what is the importance of elementary education

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Children need primary education to develop critical foundational literacy and numeracy skills.

Children participate in learning activities under Seekh Programme at a primary school in Khadapatra Village in India, 2020.

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The near universalization of primary schooling is one of the great global achievements of past decades. In the early 1950s, some 50 per cent of primary school-aged children worldwide were out of school. Today, that figure stands at 11 per cent.

Still, the most marginalized children remain cut off from primary education – deprived of their right to develop foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) skills. An estimated 70 per cent of 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries are now unable to understand a simple written text.

In low-income countries, only two thirds of children are estimated to complete primary school. Inequitable access exists across other divides: Children living in emergency and fragile settings, including refugee children, have fewer chances to complete primary school. Gender also plays a role, as girls who grow up in poor households are more likely than their male peers to have never attended or to have dropped out of primary school.

Even for students in school, far too many are not learning the critical foundational skills (literacy and numeracy, but also digital and transferrable skills) they need to thrive. 

Primary education forms the bedrock of development. It is in primary school that children learn foundational skills that prepare them for life, work and active citizenship. Quality education empowers children and young people, safeguards their health and well-being, and breaks cycles of poverty. It also empowers countries, ushering in economic prosperity and social cohesion.

These benefits come not just from getting children in school, but from getting them learning to their full potential.

UNICEF's response

Children at the playground of the primary school of Gado Badzere, in the east of Cameroon.

The Sustainable Development Goals call for all children to complete free, equitable and quality primary education, leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes, by 2030. Foundational literacy and numeracy are essential for these outcomes.

To ensure every primary-aged child is in school and learning, global efforts must be concentrated on the “last-mile” challenge of reaching the most marginalized children, while enhancing the quality of primary education. This requires political commitment and targeted strategies to strengthen education systems with equitable financing and resource distribution.

Improving the quality of primary education will require strategic reforms across the education system. This includes developmentally appropriate curricula and pedagogy, effective teacher training and development programmes, better parental engagement, and robust quality assurance and data systems.

To support countries’ agendas for primary education, UNICEF’s Reimagine Education Initiative seeks to close the gap in access, enrich learning experiences, and improve learning outcomes through digital means. The future of learning lies both within the formal education system and outside of the classroom: Children and adolescents must have the opportunity to excel in both.

Together with governments and partners, UNICEF is working to:

  • Build political commitment for quality primary education that leads to effective learning outcomes through evidence generation, advocacy and communication
  • Advocate for better, equitable financing and distribution of education resources for primary education
  • Support access to quality, formal primary education for those currently in primary education – as well as those who never attended primary school but are still age-eligible to enter primary – focusing on the most marginalized
  • Strengthen non-formal education and alternative delivery models (like catch-up classes, bridging and accelerated education, and skills development training), including the recognition, validation and accreditation of non-formal learning outcomes
  • Strengthen the capacity of countries to plan and implement quality education at scale, including through evidence-based interventions that contribute to foundational literacy and numeracy outcomes
  • Champion and leverage innovations, including digital learning modalities, as platforms to support access to quality primary education

Education in a post-COVID world

towards a rapid transformation

"Let me learn"

Nearly two-thirds of 10-year-olds are unable to read and understand a simple text

Reimagine education

Digital learning should be part of a basic basket of essential services for every child and young person

Children call for access to quality climate education

On Earth Day, UNICEF urges governments to empower every child with learning opportunities to be a champion for the planet

What Is Elementary Education? – Definition and Importance

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Elementary education is the foundation for a child’s future. This educational stage gets young people ready for secondary school and makes them more productive in the future.  

Also, it is a crucial period that can teach children useful life lessons and make them successful individuals.

This is the first stage of the educational journey, which lays the foundation for building a strong society. It means not just teaching them to read and write but also shaping the minds of our future.

Therefore, elementary education is vital to developing a child’s cognitive skills, self-esteem, and sense of control. In most places, elementary education encompasses the primary education cycle which starts at age 5 or 6 and lasts until age 11.

This article gives an in-depth explanation of elementary education, its advantages, and some challenges affecting it.

What Is Elementary Education?

Elementary education is the first stage of basic formal education. Also known as primary education, this type of education is primarily taught by a teacher and occurs in a classroom between ages five and 12 years old.

Education at the elementary level is the beginning of formal education. It is also known as primary education or first and middle school. At this level of schooling, students learn reading, writing, mathematics, and the social sciences. 

Additionally, it is the most important level of education, because it aims at developing the basic skills, competencies, and knowledge. That makes it possible for young people to continue their studies and be fit for life in society.

Once students enroll in elementary school, they take on an educational path that focuses primarily on learning and communication skills.

Additionally, students spend more time socializing and interacting with their peers than they would if they attended homeschooling.

These students also learn math, reading, and other skills through alphabet books and similar methods.

There are also many different types of elementary schooling routines that a student can experience, most likely dependent upon the public or private status of the school.

Why Is Elementary Education Important?

Early childhood education is important for your children to learn how to be responsible and independent.

Many people think that elementary education is less important than secondary or higher levels of education. However, this stage serves important purposes in the development of children.

Elementary education is an integral part of the educational process, offering children up to the age of approximately 13 a learning experience largely separated from that given to their younger counterparts.

Primary education, also known as elementary education, provides learning opportunities for students in the earliest stages of their lives. It’s one of the greatest factors in a child’s intellectual development and sets the foundation for future learning.

What Are the Advantages of Elementary Education?

Elementary schooling is the first stage in formal education when children are taught the basics and begin to contemplate life’s big questions. This first stage in formal education ensures that children have a firm grounding before moving on to more advanced studies.

In any case, there are several different reasons to choose an education at this level. Are you interested in building a strong foundation for your child’s education? The benefits of elementary education are many, so let’s take a closer look at them.

1. It Is Ideal Preparation for High School

Children attend elementary school to learn the basics and lay the foundation for lifelong learning. It offers a wide range of classes, enrichment programs, and extracurricular activities, preparing students for those offered in high school. 

Through it, students can build the skills they need to be successful in more complicated math and science classes that they will encounter later in life.

The elementary school focuses on a curriculum of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Students also learn their multiplication tables and begin learning division and fractions.

2. It Helps You Be Ready for a More Competitive World

An elementary education provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a competitive world. At this point in formal schooling, students begin to develop skills, values, and attributes they will carry throughout their lives.

Students can also learn one or more foreign languages, basic computer skills, social studies, art, music, and physical education.

3. It Is the Best Stage for Children to Foster an Interest in Science, Math, and Technology

From the first stages of education to high school graduation, elementary educators help children build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, essential to their future success.

Though formal learning begins with primary education, children need plenty of opportunities to explore their surroundings and opportunities to play with science materials.

This stage of schooling helps you discover your interests while you’re still young and gets you accustomed to them at an early stage in your life.

4. Elementary Education Offers Extra-Curricular Activities and Hobbies

Elementary education offers extracurricular activities, hobbies, and sports that are suited to your children’s diverse interests.

The primary motivating purpose behind this kind of education is the child’s positive self-growth, and character development. It also aids the enhancement of the child’s social skills, thereby stimulating their thinking power.

Furthermore, extra-curricular activities for elementary students can help build confidence and teach valuable teamwork, communication, and leadership skills.

5. It Enables You to Make Friends from Diverse Backgrounds

Elementary education provides an environment for developing children’s personalities, revealing their talents, and fostering their intellectual growth. 

It is an important stage of formal education where students broaden their horizons and learn about the world around them.

The most obvious advantage of elementary education is that it enables students to get acquainted with people from all walks of life. It also helps you develop quality friendships from a young age.

6. It Gives Knowledge That Enhances Communication

Communication is an essential life skill and an important part of early education. Elementary schools develop a child’s vocabulary and listening skills, along with the ability to work out meanings from context.

As students learn how to talk, read, and write they gain an increased sense of enjoyment, wonder, and curiosity.

7. Elementary Education Cultivates the Use of Thinking Processes to Solve Problems in Children

While elementary schooling is the first stage of formal education, it is an education that involves more child-centered learning and activities like exploration, observation, and experience. 

A student learns problem-solving skills and gains knowledge by engaging in mental work. Elementary education is a stage that also helps students to develop basic skills, knowledge, understanding, and ability.

It also introduces a student to various forms of expression and literacy and shapes a student’s attitude toward culture. Additionally, it develops your rhythm and ability to express yourself.

8. It Is the Foundation Where Students Learn Valuable Soft Skills and Behavioral Skills

Elementary schooling is the foundation where students learn valuable soft skills. A structured, fun, and educational environment will help children branch out in their learning and make friends in the process.

These schools teach students soft skills and behavioral skills, to provide the building blocks for lifelong learning and personal growth. You will learn how to study properly, respect your teachers, treat each other with kindness, and help others in trouble. 

Elementary schooling means a combination of learning experiences. That includes teaching children according to their age, having an academic focus, and encouraging the development of good personal habits.

9. Elementary Education Teaches Students Reading and Writing Skills 

Elementary education teaches students reading and writing skills so that they can read and understand books, magazines, newspapers, and other printed material.

These schools are primary-level schools that teach students good literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills. It helps to prepare you for the world of work or further study.

10. Elementary Education Encourages Your Children’s Imagination

Primary education encourages your children’s imagination. They engage in a learning process that supports their creativity and continuous development. 

Every day, in every grade, students learn through play, exploring, creating, and applying academic skills in meaningful ways to the real world.

Your challenging curriculum gets designed by educators, parents, and early-learning professionals in collaboration with the world’s foremost experts.

Additionally, it is coupled with hands-on instruction and small class sizes to ensure you receive classroom instruction that meets or exceeds state standards.

11. It Helps Children Develop a Sense of Responsibility

Elementary school teaches your child responsibility through homework, field trips, and class participation. It also develops creativity and critical thinking in preparation for high school and beyond.

An important part of a child’s education is learning how to be responsible for her actions and be respectful toward others. While parents help children develop these qualities, elementary education also plays an important role in shaping the habits and perspectives of a child.

Also, it is essential to teach children how to respond to situations requiring thought and patience from a young age.

With help and guidance from their teacher, children can develop skills that will equip them with a range of habits that they can apply long after they’ve left school.

What Are the Challenges Affecting Elementary Education?

Challenges include the pressure on teachers and principals to meet new standards, and the focus on improving achievement rather than the quality of learning. It also includes the erosion of public school funding as public support has declined.

Highlighted below are some of the current challenges facing elementary education.

1. Budgetary Constraints and Lack of Funding

As the country’s economic growth staggers for a considerable period, budgetary constraints and lack of funding are two major challenges affecting elementary education in most countries. 

The main problem is that many of the schools lack resources (books, paper, pencils, and learning aids), and qualified teachers. That means that they cannot provide quality education to their learners.

2. Limited Support to Care For Special Needs Students

Every child, regardless of ability, should have equal access to free and appropriate public education. States have specific responsibilities to ensure that every child, including children with disabilities, is educated.

Without proper support in place, many challenges faced by families can become barriers to doing well in school. The resource allocation system does not always provide adequate funds for students with special needs.

3. Shortage of Facilities

Shortage of facilities is one of the many challenges affecting quality education in primary schools. There is a shortage of facilities in some schools, making it difficult to supply all students with mean requirements.

4. Inexperienced Teachers and Administrators

One problem students have is dealing with inexperienced teachers and administrators. Since most students are taught and guided by inexperienced teachers and administrators, there is little or no instruction regarding the basic foundational principles required.

Students who misbehave may also be difficult to manage for inexperienced teachers and administrators. That is because they have never dealt with disobedient and disrespectful children before.

5. Lack of Equipment, Supplies, Books, and Textbooks

All too often, impoverished school conditions undermine the quality of education. Crayons and chalk are the first and most basic educational learning tools for elementary students, yet a lack of equipment, supplies, books, and textbooks limits their learning.

6. Low Pay for Teachers Reduces Their Morale to Teach Students

Currently, the low pay of teachers leads to a high turnover rate and lower morale. Teachers can’t accept their frustrating job conditions anymore and feel that their work is not worthy of payout.

How do elementary schools impact a child’s upbringing?

An elementary education emphasizes the fundamentals and provides a solid foundation for lifelong learning. 

Elementary school students find it beneficial to learn from educators who can effectively communicate with young children and balance knowledge acquisition with social and emotional development.

Is it compulsory for a child to attend elementary school?

Yes, to attain literacy, a child must attend elementary school. They prepare students with basic skills, such as reading and writing. Nevertheless, in some countries, elementary school is not mandatory.

Are elementary schools expensive?

No, elementary schools aren’t expensive. However, this depends on the school your child attends. While private schools are expensive, public elementary schools are very affordable or free.

Elementary education includes public and private schools that focus on the early childhood years. It is also facing challenges that threaten the long-term sustainability of the educational system. 

In addition, we need to work with education policymakers and educators to develop solutions that address these challenges. The goal is to maintain the relationship between quality elementary education and the development of secondary and post-secondary students.

Finally, the importance of elementary schooling extends beyond moving on to secondary school. It also serves the development of society and prepares children for the real world. Read more about why education is vital to society .

I hope you found this article helpful.

Thanks for reading.

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what is the importance of elementary education

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Why is elementary education so important.

Why is Elementary Education so Important?

It’s widely known that early education plays a critical role in how students perform in their later school years. Understanding just how crucial these early education years are is important.

According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the annual average learning gain for students in kindergarten through second grade is higher than at any time during a child’s years in school. And the ability to read proficiently by fourth grade is so important that not doing so often puts kids on track to drop out of high school.

For teachers considering a master’s degree in education, focusing on elementary education offers a chance to become a leader in this critical area.

The Power of Reading

While there are important aspects to elementary education across all subjects, almost all of it comes back to the ability to read. Reading is how students can be introduced to every educational subject presented to them. And although it’s a skill we learn at a young age, reading is complex. Students need the opportunity to ask questions, make predictions and grasp words they may not completely understand based on their contextual use.

Teachers of elementary education have to stretch their teaching skills to face the challenges of teaching children to read.  Students in any given classroom possess a vast range of reading skills. Elementary school teachers must have strategies to help students interpret complex ideas, develop critical skills, synthesize information from diverse sources and use reading to learn about all subjects.

This requires a high level of teaching expertise in elementary education – something that the state of Massachusetts requires.

A Master of Education with a focus on elementary education can prepare teachers to become leaders both in the classroom and with their peers, helping them find strategies that will lead to better outcomes for students.

What You’ll Learn in a Master’s Degree Program

Because of the challenging nature of elementary education, quality master’s degree programs are designed to give graduates expertise in a range of areas.

In the Merrimack College Master of Education programs, students take classes on a variety of topics, including the following.

[maxbutton id=”3″ url=”https://online.merrimack.edu/m-ed-in-elementary-education/” text=”ELEMENTARY EDUCATION DEGREE” ]

Teaching and Learning in the Inclusive Classroom

Teachers learn how to use different instructional strategies to accommodate students of varying backgrounds, learning styles and levels of academic readiness. They also learn how to create cooperative, orderly and motivational student environments.

Foundations of Language and Reading

Good reading skills are the foundation for academic achievement. Teachers taking this course learn the fundamental skills behind language and reading development.

Reading Strategies and Interventions

This course provides an introduction to the significant theories, practices, and programs for developing literacy skills in students with learning challenges. This includes students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, as well as students with limited experience in an educational environment.

Math Methods for the Elementary School

Students learn how to teach math skills to students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. This includes developing learning objectives, instructional methods, and assessment techniques. This course is designed with consideration for recommendations from the professional standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, among other sources.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in Social Studies and World Geography

This course focuses on teaching skills in three areas of social studies: the development of geography skills and global awareness, the development of history skills that include critical, creative and analytical thinking, and cooperative learning, vocabulary, and concept formation.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in Science, Health and Physical Education

Students learn teaching methods that promote the development of cognitive and scientific reasoning, as well as strategies for teaching science and assessing students’ understanding. Other sections of the course deal with health education, laws and regulations on student health and safety, warning signs that students are experiencing issues and development of school physical education programs.

Massachusetts and Elementary Education

The Merrimack College degree program prepares teachers for the MTEL exams. Massachusetts requires these exams before teachers can earn the Initial License to teach in Massachusetts.  Preparation for the exams is a part of the degree program. The MTEL exams required are:

  • Communication and Literacy Skills
  • Math and Multi-Subject subtests of the General Curriculum exam
  • Foundations of Reading

Merrimack College provides a degree program that meets the state’s rigorous standards. The Elementary education years are some of the most important in the life of a student. They deserve teachers who have trained themselves to work at the highest possible level.

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What Is the Purpose of School?

what is the importance of elementary education

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This story is part of a special project called Big Ideas in which EdWeek reporters ask hard questions about K-12 education’s biggest challenges and offer insights based on their extensive coverage and expertise.

Very early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020, I wrote a story to mark the shuttering of almost every single public school in the nation . It concluded on a hopeful note about a possible wake-up call regarding the incredible number of invisible ways schools serve 50 million children and their families that often go unappreciated.

