The primary point of education isn’t to take tests. That’s not a particularly controversial statement, yet much of our modern education system is rooted in test taking. While we obviously need some way to evaluate achievement and progress, is focusing on test preparation and test taking the best way to help our students attain their goals inside and outside of school? The researchers at Gallup think not. After completing a comprehensive study of the U.S. education system, Gallup has released six recommendations for how we can better support student achievement.*
Measure Psychological Factors
Student interest in and enthusiasm for school is tied to their ability to achieve. By measuring students’ sense of hope, their engagement levels, and their overall well-being, schools can uncover new insights that can lead to new strategies for elevating achievement.
Create Strength-Based Plans
Not every student will be naturally good at every single area of study, but all students are likely to be talented in at least one area. Education leadership can encourage schools to create plans and programs that identify and nurture student strengths. This can help students reach their full potential and keep them excited about school.
Improve Teacher Engagement
Good teaching is fundamental to student achievement. But even the best teachers can struggle if they lose their sense of engagement with the school and their students. To improve teacher engagement, schools should involve teachers in the decision-making process for curricula and schedules, partner the most engaged teachers with new teachers, and offer sabbaticals to disengaged teachers, giving them a chance to recharge before returning to the classroom. These strategies can help improve teacher retention and engagement, and, ultimately, student achievement.
Empower Teachers to Connect With Students
Gallup reports that young adults who say they had a teacher who cared about them as a person are much more likely to have developed useful skills while in school. As such, teachers should be encouraged to make meaningful connections with students.
Develop a Leadership Pipeline
Good schools need good leaders. Rather than scrambling to fill education leadership positions when there is an opening, schools and school districts should make an effort to identify and groom leadership candidates in advance.
Focus More on Developing Entrepreneurial Talent
Most schools are focused on developing academic talent, but entrepreneurs drive much of our modern culture and economy. Schools should invest more in identifying and developing entrepreneurial talent to ensure entrepreneurially minded students have the knowledge and ability to reach their full potential.
How Can You Become an Education Leader?
As we move deeper into the 21st century, our education system will need to adapt and change. That means we’ll need new ideas and plans. If you want to help shape the future of our education system, you should consider earning an educational leadership degree such as a Doctor of Education (EdD). The best EdD degree programs are specifically designed for those who are currently in education and are looking to take their career to the next level.
Thanks to online EdD programs, you can even earn your doctoral degree while continuing to work full time. Online learning gives you the convenience and flexibility you need to complete coursework from home and on a schedule that doesn’t require you to attend classes at a specific time or place.
When you enroll in an EdD program online, you can gain knowledge in topics ranging from improving teacher retention rates to elevating student achievement. It’s a great way to acquire the skills you need to make a real difference in education and student lives.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online Doctor of Education degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*Gallup, What Schools Can Do to Support Student Achievement, State of America’s Schools, available as a PDF download on the Internet at www.gallup.com/services/178709/state-america-schools-report.aspx.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to www.WaldenU.edu/educlicensure.
Note to all Washington residents: This program is not intended to lead to teacher certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.
Prospective Alabama students: Contact the Teacher Education and Certification Division of the Alabama State Department of Education at 1-334-242-9935 or www.alsde.edu to verify whether these programs qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits.