Fashion and social media are not the only domains that thrive on trends and in vogue, the education space has a fair share of its trends if you have the ability to look closely. Some school trends are started by school managements while most are started by education service providers.
Most schools are run by the government and like everything else about governments even their education departments lack creativity and are struggling to keep pace with their private counterparts. So in the battle for creating trends government schools rarely make waves.
Trends in the past 2 decades have been started mostly by private school managements who had to cope with several challenges like attracting enrollments and creating an image. Infrastructure and facilities like – horse riding, swimming pools, heated swimming pools, air conditioned classrooms, gourmet canteens etc. have been trending for over a decade now. The new age education entrepreneurs ‘Edupreneurs’ have found out interesting ways to solve problems of education and their innovations like Smart Class, GPS Tracking of kids, Apps etc. become trends depending on what is the mood of the nation. If child safety is in the news then safety equipment and services start trending and if a particular sport is majorly in the news then that sports facility starts trending.
What most educators in India don’t know is the fact that the coaching and entrance exam industry is pumping millions to ensure that the fear of exams remains very high in the minds of parents. This fear will ensure that coaching classes and exam apps will consistently remain in vogue and schools will have to live up to the false sense of expectation created by this trend.
Even curriculums have trends while ICSE held a position of pride for many decades till CBSE decided to come back with a vengeance and strong government push and started trending. When education became lucrative and people were looking at differentiators the international players like Cambridge and IB stepped in to tell educators in India what education should look like. The recent trends are inspirations coming from Finland and Scandinavia which somehow schools in India claim to be implementing.
The preschool domain has been trending in the past decade and the traditional Montessori is still holding fort with many new ideologies being experimented every other day.
The space of overall development of children also has had some interesting trends over the years. In the good old days of the 90’s and early 2000’s Personality Development was trending till it was replaced by Life Skills and then in then the buzz word was NLP and the new trends these days are Design Thinking and Mindfulness.
The truth about trends is that most trends are created. Very few school managements innovate, the others are happy to copy and make a trend. The education entrepreneurs use their marketing acumen to weave fancy stories to make their concept trend. It is very important for school managements and leaders to be mindful of the trends and make a choice of not on what’s trending but on what is truly essential to achieve their goal of education.