“There is the specter of a rejuvenation in Americans’ attitudes toward schools, or at least a recognition that the role they play as a provider of social services is indispensable, and possibly even that those functions ought to be reinforced so that schools aren’t left alone to face future crises,” I concluded.

It hasn’t exactly worked out that way.

Instead, there are rumblings that schools could be standing on less solid civic footing than they were before the pandemic—at least when measured by the most tangible factor available: enrollment. It has notably declined, even as home schooling has increased and school choice advocates work to expand tax-credit scholarships and other programs , partly in response to schools’ perceived failings.

What in fact reemerged in public discourse is a long-standing debate that’s often papered over in K-12 education: Americans, including our educators, are divided on what they believe schools’ core role should be.

Is it to convey knowledge and information and prepare students for their futures? Is it to provide guaranteed child care so that the economy can hum along? Is it to provide indispensable welfare services?

How to balance these functions appropriately is a question that will probably never be definitively answered to the approval of all. But it is a key one for districts to revisit as they decide what to do with a mammoth, but time-limited infusion of federal funding.

After all, how districts choose to spend that money serves a symbolic role as well as reflects how they’ve weighed the question of their core role. It conveys what they value, how they plan to reach it—and, importantly, what they feel they can manage.

In part, this tension is reemerging because families depended on schools during the pandemic in large numbers and in big ways. Arguably, they were perhaps the only real infrastructure we had to reach 50 million students and their families. But what we also learned, if we hadn’t already, is that that infrastructure is stretched, creaky, and, yes, not particularly efficient.

Consider, for example, schools’ remarkable shift to remote learning programs in the space of just a few months. Most schools offer one-to-one programs, devices, or internet access—despite the United States’ pointed failure to invest in broadband as a public utility .

And many will be shouldering the responsibility for seamless online learning in perpetuity, especially because of the concerns wrought by the Delta variant.

Schools also rapidly expanded the other social services they offered. Thousands of them used school lunch flexibility to expand the distribution of school meals. Others set up home-visiting programs and knocked on doors to find missing students, and still others are trying to coordinate housing in response to an epidemic of homelessness .

A recent EdWeek Research Center survey showed just how far-reaching some of these services are. It found that 63 percent of administrators reported that their district provided or subsidized internet services; 38 percent work in districts or schools that offered food pantries above and beyond their regular school meal programs; 37 percent said the district or school offered health services; and a third provided laundry facilities.

The pandemic showed the cracks in this network as needs grew more acute and as urgency ran up against schools’ built-in bureaucracies and resources.

Is it fair to ask schools to serve all these roles? More to the point, is it good policy? Is it wise?

Even our nation’s debate over so-called critical race theory (now a thoroughly misappropriated term) points to what the public assumes about schools’ abilities: Believing that schools are capable of widespread indoctrination implicitly means believing that they possess an extraordinary power to teach these things coherently, even though the evidence suggests that core reading, math, and science instruction, even within the same school, lacked cohesion from grade to grade before the pandemic.

So, here I ask: Is it fair to ask schools to serve all these roles? More to the point, is it good policy ? Is it wise ?

School systems are by the very way they’re set up—via local boards with built-in turnover—slow to adapt to new roles. If society expects schools to take them on, we need to consider how to do it well.

The expanding role of schools into the largest social-welfare providers in the country is not a new phenomenon, according to education historians like Campbell Scribner, who teaches at the University of Maryland.

They point out that the transformation of U.S. schools from centers of teaching and learning into places that serve social-welfare functions accelerated between 1900 and 1930, even as other national policies like universal health care did not gain traction.

This is partly the result of the intellectual foundations of U.S. welfare policy, which were—and continue to be—structured by centuries-old ideas of dividing the “deserving” and the “undeserving” poor. Children fall into the first category—so much so that many programs, from the first cash-aid welfare program in 1935 through the recently expanded Child Tax Credit, are directly aimed at them.

Most of these school-based additions, like health centers, nurses, and social workers, have ultimately proved to be broadly popular with the public, even though they were all controversial at the time.

Less commonly understood, though, is that schools didn’t shed the responsibilities they already had during this expansion. And as politicians have scaled back supports for other social programs, the resulting challenges—drug epidemics, vaping, gun violence, severe weather events, a pandemic—have been foisted by default on schools.

The massive decline in referrals to child-welfare agencies during the pandemic testifies to the extent to which schools play an important role in protecting children via the multiple lines of view they have on them. But this surveillance cuts both ways, too, as the debate about school policing and racism in schools underscores .

If anything, the pandemic added yet another duty to the school district’s roster, that of epidemiologist. At least initially, state officials passed the buck on issues like masking and social distancing , forcing 14,000 districts with little health experience to make consequential health choices—and to endure furious backlash.

What is the best way to integrate academics and social services?

If you have gotten this far, you probably agree with me that it’s imperative, 18 months after COVID-19 changed the world, to consider anew the fundamental question of what schools are for.

We might, as a starting point, agree that academic learning should be their key function. And we might also agree that students will face difficulty learning if they are not fed, clothed, and nurtured. But we have to think about how schools can do all that they do sustainably and effectively, particularly as they cope with more mandates and expectations from legislators.

For a while, there was a trend both in the federal government and in cities toward interagency collaboration to coordinate an expanding roster of services. These do not, to put it frankly, have a great track record because of the siloed nature of agencies.

In one continually infuriating example, the U.S. departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development still do not agree on a common definition for homelessness, which means cities cannot serve the same populations via the two different funding streams.

Perhaps the most promising model is actually a bottom-up one.

The community schools movement aims to build academic and social-service partnerships on school campuses. And a recent review of 19 studies examining the approach found that on balance, the approach seems to produce academic benefits.

But the research also found that there’s no “concrete recipe” for how to structure these partnerships in ways that consistently produce results, no clear road map on how to deploy funding or personnel. (It’s a truism in education to say that we know the “what” but often lack the “how.” In this case, it applies perfectly.)

I was feeling quite blue about all this as I was researching, but I’m reminded that public schools are also resilient. The culture-war discussions and disagreements about how to reopen safely may be loud right now, but parents generally do value schools’ expansive roles and give their own schools good marks even during the pandemic.

The split among Black and white parents on their trust in schools, however, is a warning sign that this trust is not automatic. It must be carefully nurtured.

The funding is a turning point that we can either build on or one we can waste.

We have an opportunity to do that through the extraordinary $123 billion federal recovery package for schools. The funding is a turning point that we can either build on or one we can waste.

It’s a symbolically important investment, because it signals that there’s still a commitment to public schools. But it’s not really a solution to the definitional problem I’ve been discussing here, so much as it is a stopgap. It could create new dependencies—or expectations—if districts aren’t careful.

At bottom, districts will need to invest in efforts that they can sustain—or use the funding, in part, to launch partnerships with local social-service agencies to make their new investments stretch. They’ll need to devise some kind of organizing structure that doesn’t run up against the silos and dysfunction I’ve outlined above. And they’ll need to begin with an honest assessment of what their schools can do now and what they’ll need help doing in the future.

I know what your question is, and, no, I don’t know what this structure should look like or how it should be governed or staffed.

I do know, though, that it’s imperative to start thinking about one. Because the pandemic won’t be the last major crisis to strain schools—and I, for one, want them to be strong enough to outlast the next one.

A version of this article appeared in the September 15, 2021 edition of Education Week as What Is The Purpose of School?

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Building Strong Foundations: The Importance of Elementary Education in the UK

Building Strong Foundations: The Importance of Elementary Education in the UK

Elementary Education: Laying the Foundation for Lifelong Learning

Elementary education plays a crucial role in shaping a child’s academic journey and overall development. It is during these formative years that children acquire essential skills, knowledge, and values that will serve as the building blocks for their future education and personal growth. In this article, we explore the importance of elementary education and how it lays the foundation for lifelong learning.

First and foremost, elementary education provides children with a strong academic foundation. Subjects such as mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies are introduced at this stage. By focusing on fundamental concepts and skills, students develop a solid understanding of these subjects, which will be expanded upon in later years. Moreover, elementary education fosters critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and creativity – skills that are vital for success in higher education and beyond.

Beyond academics, elementary schools also play a crucial role in developing social skills and emotional intelligence. Children learn to interact with their peers, resolve conflicts peacefully, collaborate on projects, and appreciate diversity. These early social experiences help shape their character traits like empathy, respect for others’ opinions, teamwork, and leadership qualities – all of which are essential for their future personal relationships and careers.

Another significant aspect of elementary education is the emphasis on holistic development. Physical education classes promote physical fitness and instill healthy habits from an early age. Art programs encourage creativity and self-expression while nurturing imagination. Music classes introduce children to different forms of music and help develop an appreciation for various cultures. Additionally, extracurricular activities like sports teams or clubs provide opportunities for students to explore their interests outside of the classroom.

Furthermore, elementary schools often prioritize character education by teaching values such as honesty, integrity, responsibility, compassion, respect for others’ rights and differences. These values create a positive school culture where students feel safe to express themselves freely while understanding the importance of ethical behavior.

Elementary education also serves as a platform for identifying and addressing learning difficulties or special needs. Skilled teachers and support staff can identify any challenges a child may face early on, allowing for timely intervention and personalized support. By addressing these needs during the elementary years, students can receive the necessary assistance to thrive academically and emotionally.

In conclusion, elementary education is of paramount importance as it lays the foundation for lifelong learning. It equips children with essential academic skills, fosters social development, promotes holistic growth, and instills core values. By providing a nurturing and stimulating environment, elementary schools prepare students to become well-rounded individuals capable of facing future challenges with confidence. Investing in quality elementary education ensures that every child has an equal opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential.

8 Benefits of Elementary Education: Building a Strong Foundation for Lifelong Learning

Improved literacy and numeracy skills, providing children with a strong foundation for their future learning., increased social and emotional development, developing important life skills such as communication, collaboration and problem-solving., exposure to a range of subjects, allowing children to explore what interests them most and discover their passions early on in life., access to technology, enabling children to develop the digital skills they will need for success in the modern world., a safe environment where children can learn without fear or judgement from others or themselves., opportunity to build relationships with peers and teachers that will last throughout their school years and beyond into adulthood., introduction to physical education which helps promote healthy habits from an early age such as exercise and good nutrition choices for life-long wellbeing benefits ., positive reinforcement of values such as respect, honesty and kindness which are essential characteristics of successful individuals in society today, challenges in elementary education: addressing resource shortages, teacher training gaps, curriculum relevance, class size concerns, extracurricular limitations, and parental engagement, lack of resources, inadequate teacher training, outdated curriculum, large class sizes, limited extracurricular activities, lack of parental involvement.

Improved Literacy and Numeracy Skills: Building Blocks for Future Learning

Elementary education plays a crucial role in developing strong literacy and numeracy skills in children. These foundational skills serve as building blocks for their future learning and academic success. In this article, we explore the importance of elementary education in improving literacy and numeracy skills.

During the elementary years, children are introduced to the fundamentals of reading, writing, and mathematics. Skilled teachers employ various teaching methods to engage young minds and make learning enjoyable. Through phonics instruction, reading comprehension activities, and vocabulary development exercises, children develop essential literacy skills. They learn to read fluently, comprehend texts effectively, and express themselves confidently through writing.

Similarly, elementary education focuses on developing numeracy skills. Children learn basic mathematical concepts such as counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication tables, and problem-solving techniques. They gain a solid understanding of numbers, patterns, shapes, measurements, and data analysis – all of which are fundamental to advanced mathematical concepts in later years.

By providing a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy skills during the elementary years, children are better equipped to tackle more complex subjects as they progress through their education journey. Strong reading abilities enable them to comprehend textbooks across various subjects while enhancing their research skills. Proficient numeracy skills empower them to solve complex mathematical problems in science, technology, engineering, economics, or any field they choose to pursue.

Moreover, improved literacy and numeracy skills have broader implications beyond academic achievement. Being able to read fluently allows children to explore different genres of literature independently and develop a love for reading. It opens up a world of knowledge and imagination that enriches their lives beyond the classroom.

Enhanced numeracy skills enable children to make informed decisions related to finances or everyday situations that involve calculations. They become critical thinkers who can analyze data effectively and apply mathematical concepts in real-life scenarios.

Furthermore, improved literacy and numeracy skills contribute to overall cognitive development. Research has shown that children with strong literacy and numeracy skills demonstrate improved memory, problem-solving abilities, and logical reasoning. These skills are transferable across different subjects and help children become lifelong learners.

In conclusion, elementary education plays a vital role in improving literacy and numeracy skills in children. By providing a solid foundation in reading, writing, and mathematics, elementary schools set the stage for future academic success. Strong literacy skills enable children to comprehend complex texts and express themselves effectively, while numeracy skills empower them to solve problems and make informed decisions. Investing in quality elementary education ensures that children have the necessary tools to thrive academically and beyond.

Increased Social and Emotional Development: Nurturing Life Skills in Elementary Education

Elementary education plays a vital role in the social and emotional development of children. It provides a nurturing environment where students learn important life skills such as communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. In this article, we explore how elementary education fosters these skills and why they are crucial for a child’s overall growth.

One of the key benefits of elementary education is the opportunity it provides for children to develop their communication skills. Through classroom discussions, presentations, and group activities, students learn to express their thoughts and ideas effectively. They gain confidence in public speaking, active listening, and articulating their opinions. These communication skills are not only essential for academic success but also for building strong personal relationships and succeeding in future careers.

Collaboration is another vital skill that elementary education encourages. Students engage in group projects, teamwork activities, and cooperative learning experiences. By working together towards common goals, they learn to value diverse perspectives, compromise, negotiate, and appreciate the strengths of others. These collaborative experiences foster empathy, respect for others’ ideas, and the ability to work effectively as part of a team – skills that are essential in today’s interconnected world.

Problem-solving is yet another critical life skill developed during elementary education. Students are presented with various challenges that require them to think critically and find creative solutions. Whether it’s solving math problems or addressing real-life issues through project-based learning, students learn to analyze situations from different angles and apply logical reasoning to arrive at solutions. This cultivates their ability to think independently, adapt to new situations, make informed decisions, and overcome obstacles throughout their lives.

Moreover, these social-emotional skills go beyond academic success; they contribute significantly to a child’s overall well-being. Elementary education provides a safe space where children can develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence. They learn to recognize their own emotions as well as those of others’, and develop empathy and compassion. These skills enable them to build positive relationships, manage conflicts constructively, and navigate the complexities of social interactions.

By fostering increased social and emotional development, elementary education equips children with the necessary tools to navigate the complexities of the world. It prepares them to thrive in diverse environments, collaborate effectively, communicate confidently, and solve problems creatively. These skills not only enhance their academic performance but also contribute to their personal growth and success in all aspects of life.

In conclusion, elementary education plays a crucial role in developing important life skills such as communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. These skills are essential for a child’s social and emotional development as well as their future success. By providing a supportive learning environment that encourages teamwork, critical thinking, and effective communication, elementary schools lay the foundation for well-rounded individuals capable of thriving in an ever-changing world.

Elementary Education: Encouraging Exploration and Passion Discovery

One of the significant advantages of elementary education is the exposure it provides to a wide range of subjects. This exposure allows children to explore various disciplines and discover their passions early on in life. By offering a diverse curriculum, elementary schools empower young learners to delve into different areas of study, nurturing their interests and igniting a lifelong love for learning.

In elementary school, children are introduced to subjects such as mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, art, music, physical education, and more. This broad spectrum of subjects allows them to explore different fields and discover what truly captivates their curiosity and sparks their enthusiasm. Whether it’s solving mathematical puzzles or creating artwork, children have the opportunity to engage with various disciplines and identify their areas of interest.

By exploring different subjects in elementary school, children can develop a deeper understanding of their strengths and passions. They may find themselves drawn towards science experiments or storytelling in language arts. Some may discover a talent for music or an affinity for history. Exposure to a range of subjects enables children to identify their inclinations early on and pursue them further as they progress through their educational journey.

Discovering passions at an early age has numerous benefits. It fosters intrinsic motivation and a sense of purpose in learning. When children are genuinely interested in a subject, they become more engaged and motivated to delve deeper into its intricacies. This enthusiasm drives them to seek additional resources, ask questions, and apply themselves wholeheartedly.

Moreover, exploring different subjects helps children develop well-rounded knowledge and skills. They gain a broad foundation across multiple disciplines that can be applied in various aspects of life. For instance, an interest in science can lead to critical thinking skills that benefit problem-solving in any field or career path.

Additionally, discovering passions early on can guide students towards future academic pursuits or career choices. By identifying what truly excites them during the elementary years, children can make informed decisions about their educational paths in middle school, high school, and beyond. This early clarity can save them time and effort as they focus on developing expertise in their chosen fields.

Elementary education’s emphasis on exposing children to a range of subjects is instrumental in helping them explore their interests and discover their passions. By providing a diverse curriculum, schools empower young learners to engage with different disciplines, nurturing their curiosity and excitement for learning. Through this exploration, children gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them, setting the stage for a fulfilling educational journey and future endeavors.

