence-based , off-the-shelf curriculum is better than a potpourri of lessons that teachers and leaders assemble—and in some cases build—themselves.

3. Pair disruptive business models and new content in teacher prep: For years we’ve watched two different phenomena in teacher prep emerge on parallel, but stubbornly separate, paths. The first is the rise of disruptive business models throughout postsecondary education that leverage online, competency-based instructional models and student-centered business models to disrupt the traditional lockstep approach to 4-year degrees. These new models have the potential to radically reimagine all adult learning, but specifically could expand access to, and affordability of, teacher preparation programs. At the same time, players in the personalized learning space have begun to articulate discrete and distinct competencies that teachers of the future will require—ranging from data analysis to assessment literacy to facilitation. The discouraging fact is that these two phenomena have until recently remained fairly siloed.

4. Build next-gen CTE models…or not? This year I’ll be looking for wholly new approaches to CTE, particularly those leveraging online learning or innovative staffing to break through traditional limitations in how students’ access coursework and who serves as CTE instructors.

5. Put relationships at the center: This year, I’m excited to watch school system leaders who are tackling the social side of opportunity through integrated student supports, real-world authentic feedback, near-peer mentoring programs, and place-based instructional approaches.

Read the full article about ideas for education innovation in 2019 by Julia Freeland Fisher at Christensen Institute.