Access to Technology: Empowering Children with Digital Skills for the Modern World

In today’s digital age, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. It is essential for children to develop proficiency in using technology from an early age, as it plays a vital role in their future success. Elementary education provides a valuable opportunity for children to gain access to technology and develop the necessary digital skills that will empower them in the modern world.

One of the significant advantages of elementary education is that it exposes children to various technological tools and resources. Schools are increasingly integrating technology into their classrooms, providing students with access to computers, tablets, interactive whiteboards, educational software, and internet connectivity. These resources open up a world of opportunities for learning and development.

By incorporating technology into their curriculum, elementary schools equip children with essential digital skills. They learn how to navigate digital interfaces, use productivity tools like word processors and spreadsheets, conduct online research effectively, and communicate through email or messaging platforms. These skills not only enhance their academic performance but also prepare them for future educational pursuits and professional endeavors.

Moreover, exposure to technology in elementary education promotes critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Students learn how to analyze information found online, evaluate its credibility, and make informed decisions. They are encouraged to think creatively when using digital tools for presentations or projects. These experiences foster innovation and help students develop a growth mindset that is essential in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

Access to technology also enhances collaboration among students. With the aid of digital platforms, they can collaborate on projects remotely or work together on shared documents in real-time. This not only improves teamwork but also prepares them for future work environments where virtual collaboration is becoming increasingly common.

Furthermore, elementary education provides a safe space for children to learn about responsible digital citizenship. They are taught about internet safety practices such as protecting personal information online and understanding the potential risks associated with social media platforms. By instilling these values early on, schools help children navigate the online world responsibly and ethically.

In conclusion, access to technology in elementary education is a significant advantage that empowers children with digital skills for success in the modern world. By integrating technology into the curriculum, schools equip students with essential digital literacy, critical thinking, collaboration, and responsible digital citizenship skills. These competencies are crucial for their academic achievements, future career prospects, and overall participation in an increasingly digitized society. Elementary education plays a pivotal role in ensuring that children are well-prepared to embrace the opportunities and challenges presented by technology in their lives.

Creating a Safe Haven: The Importance of a Fear-Free Elementary Education

One of the significant benefits of elementary education is the provision of a safe environment where children can learn without fear or judgment from others or themselves. This nurturing atmosphere plays a crucial role in fostering optimal learning experiences and promoting the overall well-being of young learners.

In an elementary school setting, creating a safe space means more than just physical safety. It encompasses emotional and psychological safety as well. When children feel secure and supported, they are more likely to engage actively in their studies, express their thoughts and ideas freely, and take risks in their learning journey.

A fear-free environment allows children to explore new concepts and ideas without the worry of making mistakes or facing ridicule. They feel comfortable asking questions, seeking clarification, and experimenting with different approaches to problem-solving. By removing the fear of judgment, elementary education encourages curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking skills to flourish.

Moreover, a safe environment helps children develop healthy self-esteem and confidence. When students are not afraid of being judged by their peers or teachers, they can fully embrace their unique abilities and talents. This sense of self-worth enables them to take on challenges with resilience and develop a positive attitude towards learning.

In addition to external factors like peer interactions, it is equally important for children to feel safe from self-judgment. Elementary education strives to create an atmosphere where mistakes are viewed as opportunities for growth rather than failures. By fostering a growth mindset, students learn that setbacks are natural parts of the learning process. They are encouraged to persevere through difficulties, learn from their mistakes, and develop resilience.

A fear-free elementary education also promotes inclusivity and acceptance among students. When children feel safe expressing themselves authentically without fear of discrimination or prejudice, it cultivates an atmosphere of respect for individual differences. This fosters empathy, understanding, and appreciation for diversity from an early age.

Furthermore, when children feel safe and supported, they are more likely to seek help when needed. Teachers and staff can provide assistance, guidance, and intervention promptly, ensuring that every child receives the necessary support for their academic and emotional growth.

In conclusion, a fear-free elementary education provides a safe haven for children to learn and thrive. By creating an environment free from judgment or fear of failure, students can fully engage in their education, develop confidence, embrace challenges, and build positive relationships with peers. This nurturing atmosphere sets the stage for lifelong learning and equips children with the tools they need to succeed academically and emotionally.

Building Lifelong Connections: The Power of Relationships in Elementary Education

One of the significant advantages of elementary education is the opportunity it provides for children to build meaningful relationships with their peers and teachers. These connections not only shape their school years but also have a lasting impact on their lives well into adulthood. In this article, we explore the importance of these relationships and how they contribute to a child’s overall development.

Elementary school is a time when children are introduced to a diverse group of classmates, creating an environment ripe for building friendships. These early friendships often form the foundation for lifelong connections. As children engage in group activities, collaborate on projects, and navigate social interactions, they learn valuable skills such as empathy, communication, and cooperation. These skills not only help them develop strong bonds with their peers during their elementary years but also serve as a solid foundation for building relationships throughout their lives.

Moreover, the relationships formed with teachers during elementary education can have a profound impact on a child’s academic and personal growth. Skilled and caring teachers create supportive environments where students feel valued, encouraged, and motivated to learn. Teachers act as mentors, guiding students through challenges and celebrating their successes. The trust and respect built between students and teachers lay the groundwork for effective learning experiences.

The connections formed in elementary school extend beyond the classroom walls. Many children participate in extracurricular activities such as sports teams or clubs where they interact with peers who share similar interests. These shared experiences foster camaraderie and create lasting bonds that often continue into secondary school and beyond.

The relationships developed during elementary education provide numerous benefits throughout a child’s life journey. Friendships established at this stage offer emotional support during challenging times, provide opportunities for socializing and collaboration, and contribute to overall well-being. As children grow older, these friendships evolve into networks that can offer professional opportunities or simply provide a sense of belonging.

Furthermore, the connections made with teachers can have a lasting impact on a child’s educational trajectory. Teachers who inspire and motivate their students can ignite a lifelong love for learning. The guidance and mentorship received during the elementary years can shape career choices, academic pursuits, and personal development.

In conclusion, the relationships formed during elementary education are invaluable. They provide children with opportunities to develop social skills, cultivate empathy, and build lasting friendships. The bonds forged with teachers create a supportive learning environment that nurtures academic growth and personal development. These connections extend far beyond the elementary years, enriching lives well into adulthood. By recognizing the significance of these relationships, we can foster an educational environment that not only focuses on academic achievement but also prioritizes the power of human connection.

Introduction to Physical Education: Promoting Lifelong Wellbeing through Healthy Habits

One of the significant advantages of elementary education is the introduction to physical education, which plays a vital role in promoting healthy habits from an early age. Physical education classes not only provide children with opportunities for exercise and physical activity but also instill the importance of good nutrition choices for lifelong wellbeing benefits.

Regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Elementary schools recognize this and incorporate physical education into their curriculum. These classes offer a variety of activities, including sports, games, gymnastics, and dance, that help children develop their motor skills, coordination, and overall fitness levels. By engaging in these activities during their formative years, children are more likely to continue being physically active as they grow older.

Physical education classes also educate children about the importance of making healthy nutrition choices. Students learn about balanced diets and the benefits of consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. They are taught to make informed decisions when it comes to food and understand how their choices impact their overall health and wellbeing.

By introducing physical education at an early age, elementary schools aim to create a foundation for lifelong wellbeing. Children who engage in regular physical activity are more likely to maintain healthy weight levels, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity or diabetes, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance mental well-being. Moreover, physical activity has been linked to improved academic performance as it helps increase focus and concentration.

In addition to the immediate health benefits, physical education classes teach children important life skills such as teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline, perseverance, and goal-setting. These skills not only contribute to their overall character development but also prepare them for success in various aspects of life beyond school.

Furthermore, by promoting healthy habits from an early age through physical education classes, schools play a crucial role in preventing future health issues associated with sedentary lifestyles or poor dietary choices. By instilling the value of regular exercise and good nutrition, elementary education sets children on a path towards a lifetime of wellbeing.

In conclusion, the introduction to physical education in elementary education provides numerous benefits for children’s lifelong wellbeing. By incorporating exercise and teaching good nutrition choices, schools promote healthy habits that can have a lasting impact on their physical and mental health. Through physical education classes, children develop essential skills, gain knowledge about healthy lifestyles, and form habits that can contribute to their overall wellbeing throughout their lives.

Positive Reinforcement of Values: Nurturing Successful Individuals through Elementary Education

Elementary education serves as a fertile ground for instilling values that are crucial for the development of successful individuals in today’s society. One significant pro of elementary education is its emphasis on positive reinforcement of values such as respect, honesty, and kindness. These essential characteristics shape children’s moral compass and lay the foundation for their future success as responsible and compassionate members of society.

In elementary schools, educators understand the importance of nurturing not only academic skills but also character development. Through various methods like classroom discussions, role-playing activities, and real-life examples, teachers reinforce the values of respect, honesty, and kindness in their students. By consistently highlighting these values and providing positive reinforcement when students demonstrate them, schools create an environment where these qualities become ingrained in their daily interactions.

Respect is a cornerstone value taught in elementary education. Students learn to respect themselves, their peers, teachers, and the wider community. They understand that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and fairness regardless of differences in background or abilities. This fosters a sense of inclusivity and empathy within the school environment.

Honesty is another value emphasized during these formative years. Children are encouraged to be truthful in their words and actions, understanding that honesty builds trust among individuals. By promoting honesty from an early age, elementary schools help students develop integrity and ethical decision-making skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Kindness is a value that holds immense significance in today’s interconnected world. Elementary education teaches children to be kind to others by showing empathy, compassion, and understanding. Students learn about acts of kindness through classroom discussions or involvement in community service projects. By consistently reinforcing kindness as a core value, schools inspire students to make positive contributions to society.

By integrating these values into everyday school life through various activities such as assemblies focused on character traits or recognition programs for acts of kindness, elementary education ensures that students understand the importance of these qualities beyond mere academic success. The positive reinforcement of values helps shape children into well-rounded individuals who possess the necessary skills to navigate complex social interactions and contribute positively to their communities.

Moreover, when children witness and experience positive reinforcement of values within the school environment, they are more likely to internalize these qualities and exhibit them in their interactions outside of school as well. This creates a ripple effect, spreading respect, honesty, and kindness beyond the school walls and into society at large.

In conclusion, elementary education plays a vital role in nurturing successful individuals by positively reinforcing values such as respect, honesty, and kindness. By emphasizing these essential characteristics, schools help shape children’s moral compasses, preparing them to become responsible and compassionate members of society. As we recognize the significance of character development alongside academic achievement, elementary education sets the stage for fostering a generation of individuals who not only excel academically but also uphold the values necessary for a harmonious and thriving society.

Lack of resources: A Barrier to Quality Elementary Education

One of the significant challenges faced by many elementary schools is the lack of adequate resources to provide a quality education for their students. Insufficient funding, limited access to modern technology, outdated teaching materials, and overcrowded classrooms are just a few examples of the resource constraints that hinder the learning experience for young learners. In this article, we delve into the con of elementary education – the lack of resources – and its impact on students.

Insufficient funding is a primary factor contributing to resource scarcity in elementary schools. Many schools struggle to secure adequate financial support from government budgets or local authorities. This lack of funding can result in a shortage of essential educational materials such as textbooks, workbooks, and supplementary resources. Outdated or worn-out materials can hinder students’ ability to engage with the curriculum effectively and keep up with their peers.

Another aspect affected by limited resources is classroom technology. In today’s digital age, access to modern technology is crucial for enhancing learning experiences and preparing students for an increasingly technology-driven world. However, many elementary schools lack access to computers, tablets, or interactive whiteboards due to budget constraints. Without these tools, students may miss out on valuable opportunities for interactive learning and digital literacy development.

Overcrowded classrooms are also a consequence of resource limitations in some elementary schools. With limited space and insufficient teaching staff, teachers often find themselves managing large class sizes that make individualized attention challenging. This situation can negatively impact student engagement and hinder effective instruction as teachers struggle to meet the diverse needs of each student.

The lack of resources not only affects academic aspects but also limits extracurricular activities that contribute significantly to a well-rounded education. Schools may struggle to offer sports teams, art programs, music lessons, or other enrichment activities due to financial constraints or inadequate facilities. These activities play a vital role in developing students’ talents, fostering creativity, promoting teamwork skills, and providing a balanced educational experience.

The impact of resource scarcity on students is profound. Without access to quality resources, students may face barriers to their academic progress, experience limited exposure to modern technology, and miss out on opportunities for holistic development. This lack of resources can perpetuate educational inequalities, as students from disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately affected.

Addressing the issue of resource scarcity in elementary education requires a collective effort from policymakers, educators, and communities. Adequate funding allocations, targeted investments in technology infrastructure, and support for professional development are crucial steps towards ensuring that all elementary schools have the necessary resources to provide a high-quality education.

In conclusion, the lack of resources in many elementary schools poses a significant challenge to providing a quality education for young learners. Insufficient funding, limited access to technology, overcrowded classrooms, and restricted extracurricular opportunities hinder students’ academic progress and holistic development. Recognizing this con of elementary education is essential in order to work towards equitable solutions that provide every child with the resources they need to thrive academically and personally.

Inadequate Teacher Training: A Concern in Elementary Education

One of the significant challenges facing elementary education is the issue of inadequate teacher training. It is a common concern that many elementary school teachers lack the necessary qualifications and training to effectively educate young minds. In this article, we delve into this con of elementary education and its potential impact on students’ learning experiences.

Elementary school teachers play a critical role in shaping a child’s educational journey. They are responsible for imparting knowledge, fostering curiosity, and nurturing a love for learning. However, when teachers themselves lack proper training and qualifications, it can hinder their ability to deliver quality education.

One aspect of inadequate teacher training is the limited understanding of pedagogical methods and instructional strategies. Teaching young children requires specialized skills to engage their attention, cater to their diverse learning styles, and create an inclusive classroom environment. Without adequate training, teachers may struggle to employ effective teaching techniques that facilitate optimal learning outcomes.

Furthermore, inadequate teacher training can also result in a lack of subject-specific expertise. Elementary school teachers often cover multiple subjects throughout the day, from mathematics to language arts to science. Each subject demands a deep understanding of its content and instructional approaches tailored for young learners. Insufficient training in these areas can lead to gaps in knowledge transmission and hinder students’ grasp of essential concepts.

Moreover, without proper training, teachers may find it challenging to identify and address individual student needs effectively. Every child is unique with varying abilities and learning styles. Skilled educators are equipped with strategies to differentiate instruction based on these differences, ensuring that each student receives appropriate support. However, when teachers lack comprehensive training in this area, some students may be left behind or not receive the targeted assistance they require.

Another consequence of inadequate teacher training is the potential impact on classroom management skills. Establishing an orderly and disciplined classroom environment is crucial for effective teaching and learning. Trained educators possess strategies for behavior management that promote a positive and conducive learning atmosphere. However, without sufficient training, teachers may struggle to maintain discipline, resulting in disruptions that hinder the overall learning experience for all students.

Addressing the issue of inadequate teacher training requires a multi-faceted approach. It involves investing in comprehensive pre-service teacher education programs that equip aspiring educators with the necessary knowledge and skills before entering the classroom. Additionally, ongoing professional development opportunities should be provided to current teachers to enhance their instructional techniques, subject expertise, and classroom management skills.

In conclusion, inadequate teacher training poses a significant con in elementary education. It can impede effective teaching practices, hinder subject-specific expertise, limit individualized support for students, and impact classroom management. Recognizing this challenge is crucial for education policymakers and stakeholders to prioritize comprehensive training programs that empower teachers with the skills they need to provide high-quality education to young learners. By investing in teacher training, we can ensure that every child receives the best possible educational experience during their elementary school years.

Outdated Curriculum: A Con of Elementary Education

While elementary education is widely recognized as a crucial stage in a child’s development, it is not without its challenges. One significant con that often arises is the use of outdated curriculums in many elementary schools. These curriculums fail to keep up with current educational standards and the evolving trends in learning and teaching methods. In this article, we explore the implications of an outdated curriculum on elementary education.

An outdated curriculum can hinder students’ progress by not adequately preparing them for the demands of the modern world. Educational standards and best practices are constantly evolving to meet the needs of a rapidly changing society. However, some elementary schools may continue to rely on curriculums that have not been updated for years or even decades. As a result, students may miss out on essential skills and knowledge that are relevant to their future academic pursuits and careers.

In addition, an outdated curriculum may not incorporate innovative teaching methods that have proven to be effective in engaging students and promoting deeper learning. Traditional teaching approaches centered around rote memorization and passive learning are gradually being replaced by more interactive and student-centered methods. These new approaches focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and creativity – skills that are increasingly valued in today’s workforce.

Moreover, an outdated curriculum may fail to address important contemporary issues or reflect diverse perspectives. Society is constantly evolving, with new challenges emerging regularly. An up-to-date curriculum should address topics such as environmental sustainability, digital literacy, global citizenship, cultural diversity, and social justice. By neglecting these crucial aspects of education, students may be ill-prepared to navigate an ever-changing world.

The consequences of an outdated curriculum extend beyond the classroom walls. Graduates who have been educated using obsolete curriculums may face difficulties when transitioning into higher education or entering the job market. They may lack the necessary skills or knowledge required by colleges/universities or employers. This mismatch between what is taught in elementary school and the expectations of higher education and the professional world can create barriers to future success.

To address this con, it is crucial for educational policymakers, administrators, and teachers to regularly review and update curriculums. They should ensure that the content aligns with current educational standards, incorporates innovative teaching methods, and reflects the needs of a diverse and dynamic society. Professional development opportunities for teachers should also be provided to equip them with the necessary skills to implement these updated curriculums effectively.

In conclusion, an outdated curriculum is undoubtedly a con of elementary education. It can hinder students’ progress, fail to engage them effectively, overlook important contemporary issues, and create challenges in their future academic and professional pursuits. Recognizing the need for regular curriculum updates and investing in ongoing professional development for educators are essential steps towards providing a relevant and high-quality education that prepares students for success in the 21st century.

The Challenge of Large Class Sizes in Elementary Education

One of the significant challenges faced by elementary education is the issue of large class sizes. When classrooms are overcrowded, it becomes increasingly difficult for teachers to provide individual attention to each student, which can ultimately lead to lower academic achievement overall.

In an ideal educational setting, teachers strive to create a personalized learning experience for their students. They aim to understand each child’s unique strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. However, with large class sizes, this becomes a daunting task. Teachers have limited time and resources to cater to the individual needs of every student.

When classrooms are overcrowded, it becomes harder for teachers to effectively manage and engage with a diverse group of learners. Students may struggle to receive the necessary support and guidance they require in order to excel academically. Some children may find it challenging to grasp certain concepts without additional attention or clarification from their teacher.

Moreover, large class sizes can impact classroom dynamics and disrupt the learning environment. With more students competing for attention and resources, it can be challenging for teachers to maintain discipline and ensure that every student remains focused on their studies. This can lead to distractions and disruptions that hinder the overall learning experience for all students.

Additionally, large class sizes may limit opportunities for collaborative learning and interactive discussions. With limited time available during lessons, it becomes difficult for teachers to facilitate meaningful group activities or engage in individualized discussions with each student. This can hinder the development of critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and effective communication among students.

Furthermore, when teachers are overwhelmed by large class sizes, they may experience higher levels of stress and burnout. The demands of managing a large number of students can be mentally and emotionally draining. As a result, this may impact their ability to provide quality instruction and individualized support.

Addressing the issue of large class sizes requires careful consideration from educational policymakers and administrators. Investing in smaller class sizes would allow teachers to provide more individual attention to each student, fostering a more conducive learning environment. Additionally, providing teachers with adequate resources, training, and support can help them effectively manage large classes and meet the diverse needs of their students.

In conclusion, large class sizes in elementary education pose significant challenges for both teachers and students. The lack of individual attention can lead to lower academic achievement overall. It is crucial for educational institutions to address this issue by exploring strategies that promote smaller class sizes and provide teachers with the necessary support they need to create a more personalized learning experience for their students. By doing so, we can ensure that every child receives the attention and guidance they deserve to reach their full potential.

The Con of Elementary Education: Limited Extracurricular Activities

While elementary education is undeniably important, it is not without its limitations. One significant con that often arises is the limited availability of extracurricular activities. Due to budget constraints and staffing limitations, many elementary schools are unable to offer a wide range of extracurricular options such as sports teams, clubs, or after-school programs. This can have a detrimental impact on students’ development and overall well-being.

Extracurricular activities play a crucial role in a child’s education by providing opportunities for them to explore their interests, develop new skills, and foster social connections outside the traditional classroom setting. Participating in sports teams helps children stay active, learn teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship. Clubs allow students to pursue their passions and delve deeper into subjects they find intriguing. After-school programs provide a safe and supervised environment for students to engage in enriching activities.

However, when elementary schools lack the resources or personnel required to offer a variety of extracurricular activities, students may miss out on these valuable experiences. This limitation can have several consequences for their development. Firstly, it restricts their exposure to different interests and hobbies that could potentially shape their future career paths or personal passions.

Furthermore, extracurricular activities provide an avenue for students to build social skills and form friendships outside of the classroom environment. Through teamwork and collaboration in sports teams or clubs, children learn how to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts peacefully, and appreciate diverse perspectives. These interpersonal skills are vital for success in various aspects of life.

Moreover, participating in extracurricular activities has been linked to improved academic performance. Studies have shown that involvement in such activities can enhance motivation, time management skills, and overall engagement with schoolwork. By limiting access to these opportunities during elementary years when children are most receptive to learning new skills, schools may inadvertently hinder their academic growth.

Recognizing the importance of extracurricular activities, it becomes crucial for elementary schools to find innovative solutions to overcome funding and staffing limitations. Collaborations with community organizations, partnerships with local businesses, or seeking volunteer support can help expand the range of extracurricular options available to students. Additionally, schools can prioritize fundraising efforts or seek grants to secure resources specifically dedicated to extracurricular activities.

In conclusion, while elementary education is vital for academic development, the limited availability of extracurricular activities poses a significant con. Schools must strive to find ways to overcome budgetary and staffing constraints in order to provide a diverse range of opportunities for students’ holistic growth. By addressing this limitation, we can ensure that children receive a well-rounded education that nurtures their interests, fosters social connections and enhances their overall well-being.

Lack of Parental Involvement: A Hurdle in Elementary Education

Elementary education is a collaborative effort that involves not only teachers and students but also parents. However, one significant challenge that educators often face is the lack of parental involvement. When parents are not actively engaged in their child’s education at the elementary school level, it can hinder the overall learning experience and impact a child’s academic and social development.

Parental involvement plays a crucial role in supporting and guiding children through their educational journey. When parents are actively involved, they provide an additional layer of support to teachers, helping to reinforce classroom lessons at home. They can assist with homework, review assignments, and encourage regular study habits. This involvement creates a strong partnership between home and school, ensuring that students receive consistent guidance and reinforcement for their learning.

Furthermore, parental involvement goes beyond academics. It helps foster a positive school environment where students feel supported and valued. When parents participate in school activities such as parent-teacher meetings, open houses, or volunteering opportunities, it sends a powerful message to children that education is important and worthy of attention. This involvement also allows parents to understand their child’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, and challenges better – enabling them to provide tailored support accordingly.

Unfortunately, when parents are not involved in their child’s elementary education, it can have adverse effects on the student’s progress. Teachers may struggle to address individual needs effectively without insights from parents who know their child best. Additionally, without parental involvement at home, students may lack the necessary motivation or structure needed to excel academically.

Moreover, parental involvement extends beyond academics into social development. It helps create a sense of community within the school environment by fostering connections between families. When parents are involved in extracurricular activities or parent-led initiatives such as fundraisers or cultural events, they contribute to building a supportive network for both students and educators.

To address this con of elementary education, it is crucial to promote and encourage parental involvement. Schools can implement strategies to actively engage parents, such as regular communication channels, workshops on parenting techniques, or family-oriented events. Teachers can also provide resources and guidance for parents to support their child’s learning at home effectively.

Ultimately, parental involvement is a key factor in ensuring the success of elementary education. When parents actively participate in their child’s educational journey, they become valuable partners for teachers in fostering academic growth and social development. By addressing the issue of lack of parental involvement, we can enhance the overall educational experience for students and create a stronger foundation for their future success.

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Don't Forget the Early Elementary Years

Public policy too often ignores students in lower grades.

what is the importance of elementary education

Don't Forget the Early Elementary Years

Carlos Osorio | AP Photo

Third grade teacher Shannon Daniel, foreground, explains a reading lesson to Sarah Kalani, 9, left; Daniella Gama-Diaz, 8; center, and Paige Simpson, 8; at Eagle Elementary School in West Bloomfield Township, Mich., Thursday, March 9, 2006. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, all students must achieve proficiency in reading and math by 2014. Public schools must test students periodically in reading and math and report the school's overall measure of success. No students' scores can be excluded from the overall measure. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The early elementary years – from kindergarten through third grade – are particularly important ones in children's schooling. Parents and teachers know that children acquire new skills and knowledge rapidly during these years. Research shows that average annual learning gains for children in grades K-2 are dramatically greater than those for subsequent years of school. Moreover, the outcomes of early elementary education, particularly whether or not a child can read proficiently by third grade , are a powerful predictor of later school and life outcomes.

Yet you'd never know that from our current public policies, which largely ignore the early elementary years. Instead, these years occupy a sort of no-man's land between early childhood efforts and K-12 school reform efforts, which tend to focus on children in later, tested grades.

Under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, reauthorized last year as the Every Student Succeeds Act, states are required to test students annually in grades three to eight and to use student test scores to inform ratings of school performance. Testing requirements begin in third grade because the kind of standardized tests used in later grades don't work with young children, and existing assessments that are appropriate for younger kids aren't reliable enough to be used to judge school performance.

But this means that, by the time states look at how well schools are serving children, it's much too late. By third grade, low-performing schools have left many children so far behind they never catch up. Moreover, the focus on tested grades creates incentives for schools and districts to focus attention and resources (including the best teachers ) on later grades, even though focusing on the early grades might lead to better long-term results.

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what is the importance of elementary education

This lack of attention to the early grades is particularly at odds with the growing public and policymaker recognition of the importance of early childhood education. However, most early childhood efforts focus on improving children's learning before they get to school, ignoring the early grades. To be sure, improving children's school readiness can lead to better early elementary results. But maximizing the benefit of preschool gains requires changes in how early elementary teachers teach, to build on what children learned in preschool rather than making up for what they missed, and to bring elementary teaching approaches more in line with how young children learn best. Neither current early childhood initiatives nor K-12 accountability systems create incentives for school leaders to focus on improving early grades teaching.

The No Child Left Behind Act, the current education law's predecessor, did balance the emphasis on tested grades in K-12 accountability systems by creating a $1 billion program focused on improving the quality of K-3 literacy instruction. Although the program, Reading First, was far from perfect, it encouraged states, districts and schools to pay more attention to the early grades, and evidence suggests that Reading First improved the quality of early reading instruction. But the program was defunded late in the 2000s, due to a combination of political factors (Democrats didn't like the signature Bush administration program) and a deeply flawed evaluation that produced disappointing results. The Every Student Succeeds Act includes no similar focus on K-3 students.

Yet even as the Every Student Succeeds Act codifies federal inattention to the early elementary years, it creates new opportunities for states to pay more attention to them. Under the law, states have much more flexibility in how they design school accountability systems, including additional measures of "school quality or student success" along with test scores, to measure school performance. Earlier this year, the Ounce of Prevention's Elliott Regenstein authored a paper arguing that new state accountability systems should pay much more attention to how schools serve children in grades preschool-3. He proposed including a measure of instructional quality as the "non-academic" indicator in state accountability systems, selecting instructional quality measures that can be used in both grades K-2 and later grades, and disaggregating instructional quality measures across grades. This approach would ensure that information about grades K-2 is included in state accountability systems. Giving K-2 instructional quality independent weight in these systems would also push school, district and state leaders to focus specifically on the quality of children's learning experiences in the early elementary grades. In a recent Bellwether Education Partners paper , my colleague Chad Aldeman argues for including grades K-2 through holistic, on-site school quality reviews that could be incorporated into state accountability systems.

Higher Standards for Head Start

Sara Mead Sept. 22, 2016

WOODBOURNE, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Teacher Denise Severing congratulates a child during a math lesson at the federally-funded Head Start school on September 20, 2012 in Woodbourne, New York. The school provides early education, nutrition and health services to 311 children from birth through age 5 from low-income families in Sullivan County, one of the poorest counties in the state of New York. The county Head Start Program was expanded with a $1 million grant from President Obama's 2009 stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Head Start, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the longest-running early education program for children of low-income families in the United States.

To be clear, neither Aldeman nor Regenstein is proposing that states extend the kind of test-based accountability used in later grades into the early elementary years. That's both a bad idea given the inherent difficulties in testing young children (and weaknesses of existing assessment tools), and a political non-starter in the current anti-testing climate. Instead, Aldeman argues that, while tests should continue to remain a central indicator in school accountability systems, they should no longer be the only, or even the primary, measure. Rather, rigorous assessments of the quality of a school's instructional program, as measured by trained, objective reviewers, should be the final arbiter of school performance. That's a big shift from current accountability systems, but it has a lot of potential benefits: It would be fairer than current systems that judge schools primarily based on student test scores, and it would provide useful feedback to help schools improve.

The problem, of course, is that while the Every Student Succeeds Act creates the flexibility for states to design systems in this way, it doesn't create any incentive for them to do so. And creating accountability systems that take early grade quality into account will require both more intentional design and likely more resources – a hard sell for state policymakers dealing with reform fatigue and limited budgets. But, just as helping kids succeed in the early grades can reduce costs for future remediation later, putting in the time and effort to get K-2 accountability right now will put states on a better path toward improving long-term student outcomes.

Tags: education , education policy , K-12 education , elementary school , Every Student Succeeds Act

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Kid Spark Education Blog

The what, why, and how of stem in elementary education.

Mary-Eileen Gallagher

If you’re like a lot of general education teachers, you've heard a lot about STEM education lately. Maybe you've been asked by your K-5 principal to be the school's STEM teacher but aren't sure exactly where to start, or you're just looking for ways to incorporate it into your classroom curriculum.

Here at Kid Spark Education, we’re passionate about science, technology, engineering, and math.  We also understand the challenges educators face in implementing STEM curriculum. Whether it’s a lack of resources and funding, the need for more training, or uncertainty about where to start, we know where you’re coming from as a teacher and we’re here to help.

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to take the guesswork out of STEM and give you the confidence and tools to get started today. 

In this article we’ll cover:

What is STEM?

Why is stem education important, 3 things students need to be successful in stem, an ideal stem curriculum, stuctures to support stem learning, 10 simple stem activities for elementary students, how stem supports a growth mindset, 6 ways to fund stem activities and stem programs.

If you have questions after reading this guide, don’t hesitate to connect with us . Now let’s get started!

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But don’t let this basic definition lead you to think that STEM is about teaching these subjects separately and in isolation from one another. Instead, think of STEM as an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to learning. It engages students in meaningful and collaborative work that mirrors real life. Through the integration of science, technology, engineering, and math, students learn to look at the world with curiosity, think critically, and apply practical knowledge to solve problems. These are 21st century skills that will serve all students well in their academic and professional lives.

STEM moves beyond the basic levels of remembering and understanding in Bloom’s Taxonomy (revised) to engage students in higher forms of thinking such as analyzing , synthesizing , evaluating , and creating . STEM also helps bridge the gap between school, the workplace and the broader economy by highlighting the kinds of problems people are paid to solve every day.

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Let’s take a closer look at each discipline in STEM and explore how they’re connected.

Science is the study of the physical and natural world . It includes basic facts about the world as well as the process for discovering new things through the scientific method. At the heart of science is evidence and empiricism. Through observation and experimentation, scientists test their hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and refine theories. They use evidence to explain natural phenomena and understand the physical world.

Scientists study a broad range of things including weather and climate, animal behavior in the wild, micro-organisms and cells, how the human body works, and where diseases come from.

When you hear the word technology, you likely think of computers, iPads, and touchscreens. But these are just examples of technology, and very modern examples at that. So, what exactly is technology?

Although technology comes in many forms, its main purpose is to create tools that reduce effort, save time, and increase comfort and efficiency . Once a problem is identified, a person uses their understanding of the natural world, based on science, to design and a create a solution through engineering, which requires math. This requires keen observation, many rounds of experimentation, and an understanding of underlying scientific and engineering principles; the ability to apply math and abstract reasoning is crucial to this process.

As you can see, these disciplines are intimately connected.

Examples of major technological breakthroughs in human history include the wheel, the printing press, the steam engine, the lightbulb, the automobile, and the airplane. A classroom also holds many examples of technology. From scissors and glue, to Unifix cubes and sit spots, ordinary classroom materials solve problems for teachers and students every day.

Things we often take for granted, like alarm clocks, forks, velcro, and windshield wipers, are all examples of technology. How do you use technology to solve your biggest challenges throughout the day?

Engineering

Engineering is the process of designing and building technology (tools, systems, and processes) that solve a problem. Engineering comes from the Latin words ingenium, which means cleverness, and ingeniare, which means to design or devise. Engineers are practical problem solvers concerned with form and function. They focus their design cleverness on how a machine, tool, or structure can be created or made more efficient and reliable. Engineers rely heavily on science and math to ensure that a tool will work as it is intended. For example, an architect might propose constructing a building made out of new materials invented by scientists. An engineer’s task is to figure out how to build the structure to last and function properly in all conditions.

Scientists and engineers are similar, but they differ in a few important ways: 

While science is focused on understanding and explaining the natural world, engineering takes this understanding and uses it to improve human technology. Like scientists, engineers test designs and collect and analyze evidence. However, they are interested in modifying designs in order to improve performance, rather than refining theories.

Examples of engineering achievements in human history include the pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Roman aqueducts, farm irrigation, and central heating.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), created in 2013 to elevate and standardize science education in the United States, emphasize the importance of providing students with a solid foundation in engineering so that they will be able to participate in solving the societal and environmental challenges of the future.

Math is an integral part of science, technology, and engineering, as well as an important subject in its own right. We often reduce our definition of math to the basics of arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and consider speed at these calculations to mean a person is good at math. But math involves far more than this. A deep conceptual understanding, not speed of calculation, is the mark of a mathematician.

When students participate in a high-quality math program, they develop logical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Through rigorous math practice, students gain important executive function skills such as flexible thinking, self-regulation, and sustained focus.

For students to be successful in math they need more than basic procedural fluency. The Common Core’s eight mathematical practices demonstrate the dynamic ways students need to understand and apply mathematics:

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  • Model with mathematics.
  • Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • Attend to precision.
  • Look for and make use of structure.
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Scientists and engineers rely on excellent math skills and a strong math mindset in order to follow logical steps, persevere in problem-solving, communicate arguments clearly, and think outside the box for unique and creative solutions. 

Being skilled in math is required in professions such as accounting, financial planning, building, plumbing, and nursing.

Why is STEM important?

STEM is important because through the integration of science, technology, engineering, and math, students develop a unique perspective about the world. STEM thinkers explore the world with curiosity, seek to understand how and why things work, and design technological solutions to improve our everyday lives.

STEM education also builds what are commonly referred to as 21 st century skills and include the following:

  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Technology Literacy
  • Flexibility

Focusing on memorization and rote learning is no longer a viable way to provide instruction because the world no longer relies on workers who are trained in only one area. Today’s workforce needs to be able to learn any number of new things in order to keep pace with our rapidly changing world.

It’s important to remember that teaching STEM is not just about preparing students for careers in STEM. We don’t teach writing so that all students will become professional writers, and we don’t teach reading so that all students will become literature professors.

Similarly, we don’t teach STEM so that all students will become scientists and engineers. We teach STEM so that students will learn how to learn and lead productive adult lives in any field they choose. The future is unpredictable, but education experts, business leaders, and policy makers agree that STEM equips students with the 21 st century skills needed to be successful and productive members of society, regardless of their career choice.

The 3 things students need to be successful in STEM

Students need a STEM identity, technology fluency, and STEM mentors in order to be successful in STEM education.

#1: A STEM identity

A STEM identity simply means that students see themselves as being capable and successful in learning and understanding science, technology, engineering, and math. To develop a STEM identity, it’s important for students to engage in STEM as early and often as possible. Children’s brains develop most substantially when they are young. Increasingly, research tells us that introducing STEM early in a child’s education can have positive long-term effects on students’ interest and achievement in STEM—in other words, when children engage in STEM early and often, they’re much more likely to develop a STEM identity.

Typically, formal STEM education begins in middle school or high school. Unfortunately, this is too late. In fact, research tells us that if children haven’t developed a STEM identity by 3 rd or 4 th grade, they’re more likely to opt out of STEM later in life. When children haven’t developed the foundational STEM fluencies needed to succeed, such as the ability to decode symbolic language, problem-solving in three dimensions, and analyzing data for patterns, they’re unprepared for STEM studies in high school and lack the confidence needed to pursue STEM subjects they see as challenging. The result is that an insufficient number of students choose STEM majors in college and go on to pursue STEM careers.

Imagine what it would be like if we didn’t start teaching reading and writing until middle school or high school. No one would ever suggest this as a best teaching practice. But why do we accept it when it comes to STEM education?

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A common misconception that leads to delayed STEM education is the belief that young children are just not capable of participating in complex STEM topics. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Young children often engage in complex scientific and engineering practices, but at their own developmentally appropriate level. Children are naturally curious and intentionally explore their environments in a rigorous and scientific way. Children readily make observations, test out hypotheses, collect and interpret data, and make conjectures.

For example, when babies repeatedly drop objects from their high chairs, they are engaging in the scientific method. When they devise ways to escape their cribs, they are engineering and authoring with technology in order to solve a problem. Similarly, preschoolers who build elaborate forts and play in the sand box engage in multifaceted STEM practices appropriate for their age group.

Developing students’ STEM identity is about naming the STEM practices they already do naturally, teaching them how to apply their knowledge and skills across different disciplines, and giving them hands-on experiences and mentoring to explore new STEM concepts.

#2: Technology fluency

When students possess technology fluency, it means they have the confidence and skill to creatively author with technology to solve real-word problems. Technology fluency is connected to the development of specific capacities, like the practice of rigorous arithmetic, the ability to measure and use ratios, and the development of computational thinking and coding fluencies.

Developing technology fluency is similar to learning a foreign language in that it takes time and practice to build proficiency. To be fluent in a foreign language requires knowledge of diverse parts of speech, and the ability to put them together to communicate ideas. In the same way, technology fluency requires the application of science, technology, engineering, and math skills to create technological solutions. Students with technology fluency will persevere in the face of challenges and seek out creative ways to solve problems.

Technology fluency boosts a student’s STEM identity and leads to increased confidence and proficiency in STEM. Technology fluency is developed through numerous experiences in STEM, hence the importance of starting STEM education early. It’s only through hands-on experiences, multiple failures and successes, and targeted support that students develop technology fluency and a STEM identity.

#3: STEM mentors

While all children are natural designers and explorers, they need to learn to think like scientists and engineers. That’s why your role as a teacher is so important.

Many teachers report feeling nervous about teaching STEM because they don’t feel confident in their own STEM abilities. Unfortunately, this fear holds many educators back from teaching STEM. The good news is that you don’t need to be a STEM expert to successfully teach STEM and foster your students’ STEM identities.

Instead of thinking that you need to be a STEM specialist, consider your role as being a STEM mentor. Your job is not to have all the right answers, but rather to ask the kind of questions that deepen students’ thinking and provide lots of hands-on STEM opportunities.

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Your attitude and beliefs about STEM can affect how your students think about STEM and the identity they develop. Ultimately, this means you have the opportunity to be the STEM teacher you may never have had in school and to give your students STEM experiences that could potentially inspire a lifelong passion. It’s a gift you can give to your students and to yourself.

Modeling curiosity, encouraging students to embrace challenges, and asking open-ended questions are some of the ways you can support students in STEM.

When a child says, “ Look at my tower. Do you like it?” here are five ways you can respond to support a STEM identity and build 21 st century skills:

  • “Can you tell me exactly how you made it?”  Asking students to articulate their process step by step builds communication and logical thinking skills
  • “ What do you think would happen if…?”   Encourages students to apply their current knowledge to an unknown situation based on evidence and experience.
  • “What was the hardest part? What did you do to overcome it?”  By reflecting on a challenge and how they solved it, students develop confidence and see themselves as problem-solving engineers.
  • “Can you draw and label a picture of your creation so we can hang it up for others to see and learn from?”  Highlights the community aspect of STEM and develops the skill of drawing a model to communicate an idea. 
  • “What advice would you give to a friend who wanted to build this?”  Challenges students to synthesize information, evaluate the most important aspects, and communicate clearly. If you ask students to write down their advice, this integrates STEM and writing, thereby building critical thinking and communication skills across disciplines.

Students don’t need to learn STEM from expert scientists or engineers any more than children need their swim instructor to be an Olympic gold medalist. Children need to learn STEM from the people who nurture them and know them well—their beloved teachers.

Although teaching STEM is an important responsibility that could potentially feel overwhelming, you act as a STEM mentor when you demonstrate enthusiasm and believe in the ability of young children to engage in challenging STEM work. Many programs like Kid Spark Education provide you with the curriculum, materials, and training you need to be an amazing STEM mentor without a specialized STEM background. You can do it!

We’ve established that it’s important for students to engage in STEM early and often. Yet, how we engage students in STEM matters greatly.

If we want students to develop a STEM identity and technology fluency, then we need to provide STEM instruction that is comprehensive, systematic, and consistent throughout their time in school. Participating in one or two brief STEM activities a semester will certainly be fun for students but is unlikely to prepare them for rigorous STEM study in the future or lead to a strong STEM identity.

To understand why comprehensive STEM curriculum is so important, think about the structures and strategies that are currently used to teach the core subjects of reading, writing, and math.

For these subjects, students practice on a daily basis, are taught through an incremental process of learning and mastering content, and are provided with the necessary differentiation techniques to meet their individual needs.

Here is something to consider: A teacher would never teach three random writing lessons throughout the year and claim that she had adequately prepared students for writing at grade level. Similarly, a teacher would never create a curriculum calendar that only taught math when she had "extra" time to fill. Though we would never do this for the core subjects, this is frequently the approach for STEM.

Disjointed and infrequent STEM lessons will do little to equip students with a strong STEM identity and the passion to pursue STEM studies. To have a deep and lasting impact, STEM education needs a more serious approach. Students need STEM lessons that build upon each other, target their proximal zone of development, and develop foundational STEM skills.

We understand that not all teachers and schools have access to the type of comprehensive STEM curriculum that we advocate for and provide here at Kid Spark Education. We also understand that not all teachers have access to materials like Kid Spark’s Mobile STEM Labs which offer a wide selection of robust and reusable engineering materials that support students across multiple grade levels and content year after year.

But should you hold back from teaching STEM because you don’t already have an all-inclusive STEM curriculum prepared? Far from it! There are many resources and STEM activities for elementary and middle school available on the internet to get you started in preparing the next generation of STEM learners.

Structures to support STEM learning

There are two structures you can use to introduce STEM projects to your students. There is convergent to divergent learning and the engineering design process. Here’s an overview of each one.  

Convergent to Divergent Learning

When people talk about STEM, they often use terms such as “open-ended,” and “project-based.” You rarely hear STEM described as direct instruction. However, step-by-step explicit instruction is an important part of STEM education for kids. We call this convergent learning.

Convergent learning is when all students study the same material, build the same model, and arrive at the same conclusion . For example, all students could follow instructions to build a hammer with given materials. Through building a hammer, students learn the foundational STEM concept of how to make something strong by using a brace. Convergent learning ensures that all students gain foundational knowledge and experience success.

Once students are familiar with the basic concept, they are ready for divergent learning. In divergent learning, students apply what they have learned through a design challenge that has many possible solutions.

For example, after building a small bridge through convergent learning, students could be tasked to build a bridge that spans a long distance and will support the weight of several cars. Through this challenge, students will use their knowledge of how to make things strong and could come up with any number of successful bridge designs that meet the criteria.

Starting with convergent learning and progressing to divergent learning is a helpful teaching strategy that ensures students gain mastery of key STEM concepts. It gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a way that builds problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Convergent learning is an important equalizer in the STEM classroom. As you know, some students come to school with more background knowledge and fluency in STEM, while others have little or no experience.

Explicitly teaching STEM concepts through convergent to divergent learning ensures that all students gain foundational knowledge and can participate on an equal playing field.

As you plan and design STEM activities for your kids, think about how you might use convergent learning to build skills and divergent learning to show mastery and application. Students need lots of experiences in convergent and divergent learning in order to develop a STEM identity and technology fluency.

The Engineering Design Process

In case you haven’t heard of the engineering design process, we want to take a moment to define and describe it for you. It’s a great way to structure STEM activities in your classroom and it teaches students how real engineers identify and solve problems. Through step-by-step process, engineers design, build, test, and refine their solutions.

The engineering design process has five basic steps:

Step 1: Identify the challenge

Define and understand the problem and ask questions to understand it better. The problem can be presented by the teacher to the students, or the students can identify the problem themselves.

Step 2: Brainstorm solutions

Next, imagine solutions and brainstorm ideas, even ones that seem impossible.

Step 3: Prototype

Select one idea and create a plan. The plan can include drawing a model, collecting materials, and thinking about how to design the solution. Then create a prototype (a model) from that plan so you can test it out.

Step 4: Test and improve

Try it out! Does your plan work? Analyze and evaluate the test results. Based on the test results, improve the design to make it more successful. Test it again and again and make improvements.

Step 5: Explain the design

An important part to designing & engineering new things is the ability to demonstrate and explain to others how a design works. This is also a chance to revisit why certain design features have been included and to confirm the ways that your design helps solve the original problem.

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Children naturally engage in the engineering design process. Take the block center as an example. Think about the importance of block play in early childhood and how children use the engineering design process.

You can help to more intentionally use the engineering and design process to introduce and structure STEM activities for kids in your classroom.

For example, you can gather your students together and present a problem. As a class, you can brainstorm solutions. Individually or in groups, students can choose a plan, draw a model, gather materials, and articulate their plan. You’ll want to provide lots of time for students to build their designs.

Once everyone has built their designs, you can gather together to test the designs. Testing as a whole group will enable students to learn from each other’s successes and failures. Have students reflect on the testing process, analyze their results, and brainstorm ways to improve their designs. And then the process repeats itself with more time to build and re-design.

Here are 9 engaging engineering activities to try with your students. As you read through these ideas, think about how you might incorporate convergent and divergent learning and the engineering design process. These are general ideas and we know you will use the materials and resources you have on hand and adapt them to meet the unique needs of your students. 

#1: Nature walk

Taking your class on a nature walk is a wonderful way to introduce your students to STEM. Think of nature as a huge laboratory where students can practice being scientists by making careful observations and asking questions. You can bring materials such as magnifying glasses, digging tools, paper and crayons for bark rubbings, a camera, binoculars, and nature journals.

Students will also enjoy creating their own pair of binoculars using tape, toilet paper rolls, and string. Although it won’t actually magnify anything, it will help focus students’ attention on nature and build their STEM identity.

If you survey the habitat before visiting with students, you can create a nature scavenger hunt for students to participate in. And don’t forget that humans aren’t the only engineers on this planet—animals are engineers too! Invite students to look for ways that animals design solutions to solve their problems of finding food, avoiding predators, seeking shelter, rearing young. 

When you return to class, students can record their observations, make scientific drawings, and write down questions. You can bind into a class book for students to look through.

Nature walks are also a great addition to your preschool STEM curriculum.

#2: Engineering with fairytales

Classic fairytales such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, and Rapunzel can be used to introduce STEM and the engineering design process.

Let’s use Goldilocks and the Three Bears as an example. After reading the story, present the problem to students—Goldilocks broke Baby Bear’s chair and Baby Bear won’t stop crying until he gets a new chair. Tell students that their engineering design challenge is to build a new chair for Baby Bear that is comfortable, strong, and the right size. You can use Kid Spark materials for this or materials you may already have on hand in your classroom.

After brainstorming ideas, students can choose one idea and create a plan. Students can draw a model of their idea and describe it to a partner. Then give students a variety of materials to use and time to build. To test the chairs’ strength, students can stack pennies or weights on their chairs to see how much it can hold. Based on the results, students can make adjustments and improve their design.

With so many fairytales to choose from, you could create a fairytale STEM challenge once a month and engage your students in fun STEM learning. Fairytales make great stem activities for kindergarten and first grade because of the interdisciplinary connections to literacy. 

#3: Paper airplane challenge

Making paper airplanes is another great activity that engages students in the engineering design process. You can use convergent learning to show students a few different foundational folding techniques and divergent learning to setup different design challenges such as longest flight, highest peak, and loop-the-loops.

Provide students with a chart to record the results and distances of each throw to integrate science and math. Adding paper airplanes to your elementary STEM curriculum will get students excited and interested in STEM.

#4: Engineering with index cards

This is an inexpensive activity that engages students in collaboration and problem solving. And all you need are 3 x 5 index cards. Students will work in groups of four and each group needs at least 100 index cards.

Share these three simple rules with students:

  • Work together to build anything you’d like.
  • Fold each card only once.
  • Talking is not allowed.

Give students ample time to build and work together. Students will use folded cards and flat cards to build creative structures. They will be challenged to communicate without talking.

At the end, invite students to reflect on the challenges and share their strategies for success. This is a great STEM activity to try at the beginning of the year to build community and teamwork.

#5: Egg drop STEM challenge

In the egg drop challenge, students design a container that will prevent a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a designated height. Students of all ages love this challenge, including watching numerous eggs explode in the process.

Through this project, students learn to see failure as just a step in the engineering design process. Students learn from failure, modify their designs based on tests, and find effective ways to keep the egg safe. It also works as a middle school STEM activity.

#6: World famous architecture in the block center

Through block play, children learn STEM concepts related to shape, size, weight, and location. They discover and repeat patterns, which is a math skill, and build engineering knowledge about structure, proportionality, and balance. While it is essential that students have time to self-initiate their own projects at the block center, you can also provide fun STEM challenges. Print out color photographs of famous architectural structures from around the world such as the Empire State Building, Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Pantheon, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Students can use these photographs to inspire their own building designs and experience the challenges real engineers and architects face. The importance of block play in early childhood cannot be overemphasized as students learn many foundational STEM concepts.

#7: STEM challenges with stuffies

If you want students to absolutely fall in love with STEM, invite students to bring their favorite stuffie (stuffed animal) to school.

During Stuffie STEM Week, provide students with various STEM challenges relating to Stuffie management and care. Here are three Stuffie-inspired STEM challenges to help get you started.

  • Your stuffie has to spend the night at school this week. Build a bed for your Stuffie so it can sleep in the classroom.
  • Oh no! Your stuffie climbed to the top of the cabinet and is too scared to climb back down. Design a solution to get your stuffie back on the ground safely.
  • Your stuffie hasn’t been sleeping very well at night because one of the stuffies snores very loudly. Design a solution so your stuffie can get a peaceful night’s sleep.

You can use Kid Spark materials for this or materials you may already have on hand in your classroom.

#8: The tallest structure challenge

Students love building tall things, especially if they can build it taller than themselves! For this STEM challenge, divide students into groups of 2-4 and give each group a bag full of materials, either from Kid Spark Mobile STEM Labs or materials such as toilet paper rolls, cups, paper plates, straws, and balloons. The challenge is for each group to create the tallest free-standing tower possible.

#9: Students design their own STEM challenges

  You can have students complete the entire engineering design process from start to finish on their own by identifying a problem that is meaningful to them from their own lives. Examples might be designing a way to keep their crayons organized or a device that prevents their cat from scratching them.

Once students have identified a problem, lead them through the engineering design process to arrive at a solution. At the end, you can turn your classroom into an “Invention Museum” and invite parents and other classes to come check out students’ STEM work.

STEM activities like the ones listed above as well as the ones you find in Kid Spark’s curriculum are a great way to teach students to have a growth mindset. In case you are not familiar with this term, growth mindset is the belief that we can develop our talent and abilities through hard work, learning from failure, and help from others. In contrast, fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence, talent, and ability are fixed traits that cannot be improved upon. These concepts were developed by Carol Dweck, researcher and professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

STEM is a great way to teach students about having a growth mindset because making mistakes are part of the engineering design process. When students understand that STEM is supposed to be challenging and that failure is something to learn from, they will work hard, persevere, and try new strategies when things don’t go as planned.

6 ways to fund your STEM activities

Often, educators need to find additional funds to start their STEM programs. Here are six ways you can raise money to start a STEM program for kids in your classroom or school.

#1: Donors Choose

Donors Choose is a nonprofit website that allows public school teachers to post projects and receive funding for materials, supplies, and technology from donors around the world. As a classroom teacher, you can write a proposal for a particular elementary STEM curriculum, middle school STEM curriculum, or specific STEM supplies. If you've never written a grant before, or just want some help, check out our article on writing grants for STEM.

#2: Business donations

Consider reaching out to STEM-related businesses in your local community and directly asking for donations to fund STEM activities for your classroom. You can also invite employees of these companies to come and speak to your students about their STEM careers.

#3: Attend a STEM Meet Up

Meet Up is an online platform used to organize in-person events for people with shared interests. You can find STEM-related groups on Meet Up and attend their events in order to network with STEM professionals and solicit donations and support for your STEM activities.

#4: School fundraiser

Talk to you principal or Parent Teacher Organization about holding a school fundraiser to support purchasing new STEM curriculum.

#5: Reach out to the families in your class

If you want free STEM materials, ask the families in your class to save recyclables such as toilet paper rolls, food containers, caps and lids, small cardboard boxes, and anything else they would normally recycle. Your students will love using these materials for any of the 10 simple STEM activities we shared.

#6: STEM education grants

There are a lot of grants out there that can support your work. Kid Spark Education offers a matching grant to educational institutions to help acquire a Kid Spark program. Grants range from $100-500 and can be used for the initial purchase of a Kid Spark program. Apply today and see how we can help you grow your STEM capabilities!

Go forth and teach STEM!

We know that teaching STEM can feel daunting at first. But we also know that with a little effort and support, it can easily and quickly become one of the most rewarding and enjoyable parts of your job. Through STEM, students build confidence as creators and innovators and learn how to be successful and flexible in our increasingly complex world. None of this would be possible without you, the teacher, leading the way.

We honor the work you do every day as a teacher and we want to empower you to teach and enjoy STEM education. We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with STEM in the comments below.

References:

Duncan, G., Dowsett, C., Classens, A., Magnuson, K., Huston, A., Klebanov, P., Pagani, L., Feinstein, L., Engel, Brooks-Gunn, J., Sexton, H., Duckworth, K and Japel, C. (2007). School Readiness and Later Achievement. Developmental Psychology , 43, 1428-1446.

Topics: STEM mentors , STEM Activities , Elementary STEM Education , STEM Education

Mary-Eileen Gallagher

Written By Mary-Eileen Gallagher

Mary-Eileen Gallagher is a Bay Area educator with extensive teaching experience in grades K-5.

Would you like to receive more information about starting a Kid Spark STEM program for your students? 

Go beyond the buzzword with kid spark..

At Kid Spark Education, STEM isn't a buzzword: it's a powerful way to nurture students' natural curiosity; build confidence and skills in science, technology, engineering, and math; and foster abilities in collaboration, problem-solving, and communication. You, their teachers, are our most important partner in achieving our mission of preparing all children for a lifetime of learning about science and technology. The Kid Spark Blog is written by educators, for educators to be a resource in your toolbox so you can feel confident and capable in teaching STEM to your elementary students. 

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  • Our Mission
  • Why Is Assessment Important?

Asking students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter is critical to the learning process; it is essential to evaluate whether the educational goals and standards of the lessons are being met.

Assessment is an integral part of instruction, as it determines whether or not the goals of education are being met. Assessment affects decisions about grades, placement, advancement, instructional needs, curriculum, and, in some cases, funding. Assessment inspire us to ask these hard questions: "Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?" "Are students learning what they are supposed to be learning?" "Is there a way to teach the subject better, thereby promoting better learning?"

Today's students need to know not only the basic reading and arithmetic skills, but also skills that will allow them to face a world that is continually changing. They must be able to think critically, to analyze, and to make inferences. Changes in the skills base and knowledge our students need require new learning goals; these new learning goals change the relationship between assessment and instruction. Teachers need to take an active role in making decisions about the purpose of assessment and the content that is being assessed.

what is the importance of elementary education

Grant Wiggins, a nationally recognized assessment expert, shared his thoughts on performance assessments, standardized tests, and more in an Edutopia.org interview . Read his answers to the following questions from the interview and reflect on his ideas:

  • What distinction do you make between 'testing' and 'assessment'?
  • Why is it important that teachers consider assessment before they begin planning lessons or projects?
  • Standardized tests, such as the SAT, are used by schools as a predictor of a student's future success. Is this a valid use of these tests?

Do you agree with his statements? Why or why not? Discuss your opinions with your peers.

When assessment works best, it does the following:

  • What is the student's knowledge base?
  • What is the student's performance base?
  • What are the student's needs?
  • What has to be taught?
  • What performance demonstrates understanding?
  • What performance demonstrates knowledge?
  • What performance demonstrates mastery?
  • How is the student doing?
  • What teaching methods or approaches are most effective?
  • What changes or modifications to a lesson are needed to help the student?
  • What has the student learned?
  • Can the student talk about the new knowledge?
  • Can the student demonstrate and use the new skills in other projects?
  • Now that I'm in charge of my learning, how am I doing?
  • Now that I know how I'm doing, how can I do better?
  • What else would I like to learn?
  • What is working for the students?
  • What can I do to help the students more?
  • In what direction should we go next?

Continue to the next section of the guide, Types of Assessment .

This guide is organized into six sections:

  • Introduction
  • Types of Assessment
  • How Do Rubrics Help?
  • Workshop Activities
  • Resources for Assessment

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  • Education /

Elementary Education and Its Importance

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  • Updated on  
  • Feb 9, 2022

Elementary Education

Also referred to as primary schools, elementary educational institutes aim to establish the foundation of every child’s educational journey. As it commonly begins at the age of four or five years, a kid has only learned things from their family as well as in kindergarten by then. But the official start to quality education comes at the elementary stage where teachers are equipped with the responsibility of helping the little ones in the growth of social, cultural, physical, emotional and cognitive skills as per the best of their abilities. Through this blog, we aim to understand the importance of elementary education in a child’s life as well as their academic journey.

This Blog Includes:

Varied systems around the world, understanding the importance of elementary education, how does it contribute to secondary & tertiary education, emerging role of educational technology in elementary education.

Since every country has its own education system, the approach to elementary education varies. In the current education system in India , elementary or primary education begins at the age of 6 till 14 and is classified into two stages, i.e. Lower Primary (Class I to IV) and Upper Primary (Class V to VIII). While in the UK education system , kids start their elementary school at the age of 5 and complete it after 6 years, i.e. when they turn 11. On the other hand, in Finland, which has been credited amongst the best education system in the world , primary education wholly and compulsorily constitutes a total of 9 years. The elementary schools there have classes of smaller sizes to help teachers concentrate on each child in a better way. Comparing the different approaches to elementary education across the globe, the crucial focus is laid on planting the seeds of curiosity amongst the little ones and designing learning curriculums in a way that they are enjoyable and proficient and further nurture a persistent desire towards knowledge. Interested in understanding the education systems throughout the world? Check out these blogs:

  • Chinese Education System
  • South Korean Education System
  • Australian Education System
  • French Education System
  • Canada Education System

Check Out: Importance of Education in Life

When it comes to finding the answers to ‘ what is education ’, it is essential to understand that it is not just about achieving a particular qualification that will add to your academic journey. Human beings are gifted with an innate strive to gain knowledge and perhaps that’s what led to the concept of education. The Buddhist education system actually sums up the essential aims of education as it focuses on ensuring the moral, intellectual and spiritual growth of an individual in order to assist them in achieving a state of ultimate wisdom and equality. Since elementary education is often the first step of their academic journey, it holds the potential to equip them with healthy attitudes as well as moral values. Further, the basic knowledge of varied academic disciplines is also provided during this phase so to ensure that the students immerse in a wholesome experience.

Moreover, comprehending the importance of elementary education, it is essential is to make it compulsory and to ensure that it emphasizes a fun learning process for children which is why elementary schools often implement a flexible grading system. Finding creative approaches towards learning is also pivotal, be it through puppetry , audio & video tools or visual stimulation.

Also Read: Top Educational Quotes to Keep You Motivated

As it puts the basis of the educational journey of students, elementary education is an incremental step towards the next stages of the pedagogy. Generally, in primary school, students start with learning, reading, writing as well as mathematics at the stage of Lower Primary. Then, moving further, when they reach upper primary, they get to study different disciplines such as Social Studies and Science as well as practical ones like Music, Crafts, Physical Education, amongst others. So, without earning writing and reading skills, one won’t be able to comprehend the advanced disciplines in the latter stage of elementary education. Moving on to the secondary phase, one gets to focus on the advanced facets of the basic academic disciplines like Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, etc. Then, they are given the choice of studying subjects like that in the Commerce stream , Science stream , Arts stream, etc at the higher secondary which further delineates their tertiary education .

Don’t Miss: Is It a Good Idea to Consult an Educational Counsellor?

As the world has engrossed itself in the digital advancements, there are many implications that have been brought by technology changing the face of education . Elementary school kids can be made aware of the pros of digital devices in the early-learning environment which can further help them use it consciously in the latter stages. Further, modern education needs to be a balanced mix of traditional and latest technologies in order to facilitate an interactive learning environment. Using smart devices, be it mobile phones or tablets, young kids will get the chance to learn about the basic disciplines in an interactive manner. This has also led to the emergence of many educational applications such as the virtual classroom app called ClassDojo ; Spelling Stage for brushing up their English vocabulary; Quick Maths for strengthening their Math basics, amongst others.

The initial phase of formal education is elementary education. It lasts six years (grades 1-6) and is free and required for children aged six to eleven. Grade 7 is an optional extended elementary level offered by a few prestigious private institutions.

In India, elementary or primary education lasts eight years. The primary stage, grades I–V, and upper primary stage, grades VI–VIII, are completed by students between the ages of 6 and 14.

Elementary schools are known as elementary schools, middle schools are known as middle schools, and secondary schools are known as high schools.

Hence, we hope that this blog has helped you understand what elementary education entails and the role it plays in an individual’s educational quest. Similarly, we at Leverage Edu strive to help you sail further in your academic and professional journey by providing you with the right guidance in choosing the degree and university that aligns with your professional goals. If you have been struggling with choosing a suitable course at the conclusion of your schooling, sign up for a 30-minute free career counselling session with our experts and we will help you make an informed decision that can bring you closer to your dream career!

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Top 10 Reasons Why Is Education Important

Updated: February 1, 2024

Published: April 15, 2020

Top-10-Reasons-Why-Is-Education-Important

Most of us have grown up being taught the importance of education. But why is education important? Through your frustrating school years, you may have thought that it was a waste of time, or was just something that you needed to do in order to get a job. Truth be told, however, education goes so much beyond just getting a job and making your parents happy. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful tools out there.

What Is Education?

Education means studying in order to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of a variety of subjects to be applied to daily life. Education is not limited to just knowledge from books, but can also be obtained through practical experiences outside of the classroom.

Top 10 Reasons: Why Is Education Important?

There are many different understandings and definitions of what education is, but one thing can be universally agreed upon, which is the importance of education — and here’s why.

1. Provides Stability

Education provides stability in life, and it’s something that no one can ever take away from you. By being well-educated and holding a college degree , you increase your chances for better career opportunities and open up new doors for yourself.

2. Provides Financial Security

On top of stability, education also provides financial security, especially in today’s society. A good education tends to lead to a higher paying job, as well as provide you with the skills needed to get there. Educated and well-informed individuals also know how to use money-saving tactics. They are more likely to use coupon websites like EMUCoupon while shopping online to save their hard-earned money.

3. Needed For Equality

In order for the entire world to really become equal, it needs to start with education. If everyone was provided with the same opportunities to education , then there would be less gaps between social classes. Everyone would be able to have an equal chance at higher paying jobs — not just those that are already well-off.

4. Allows For Self-Dependency

The importance of education is evident when it comes to being self-dependent. If we are we educated, then it’s something that belongs to us, and only us, allowing us to rely on no one else other than ourselves. It can allow you to not only be financially independent, but also to make your own choices.

5. Make Your Dreams Come True

If you can dream it, you can achieve it. An education is the most powerful weapon you can possibly have, and with it, you can make all of your dreams come true. There are of course certain exceptions, depending on what you’re aiming for, but generally an education will take you as far as you’re willing to go.

6. A Safer World

Education is something that’s not only needed on a personal level, but also on a global level, as it’s something that keeps our world safe and makes it a more peaceful place. Education tends to teach people the difference between right and wrong, and can help people stay out of risky situations.

7. Confidence

Being self-confident is a major part of being successful in life. And what better way to gain that confidence than with an education? Your level of education is often considered a way to prove your knowledge, and it can give you the confidence to express your opinions and speak your mind.

8. A Part Of Society

In today’s society, having an education is considered a vital part of being accepted by those around you. Having an education is believed to make you a useful part of society, and can make you feel like a contributing member as well.

9. Economic Growth On A National Level

An educated society is crucial for economic growth. We need people to continue to learn and research in order to constantly stay innovative. Countries with higher literacy rates also tend to be in better economic situations. With a more educated population, more employment opportunities are opened.

10. Can Protect You

Education can protect you more than you know, not only on a financial level, but it can help prevent you from being taken advantage of by knowing how to read and write, such as knowing not to sign any bogus documents.

Photo by  Pixabay  from  Pexels

Education is important for children.

Children are the future of our world, making education crucial for them. Their knowledge is what’s going to keep our world alive and flourishing.

At Childhood

During the childhood development stages, the importance of education is stronger than ever. It’s a time for children to learn social and mental skills that will be crucial for their growth and success in the future. Education at childhood also offers a chance for self-discovery and to learn about their unique interests.

The importance of education in our lives goes far beyond what we can read in a textbook. Education also provides childhood with knowledge such as how to produce artwork and make music. Education allows us to analyze what’s in front of us, and even learn from our mistakes.

Goal Building

By learning from a young age, children are given the chance to start building goals for themselves. Education means having the logic to set your mind to something and achieve it.

Importance Of Education In Society

For a modern society, education is of utmost importance. There are so many influences coming from all directions, and education can help us decipher what we should take as true, and what we should take with a grain of salt. Education can mold people into functional members of society with the right kinds of values.

Productivity

Education is needed for a productive society. Our population only continues to increase, and in turn, so do our needs. We need a strong and efficient workforce of educated people to provide us with the services we need for everyday life.

Why Is Education Important For a Nation?

The importance of education is seen in every aspect of life, and is especially crucial for the growth of a nation.

The Impact Education Has On The World

With education, people can become better citizens, knowing right from wrong, allowing for a better society where laws are followed. An educated nation knows about the importance of voting, doing so with the knowledge not blindly, but also having an understanding of what their party truly stands for. Education can also help people get jobs, which is what a nation thrives on.

Inspiring Quotes On What Education Truly Is

Why is education important, and what is it exactly? While every person has a different understanding of its true meaning, here are some of the most inspiring quotes by some legendary people.

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
  • “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” — Malcolm X
  • “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” — Benjamin Franklin
  • “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” — John Dewey

What Are Some Other Reasons Why Education Is Important?

There are endless reasons why education is so important, especially since it also has endless connotations and meanings.

Mind And Body

Our mind and bodies are connected more than we know. With a powerful, well-educated mind, so too are our bodies.

We can not only know how to best take care of ourselves, but we can feel confident and good about ourselves, which will likely have a positive effect on our physical well-being . Education has even been proven to add years to our life . To be exact, each additional year of education was found to add as much as 1.7 years to our lives at the age of 35.

Personal Growth

The importance of education even extends itself to our personal growth. By constantly educating ourselves, asking questions and wanting to know more, we can move forward and achieve things we never imagined before.

Get To Know Yourself

Education can allow us to get to know ourselves better than ever. We can learn things about ourselves, whether it be through books, courses, or even consulting with a professional.

Photo by  Burst  from  Pexels

Worldwide value.

Education is the best way to ensure a positive world value and view. Without a proper education, how else do we know what’s considered appropriate and how to behave?

While world peace may unfortunately seem like a far-fetched concept, with education we can get closer to this goal than we know. Education can teach us about our place in this world, and about our responsibility to humanity.

Teaches Values

Values are taught through education! Education exists far beyond the classroom or an exam. It’s taught at home, through what our parents and peers show us, and although not necessarily written down somewhere, such a teaching method is still a large aspect of what education entails.

Sharpens Your Thinking

Education is needed to think sharply and clearly!

Makes You Informed

Education makes you informed about the world around you, what’s going on and what kind of people are around you. Education can help you be more self-aware about your strengths and weaknesses, showing you were to shift your focus.

Logical Reasoning

When in an argument, if you aren’t well educated and don’t have your facts straight, then you aren’t likely to win. If you get upset about something, then being educated can also help you logically work through the situation and make sense of it, understanding all aspects.

Stay Focused

Education can help you stay focused and on track in the right direction by knowing what the right path is for you.

Allows For Innovation And Creativity

When it comes to being creative, in any way, shape, or form, the mind can only really reach its full potential if it’s been fed with the knowledge it needs to think outside the box.

Develop Life Skills

Education is the foundation of basic life skills and street smarts. While education might sound like a fancy technical term, it’s really everything we learn in life about how to best conduct ourselves from day to day.

Education can be the most freeing and empowering thing in the entire world!

Live Life To The Fullest

Truly living life to the fullest means being well-educated and holding a vast amount of knowledge about the world around us. It also means we continue to learn every day in all kinds of forms, whether it be from the people around us, newspapers, experiences, research, or traditional classes.

Breaks Barriers

Education breaks barriers between people, and allows people from across the globe to be empowered.

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The importance of curriculum development in enhancing teaching and learning.

Teacher instructs his students, helps work through a project

Delve into the crucial role of curriculum development as we unravel the multifaceted landscape of curriculum decisions and their impact on students and teachers. From defining terms like curriculum and curriculum development to examining the stakeholders involved, this blog navigates the complex terrain of educational policy, answering questions such as "Why is curriculum development important in teaching?" and "How does the curriculum affect the teaching and learning process?" Join us on this educational journey to understand the dynamic and iterative curriculum development process.

Curriculum’s Reach Extends Beyond the Classroom

Curriculum decisions have far-reaching consequences for students and teachers in K-12 schools. The decisions made in public schools are often hotly debated. The triggers for controversy include societal issues and agendas, the goals and effectiveness of the education, and funding. These debates underscore the importance of curriculum development in enhancing teaching and learning.

Put another way, curriculum decisions impact how we shape our society through the way we mold our future adults. Curriculum decisions include technical and policy components, covering everything from the best ways to teach multiplication or the parts of speech to the philosophical frameworks for teaching history and science.

Understanding the context of curriculum development can help educators who want to become more influential in the development of educational policy and practice. This post begins by defining some terms, then considers the stakeholders involved in approving curricula in U.S. public schools and the importance of curriculum development in enhancing teaching and learning.

Defining Terms: Curriculum

Dictionaries define “curriculum” as a course of study. Educators and those concerned with educational policy have a more nuanced, comprehensive view of the word’s meaning, as definitions from an international organization and a state-level agency illustrate.

The International Bureau of Education at UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, says, “In the simplest terms, ‘curriculum’ is a description of what, why, how and how well students should learn in a systematic and intentional way.” 1

The state of Rhode Island defines curriculum as “a standards-based sequence of planned experiences where students practice and achieve proficiency in content and applied learning skills.” Rhode Island’s definition also says, “The structure, organization, and considerations in a curriculum are created in order to enhance student learning and facilitate instruction. Curriculum must include the necessary goals, methods, materials and assessments to effectively support instruction and learning.” 2

Both the above definitions can apply to the learning plan for a single class, for a grade level, or for the entire span of a K-12 educational journey. One writer used the metaphor of a puzzle, in which the learning from individual courses connects to and builds on that of others to create the final picture of the students’ education. 3

Another way to conceptualize the term is to think of curriculum as an operations manual for the school system, designed to help educators transport students from one intellectual state to another. To summarize key concepts in the above definitions, a curriculum answers the following questions about a subject of any scope:

  • What is covered
  • In what order
  • To what purpose
  • How it’s framed or contextualized
  • What materials to use
  • How to measure success

Defining Terms: Curriculum Development

As global change continues to accelerate, the importance of curriculum development in enhancing teaching and learning grows. The world is changing, and how we prepare students to take up their roles and responsibilities must change apace. In its “Education 2030” position paper, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) asserts, “The concept of ‘curriculum’ should be developed from ‘predetermined and static’ to ‘adaptable and dynamic.’ Schools and teachers should be able to update and align the curriculum to reflect evolving societal requirements as well as individual learning needs.” 4

So curriculum development is an ongoing, dynamic process with a focus on the individual student’s success and a scope broad enough to accommodate progress in basic science and technology as well as changes in culture, politics and the environment. In the iterative process of curriculum development, the design and implementation of the curriculum are preceded by the analysis of current conditions and followed by evaluation.

Analysis and evaluation are critical to the success of curriculum development. Analysis helps connect education to current events and connect teaching across disciplines to deepen student learning. Evaluation informs future cycles of development and provides feedback to administrators and policymakers as well as students, parents and teachers.

Given the dynamics of global change and the importance of curriculum development in enhancing teaching and learning, a systematic approach to managing development is central to creating desired outcomes. 5

In summary, curriculum development is:

  • Evolutionary
  • Evidence-based
  • Comprehensive in scope
  • A tool to improve learning outcomes

The importance of curriculum development in enhancing teaching and learning outcomes comes into focus as the term is defined. Considering the many players involved in setting curriculum sharpens the focus.

Who Determines K-12 Curriculum?

In the United States, responsibility for setting educational policy rests with the states, with the federal government influencing policy through funding and judicial oversight. The U.S. Department of Education has estimated that federal money makes up 8% of elementary and secondary school funding. Federal courts also hear cases related to education and curriculum. For example, in the 1963 case, School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp , the Supreme Court ruled that a Pennsylvania law requiring the reading of bible verses at the opening of the school day violated the First Amendment. 6, 7

States supervise the work of their public school districts and have “the authority to impose limits and obligations on both local school districts and parents.” Locally elected boards typically manage school districts and delegate direct responsibility for curriculum development, among other administrative functions, to their school superintendents. The school board approves curriculum as part of its responsibility to set policy. 8

Government entities are not the only stakeholders in K-12 education. Students, parents, and teachers all have a direct interest in the process. Stakeholders with a less direct but still keen interest include community members and businesses who help fund the schools and interact with students. Advocates for various issues also seek to influence elementary and secondary school curricula.

Such widespread interest in the process is proof of education’s importance to society and the importance of curriculum development in enhancing teaching and learning.

Curriculum as a Reflection of Culture and Values

Curriculum requires careful thought because education reflects and shapes the values of a society. We teach our children what is important to us and that education shapes their worldview. The distributed structure of U.S. education oversight, with several stakeholders influencing locally elected boards of education, is an excellent example of how culture and values affect curriculum. The system encourages the intense interest of disparate stakeholders because people who valued a pluralistic approach to policy-making designed it. 8

Other examples of cultural influence on curriculum abound. Countries or school districts placing a high value on volunteerism may codify that value in high school graduation requirements. Likewise, societies or schools valuing science and technology, or social justice and equity, encode those values in specific curriculum requirements.

We can think of the impact of curriculum and curriculum development as flexibly as the terms themselves can be defined. A curriculum can cover a narrowly focused subject for a grade level or be a comprehensive educational plan spanning K-12. Similarly, curriculum impacts both the broader culture and individual students' learning through the work of individual teachers.

A well-developed, current curriculum provides several benefits for students and teachers. A curriculum that lays out course objectives and content sequencing lets the teacher focus on designing specific lessons and assessments to teach individual students effectively. See The Importance of Lesson Planning for Student Success for more on this topic. A regularly reviewed curriculum benefits from teacher feedback and incorporates new topics, technologies, and issues. A well-developed curriculum enhances teaching and learning in myriad ways.

  • Retrieved on January 28, 2022, from ibe.unesco.org/en/glossary-curriculum-terminology/c/curriculum-plural-curricula
  • Retrieved on January 28, 2022, from ride.ri.gov/InstructionAssessment/Curriculum/CurriculumDefinition.aspx#:~:text=Curriculum%20is%20a%20standards%2Dbased,access%20to%20rigorous%20academic%20experiences.
  • Retrieved on January 28, 2022, from classcraft.com/blog/why-is-curriculum-important/
  • Retrieved on January 28, 2022, from oecd.org/education/2030/E2030%20Position%20Paper%20(05.04.2018).pdf
  • Retrieved on January 28, 2022, from simplyeducate.me/2014/12/13/the-meaning-and-importance-of-curriculum-development/
  • Retrieved on January 28, 2022, from ed.gov/about/overview/fed/role.html
  • Retrieved on January 28, 2022, from oyez.org/cases/1962/142
  • Retrieved on January 28, 2022, from kappanonline.org/legal-balancing-act-public-school-curriculum-underwood/

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2 What is the Purpose of School?

Jennifer Beasley and Myra Haulmark

What is the Purpose of School?

What is the purpose of school?  Neil Postman said that “without a purpose, schools are houses of detention, not attention” (1995, p. 7).  Most countries have systems of formal education and many of these are compulsory.  Although the names of schools differ, most include a primary school for young children and a secondary school for teenagers (Roser & Oritz-Ospina, 2019).

Objectives and Key Terms

In this chapter, readers will…

  • Understand the basic purposes of school
  • Describe several different understandings of the concept of “school”
  • Define the nature of school for each level: elementary, middle, and high schools

Key terms in the chapter are…

  • Formal Education
  • Informal Education

Defining School

Before landing upon a definition for school, it is important to delineate the differences between education and schooling.

Education is a process of learning and growing as one gains understanding about the surrounding world.  This is a lifelong process. It is, as John Dewey (1916) put it, a social process – ‘a process of living and not a preparation for future living.’

Schooling can often look like an institution with a very specific motive – drill learning into people according to some plan often drawn up by others. Paulo Friere (1973) famously called this banking – making deposits of knowledge.  This type of “schooling” treats learners like objects.

Interested in learning more about this? https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/ed/15/01/whats-worth-learning-school

What do you think?

what is the importance of elementary education

Schooling vs. Education Sort

Sort the following phrases into the category where it best fits:

Choices:  Rigid, Structured; Facts, information to be absorbed; Life experiences; Personal, individual interests; Stops and starts, finite; May is not all that is learned; Always going on; Can exist without schooling; Can exist without education

School Culture

What makes a good school culture?  Shafer (2018) noted that it is all about connections. She describes five interwoven elements that support school structure, 1) Fundamental beliefs, 2) Shared values, 3) Norms (how people believe they should act), 4) Patterns and behaviors, and 5) Tangible evidence. To read more about those elements, you can find the article here: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/18/07/what-makes-good-school-culture

Purposes of School

Is school for knowledge.

If asked, most people would say that the purpose of school is to provide knowledge, but the question becomes what knowledge and who should decide. Is learning for the sake of learning what school is about? Learning expands the mind and school is a way for students to be exposed to different ideas and concepts. Knowledge obtained through school can provide students with a sense of personal fulfillment (Education).

  “It seems to me, that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.” –Martin Luther King Jr (1947)  

It is argued that anything learned in school could be learned on your own (Gatto, 2005). In the modern-day of the Internet and with vast libraries of knowledge available to us, this is very true. There then becomes a problem of motivation. What would make someone want to learn math or science? Does a child just decide someday that they want to learn all about Chemistry? (Postman, 1995) It is not an issue of what information is necessary, but an issue of exposing students to different ideas that they can choose to grow and build on. It is teaching them how to learn. Education should expose students to information and teach them how to think, not tell them what to think. Martin Luther King Jr said, “Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction” (1947).

Is School for Getting a Job?

Not everyone has the opportunities or wants to go to college. Therefore, the purpose of school must be to give students the skills to get a job. This means that education is a way for anyone to support him or herself and economically contribute to society (Education).  Some of these skills are taught in many of the basic classes: reading, writing, and arithmetic. There is also vocational education, which is extremely important to the lives of students who do not enjoy academia. Just because a student does not like school does not mean that the school should ignore them. It is the school’s responsibility to educate all students and prepare them for their future.

Is School for Socialization?

It is argued that any of the above items can be learned on your own (Gatto, 2005). As stated earlier, the issue of motivation and outside circumstances does provide a problem with this theory, but what can replace the socialization that a student receives in school?

Einstein said that the school’s responsibility is to educate the individual as a free individual but to also educate them to be part of society (Haselhurst, 2007). Students are around hundreds of people their own age and this teaches them how to act in society and how to communicate. This is helpful no matter what they do with their future and nothing can replace those skills. Being in a school with that many people also exposes the student to people who are different from him or herself and this is extremely helpful in anyone’s development as a human being and a better member of society (Postman, 1995). Professor Nel Noddings said that the school’s aim is “to produce competent, caring, loving, and lovable people” (Kohn, 2004, p.2).

Types of Schools

In most states, the school year is 180 days. School days often last a total of six and a half hours.  This means that a child may spend more than 1,000 hours in school each year.  In elementary school, how are these hours typically spent?  In these sections, we will discuss the teacher’s role, what students experience in elementary, middle school, and high school.

An elementary school is the main point of delivery of primary education for children between 5-11.  In elementary school, children are exposed to a broad range of topics and often remain together in one classroom. School districts and the state determine the curriculum, but generally, a student learns basic arithmetic, English proficiency, social studies, science, physical development, and fine arts.

The Role of the Teacher

An elementary school teacher is trained with an emphasis on human cognitive and psychological development as well as the principles of curriculum development and instruction.  Teachers earn either a Bachelors or Master’s degree in Early Childhood or Elementary Education.

The public elementary teacher typically instructs between twenty and thirty students of diverse learning needs.  These teachers use a variety of ways to teach, with a focus on student engagement (getting a student’s attention).

What Students Experience

Originally, an elementary school was synonymous with primary education.  Many students prior to World War I did not attend school past Grade 8.  Over the past few decades, schools in the USA have seen numbers of high school graduates rise and with it, changes in what students experience in school.

An elementary school typically contained one-teacher, one-class models, but this has been changing over time.  Multi-age programs, where children in different grades share the same classroom and teachers. Another alternative is that children might have a main class and go to another teacher’s room for one subject.  This could be called a rotation and it is similar to the concept of teams found in junior high school.

Middle School

Watch the following video from the perspective of a middle schooler.  What would you point out as part of her environment at school? Is there any evidence of her relationship with what she is learning or her relationship with educators at her school?

High School

While there is no set standard for an American high school, some generalizations can be made about the majority.  Schools are managed by local, elected school districts.  Students ages 14-18 participate in four years of school.  School years are normally around nine months and are broken up into quarters or semesters.  The High School curriculum is defined in terms of Carnegie Units, which approximate 120 class contact hours within a year.  No two schools will be the same, and no two students will have the same classes.  There are some general core subjects, but electives will vary by school.

Fill out the following to highlight was is important in each level: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gAAwwsThkvlVNHrYcII_2m5PByo8ggC4JQe6QJy4dYw/edit?usp=sharing

Watch the following video with this question in mind:  According to this author, what do effective schools do differently? Does this align more closely with the notion of “schooling” or “education”?

The following resources are provided when “digging deeper” into the chapter:

Roser, Max; Ortiz-Ospina, Esteban (2019). “Primary and Secondary Education” . Our World in Data . Retrieved 24 October 2019.

Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the Oppressed . Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Shafer, L. (2018) https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/18/07/what-makes-good-school-culture

Postman, Neil. (1995). The End of Education . New York: Vintage Books.

Education. (n.d.). Retrieved September 16, 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education

Gatto, John Taylor. (2005) Dumbing us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling . (Rev. ed.). Canada: New Society Publishers.

Haselhurst, Geoff. (2007) Philosophy of Education . Retrieved September 19, 2007 from http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Philosophy-Education.htm

Hirsch, E.D. Jr. (2006). The Knowledge Deficit . Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

King, Martin Luther Jr. (1947). The Purpose of Education . Retrieved September 19, 2007 from http://www.drmartinlutherkingjr.com/thepurposeofeducation.htm

Kohn, Alfie. (2004). What Does it Mean to Be Well Educated? Boston: Beacon Press.

Modified from:

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Social_and_Cultural_Foundations_of_American_Education/Philosophy_and_Ethics/Purpose

Introduction to Education Copyright © 2021 by Jennifer Beasley and Myra Haulmark is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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what is the importance of elementary education

Rotary Club of Muscatine, United Way give students literacy kits

R otary Club of Muscatine partnered with the United Way of Muscatine to assemble literacy kits for kindergarten students at Jefferson Elementary School, according to a news release.

Hilary Henke, United Way of Muscatine’s community engagement manager, attended the Rotary Club’s weekly meeting Monday to provide information about the importance of achieving literacy benchmarks in early elementary school and to lead the kit-packing event.

Rotarians assembled and delivered 61 literacy kits to kindergartners at Jefferson Elementary on Monday. “Literacy kits deepen children’s reading experience and help them build their personal library at home,” the release says.

“It’s incredibly rewarding when we can bridge Rotary’s global focus on literacy with local impact, reaching students right here in Muscatine,” said Megan Francis, president, Rotary Club of Muscatine.

Each kit included a book, a personalized note of encouragement, and an activity to make reading interactive and to bring the book to life for the children.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Rotary Club for their generous donation of new books and activities for our Kindergarten students,” Kandy Steel, Ed.D, principal at Jefferson Elementary School, said. “Their support will undoubtedly inspire a love of learning and help our students continue to thrive, even while learning remotely. Thank you for your commitment to education and for making a difference in the lives of our Jefferson students.”

United Way of Muscatine’s goal is that every child succeeds academically through support in and out of school. Data show that third-grade reading proficiency scores in Muscatine County dropped by 19.2 percent post-pandemic and have still not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Research found having books in the home correlated to higher academic performance and children who are reading proficiently in third grade are five times more likely to graduate from high school. United Way strives to increase third grade reading proficiency rates through literacy kit packing events and programs like Imagination Library, Reading Buddies, and Reading Mentors.

“We are grateful to Rotary Club of Muscatine for their ongoing support of community initiatives,” Henke said. “Their efforts through this kit-packing event will help ensure all kindergarten students at Jefferson Elementary School have a book of their own and book-related activities to enhance their learning.”

Currently, 77.2 percent of Jefferson Elementary School students qualify for free and reduced lunch, which is the highest rate in the Muscatine Community School District.

“The partnership with Rotary to get books and literacy kits into the homes of these students ahead of summer break is an important piece to increasing the number of children who are reading at or above grade level–a core piece of United Way’s efforts to increase household independence through education and training,” Henke said.

“Instilling a love of reading in children is critical to ensuring more children are reading at or above their grade level–a core piece of United Way’s efforts to increase household independence through education and training,” Henke said.

For more information, please contact Hilary Henke at  [email protected]  or 563-263-5963.

About United Way of Muscatine

United Way of Muscatine has been serving the community for 70 years. The mission of United Way of Muscatine is to mobilize resources to empower the greater Muscatine community to improve the lives of people in need. Its goal is to increase household independence through education and housing.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WHBF - OurQuadCities.com.

Rotary Club of Muscatine, United Way give students literacy kits

Updated Biden administration rules will soon affect students across US: What to know

what is the importance of elementary education

Students and school employees across America will be impacted in the fall by new changes to a rule that affects all federally-funded schools.

Practically, it's a sweeping update to how schools will have to handle sex discrimination and abuse cases. Politically, it's a part of a power struggle between the Trump and Biden administrations.

What's new? The Biden administration released a new set of rules this week overhauling the Trump administration's Title IX rules – which gave more rights to alleged perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment. The new rules also stipulate further protections for LGBTQ+ students as well as parenting and pregnant students.

What is Title IX? Title IX is a civil rights law that bans sex discrimination against students, employees and others at public schools, colleges and universities that receive federal funding.

What were some of the old rules? For cases of sexual assault, they stipulated that schools only had to investigate claims that met a certain threshold of sex discrimination and were made through a formal reporting process. It also raised the bar of proof for sexual misconduct on college campuses. They prohibited investigations of cases that occurred off campus.

Why does the change matter? Critics argued the Trump-era rules prevented people accused of sexual harassment, assault or discrimination from facing repercussions. Supporters contended the rules rightly strengthened due-process protections for accused students or faculty members.

Biden's new Title IX rules will affect people on the nation's school campuses starting in August.

What happened this week?

The Biden administration's new set of guidance overhauls Trump-era rules that in part narrowed which and how schools could investigate sex discrimination cases. President Joe Biden in his 2020 presidential campaign vowed to overturn the changes made under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

The new rules expand the definition of sexual assault and harassment. That means schools could investigate more cases of discrimination, abuse or harassment filed by people on school campuses under the scope of the law.

College student survivors will no longer be required to attend live hearings or go through cross examinations. And people will be given the right to "prompt and equitable grievance procedures," the rule reads.

LGBTQ+ students will be guaranteed protection under the law if they are discriminated against for their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Pregnant and parenting students who might receive unwanted sexual attention, shame or punishment at schools will also be granted more protections from sex discrimination in the admissions process and on campus.

“These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

Who is impacted by the changes to Title IX?

The rule changes have a wide range of effects on students, among the most notable examples:

  • Sexual assault survivors : The new rules will have sweeping effects on survivors of sexual misconduct and those accused of crimes. Among the changes: The definition of sexual assault will be expanded in K-12 schools and colleges.
  • LGBTQ+ students : Biden's Title IX update stipulates protections from sex discrimination based gender identity for the first time.
  • Pregnant and parenting students : The new regulations extend the definition of "sex-based harassment" to include pregnant people on campuses.

Ruling on transgender student participation in sports remains unsettled

The Biden administration did not rule on whether transgender and nonbinary students can participate on the sports teams that align with their gender.

The administration released a proposed rule in April 2023 that said schools and colleges largely could not ban nonbinary and transgender students from sports teams in the new Title IX rules.

Contact Kayla Jimenez at [email protected] .  Follow her on X at @kaylajjimenez.

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Kathleen Swinney, Clemson football players to distribute books, celebrate reading at event for elementary school students

what is the importance of elementary education

Kadee Herring, an early literacy teacher leader for Chesterfield County Schools, wouldn’t trade her position for the world, but a trip from Chesterfield County to Clemson University with a school bus full of first graders can be a little tiring for even the most experienced educator. She recalls a return trip from Clemson’s annual Tigers Read! event where she remarked, “I can’t wait to be home.”

One of her students, Janasia, quickly replied that she wished the day could last forever. Now in the fourth grade, Janasia stops by Herring’s room regularly to discuss the books she is reading, and she always stops to look at the framed photos from the event on Herring’s desk. She asks about the event and who from her school will attend this year.

“A student like Janasia reminds me what this day means to them; it’s magical,” Herring said. “Our first graders are so excited to get brand new books from football players; in their eyes, these guys are truly famous. Meeting these players and receiving a gift of 10 books leaves a lasting impact.”

A young girl sits on a colorful towel and smiles for a photo while holding a hot dog.

Kathleen Swinney and Clemson University Football players will welcome students from across South Carolina to stress the importance of reading on Wednesday, May 1, at 10:30 a.m. Now in its ninth year, the Tigers Read! Initiative is organized by Dabo’s All In Team Foundation, faculty from the Clemson University College of Education and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company.

The event is over the top but in the best way. The only thing that will be missing from Clemson’s indoor practice facility when 250 elementary school students walk through its doors this week is the red carpet, but a full-sized indoor football field–and all that orange–more than compensates. It has left an impression on teachers and students.

The event draws students and teachers from across the state so that its hosts can provide books to combat the “summer slide,” which is the decline in reading skills that many students experience during the summer months.

Herring has attended the event multiple times to bring a group of first-grade students. She said many striving readers see reading as a chore because learning to read has not come easily to them. A day filled with literal and figurative cheerleaders for reading, along with tangible gifts to encourage it, indeed reinforces the importance of reading.

what is the importance of elementary education

“Seeing the students walk onto the practice field with the band and cheerleaders there brings tears to my eyes every year,” Herring said. “We may spend eight hours roundtrip to experience it, but the joy it brings our students makes every second worth it.”

what is the importance of elementary education

C.C. Bates serves as associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Education and director of the Clemson University Early Literacy Center. She said learning to read is the foundation for all academic success, and fighting summer reading setback is critical to students’ longitudinal outcomes. Bates added that reading during the summer months helps enhance literacy skills and fosters a love for reading.

“Summer reading helps to prevent the ‘summer slide’ by maintaining and reinforcing progress made during the academic year,” Bates said. “When players read a book aloud to the students at the event, they also discuss the importance of practice and liken summer reading to their time spent preparing for football games. It is exciting to see students who attend the event make that connection and  become motivated to read.”

The collaboration with Dabo’s All In Team Foundation and Scholastic has allowed the College of Education to distribute nearly 100,000 books to first-grade students across the state.

In addition to student-athletes and the Swinneys, children will meet with Clifford the Big Red Dog®, receive drawstring bags full of books to take home and enjoy a community-sponsored hot dog lunch. Organizers invite media to attend the event to hear from the Swinneys and meet with athletes and teachers in attendance.

For media inquiries, contact Alex Brooks ([email protected], 419-351-0009) or Michael Staton ([email protected], 864-933-0334).

Get in touch and we will connect you with the author or another expert.

Or email us at [email protected]

IMAGES

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  4. Importance of education

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  5. The Importance Of Elementary Education For Your Child

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  6. How primary education plays an important role in a child’s life in the USA?

    what is the importance of elementary education

VIDEO

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  4. The Importance of Education!

  5. That's why education is important 👍#englishspeaking #LearnEnglish

  6. Team Educational Institution

COMMENTS

  1. Primary education

    Primary education forms the bedrock of development. It is in primary school that children learn foundational skills that prepare them for life, work and active citizenship. Quality education empowers children and young people, safeguards their health and well-being, and breaks cycles of poverty. It also empowers countries, ushering in economic ...

  2. Elementary education

    elementary education, the first stage traditionally found in formal education, beginning at about age 5 to 7 and ending at about age 11 to 13.In the United Kingdom and some other countries, the term primary is used instead of elementary. In the United States the term primary customarily refers to only the first three years of elementary education—i.e., grades 1 to 3.

  3. What Is Elementary Education?

    Elementary education is a stage that also helps students to develop basic skills, knowledge, understanding, and ability. It also introduces a student to various forms of expression and literacy and shapes a student's attitude toward culture. Additionally, it develops your rhythm and ability to express yourself. 8.

  4. An Introduction to Elementary Education

    The Core Importance. Elementary school is a vital step in preparing children for later learning and life in general. It's where most children learn to read, where they learn the fundamental concepts of science and mathematics, and where they gain a basic understanding of the world and its history. ... To become an elementary education teacher ...

  5. Why is Elementary Education so Important?

    Foundations of Reading. Merrimack College provides a degree program that meets the state's rigorous standards. The Elementary education years are some of the most important in the life of a student. They deserve teachers who have trained themselves to work at the highest possible level. Yes!

  6. What Is the Purpose of School?

    Perhaps the most promising model is actually a bottom-up one. The community schools movement aims to build academic and social-service partnerships on school campuses. And a recent review of 19 ...

  7. Elementary Education

    The Importance of Elementary Education. In America, children normally enroll in elementary schools at age five or six and exit elementary school at age eleven or twelve. In 2002 approximately 25 million children attended elementary schools in the United States. Readiness for elementary school is viewed as highly important.

  8. Primary education

    Definition. The ISCED definition in 1997 posited that primary education normally started between the ages of 5 - 8 and was designed to give a sound basic education in reading, writing, and mathematics along with an elementary understanding of other subjects. By 2011 the philosophy had changed, the elementary understanding of other subjects had been dropped in favour of "to establish a solid ...

  9. elementary education summary

    elementary education, or primary education, Traditionally, the first stage of formal education, beginning at age 5-7 and ending at age 11-13.Often preceded by some form of preschool, it usually includes middle school, or junior high school (ages 11-13), though this is sometimes regarded as part of secondary education.Nearly all nations are committed to some form of elementary education ...

  10. Elementary Education

    Elementary education comprises the period from when a student enters school, generally around the age of 5 or 6, until the student moves on to middle or secondary school, around the age of 12 or 13. RAND research in the area includes school reform, the role and effectiveness of teachers and school administration, and the increasing use of private-sector school management.

  11. Rethinking How We Teach Reading in Elementary School

    At the root of the problem, Wexler writes in her best-selling 2019 book, The Knowledge Gap, are elementary school ELA curricula that emphasize the type of skill building assessed on standardized tests—things like finding the main idea in a passage or learning how to make inferences.In a system that heavily relies on test scores, schools prioritize teaching these as discrete skills, rather ...

  12. Building Strong Foundations: The Importance of Elementary Education in

    While elementary education is undeniably important, it is not without its limitations. One significant con that often arises is the limited availability of extracurricular activities. Due to budget constraints and staffing limitations, many elementary schools are unable to offer a wide range of extracurricular options such as sports teams ...

  13. Early Elementary Education Years Are Important for Public Policy

    The early elementary years - from kindergarten through third grade - are particularly important ones in children's schooling. Parents and teachers know that children acquire new skills and ...

  14. 4 Core Purposes of Education, According to Sir Ken Robinson

    We just need to be clear on terms. There are a few terms that are often confused or used interchangeably—"learning," "education," "training," and "school"—but there are important differences between them. Learning is the process of acquiring new skills and understanding. Education is an organized system of learning.

  15. The What, Why, and How of STEM in Elementary Education

    Engineering is the process of designing and building technology (tools, systems, and processes) that solve a problem. Engineering comes from the Latin words ingenium, which means cleverness, and ingeniare, which means to design or devise. Engineers are practical problem solvers concerned with form and function.

  16. Education

    Whether corporal punishment should be used in elementary education settings is widely debated. Some say it is the appropriate discipline for certain children when used in moderation because it sets clear boundaries and motivates children to behave in school. ... As society gradually attaches more and more importance to education, it also tries ...

  17. Why Is Assessment Important?

    Why Is Assessment Important? Asking students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter is critical to the learning process; it is essential to evaluate whether the educational goals and standards of the lessons are being met. July 15, 2008. Assessment is an integral part of instruction, as it determines whether or not the goals ...

  18. 12 Reasons Why Education Is Important

    Doctoral degree - $1,909. Furthermore, a higher education environment imparts not only academics but also soft skills that are important in the workplace, such as the following: 2. Communication skills. Budgeting and money management. Time management. Problem solving. Critical thinking.

  19. Elementary Education and Its Importance

    Moreover, comprehending the importance of elementary education, it is essential is to make it compulsory and to ensure that it emphasizes a fun learning process for children which is why elementary schools often implement a flexible grading system. Finding creative approaches towards learning is also pivotal, be it through puppetry, audio ...

  20. (PDF) Elementary Education: Foundation of Learning, Growth and

    The elementary education establishes the foundation from where learning, growth and. development of the individuals takes place. From the stage of early childhood throughout the. lives of the ...

  21. Why Is Education Important: All The Reasons To Stay In School

    6. A Safer World. Education is something that's not only needed on a personal level, but also on a global level, as it's something that keeps our world safe and makes it a more peaceful place. Education tends to teach people the difference between right and wrong, and can help people stay out of risky situations. 7.

  22. Importance of Curriculum Development

    The U.S. Department of Education has estimated that federal money makes up 8% of elementary and secondary school funding. Federal courts also hear cases related to education and curriculum. ... Such widespread interest in the process is proof of education's importance to society and the importance of curriculum development in enhancing ...

  23. What is the Purpose of School?

    Teachers earn either a Bachelors or Master's degree in Early Childhood or Elementary Education. The public elementary teacher typically instructs between twenty and thirty students of diverse learning needs. These teachers use a variety of ways to teach, with a focus on student engagement (getting a student's attention). What Students ...

  24. Parent Information

    Find Child Care Choosing child care is an important decision. Each child is unique and it takes time, patience and an understanding of what to look for when choosing child care. You know the needs of your child and family. However, you may need assistance in matching those needs to available resources. We are pleased to share resources that are available to assist you with this important decision.

  25. Rotary Club of Muscatine, United Way give students literacy kits

    Rotary Club of Muscatine partnered with the United Way of Muscatine to assemble literacy kits for kindergarten students at Jefferson Elementary School, according to a news release. Hilary Henke ...

  26. Biden's new Title IX rules explained: Here's what we know

    Students and school employees across America will be impacted in the fall by new changes to a rule that affects all federally-funded schools. Practically, it's a sweeping update to how schools ...

  27. Kathleen Swinney, Clemson football players to distribute books

    The collaboration with Dabo's All In Team Foundation and Scholastic has allowed the College of Education to distribute nearly 100,000 books to first-grade students across the state. ... Clemson football players to stress importance of reading at event for elementary school students C.C. Bates named associate dean for research, graduate ...