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9 Trends in Education to Watch in 2024

8 Min Read
Education Predictions 2024 hero

Will education focus more on careers in the future? How will districts across the country address AI? Are more schools changing to a four-day week? We spoke with education leaders from across the country, including experts in EdTech, economics, teacher professional development, and more. They share their ideas on the latest trends in education that are worth watching.

If you're curious to see how our education predictions panned out in previous years, check out these blogs:

Read on for a rundown of nine current trends in education.

Keep an Eye Out for These Trends in Education in 2024

Prediction #1

Teachers will leverage tools like ChatGPT.

Steve Chambers Ed Trends

“Technology is all around us. Teachers gaining mastery of new, student-relevant technologies like ChatGPT will uncork a world of teacher-inspired possibilities for enhancements to the classroom learning experience. No one serving young learners can afford to ignore advances in classroom technology given their students’ fundamental interest in and experience with technology from so many perspectives: as creatives, as learners, as social sharers, as societal consumers. I view part of our HMH mission to help, to provide the necessary supports so teachers see the extraordinary promise, know how to use that promise and manage its challenges, and lead their students in ways teachers only 10 years ago never could have imagined.”

Prediction #2

Districts will provide professional development in AI.

Ed Predictions Francie Alexander final 2

“Educators shared their thoughts on AI in HMH’s latest Educator Confidence Report. More than half (58%) said they would be interested in professional development and coaching around AI. We know that AI means there will be a lot more data coming in. Teachers have told us they need professional development that helps them deal with data. You don’t want to be data rich and insights poor. You want to be sure that you’ve got data at your fingertips and that your time exploring it is well used, so you can do the best job possible. So if school leaders are listening, they’ll provide professional development and coaching that can help educators make the most of all the information they’ll have access to.”

Prediction #3

New ways of offering real-world experiences are in the works.

Neil Lesinski Education Predictions

“Our district recently hired a director of career experiences and adopted a strategic plan for providing students with more real-world and career experiences. Our tagline is ‘Enter with promise. Leave with purpose.’ I think we’re ahead of the curve in this effort, but you’ll see more schools finding innovative ways to provide students with real-world experiences across subject areas, in an effort to make the learning stick. For instance, we offer classes that connect math concepts with their real-world application. Students are learning geometry terms and concepts and applying them as they build a ticket booth for the football stadium. They earn a full year of credit in geometry and industrial tech. We also have a course that brings together algebra and entrepreneurship. Students are learning culinary skills in a commercial kitchen. We’re teaching coding, drones, robotic, forensics. These classes create excitement and demonstrate application of concepts that help students retain the information at a level that we have never seen before.”

Prediction #4

Schools are getting innovative with intervention.

Ed Predictions Suzanne Jimenez 2

“Across the country, districts continue to grapple with large numbers of students who have significant learning gaps. Schools deliver standards-based curriculum to build grade-level skills and knowledge, yet the content is beyond the reach of many students. They require strategic intervention to address academic skills and accelerate learning. In spite of staff and scheduling challenges, many districts are using creative approaches to identify time within the school day to provide students with additional learning opportunities. In 2024, I expect to see more districts reimagining the core classroom to expand the use of strategies, such as small-group instruction and co-teaching, to address the growing academic needs of students within the core classroom. Innovative schedules to provide intervention will allow the most vulnerable students to receive the targeted instruction needed to close learning gaps and get them back on track.”

Prediction #5

Students will have more say in their learning.

Ed Predictions Josh Starr headshot 2

“Since 2024 is an election year when more people start paying attention to politics and social issues, I predict that this year we’ll see an increase in student voice. More and more school and system leaders who are trying to drive a transformational equity agenda have been engaging students. Over recent years, young people have become more vocal and actively involved in their communities and schools and their perspectives are being seen as a vital component of efforts to improve learning outcomes. As the nation’s attention turns to the 2024 presidential race, political divisions within our country and communities may deepen, but students will help adults understand what’s truly important. By expressing their needs, hopes, and dreams to appointed and elected leaders, the nation’s young people will help galvanize local actions to create the conditions for success for all children to thrive.”

Prediction #6

Expect a greater emphasis on educator well-being.

Ed predictions whatley

“Demands on educators, personally and professionally, have increased dramatically. HMH’s latest survey of educators tells us that burnout is a critical issue, with 82% saying what they need most is a more balanced workload. School leaders are realizing it’s time to reimagine education in a way that allows for educators to do awesome work while still taking care of themselves. In the coming year, we’ll see teacher wellness prioritized. There will be a renewed emphasis on strategies that will help educators to build healthy mindsets, enhance self-care, and boost their ability to educate the students who depend on them.”

Prediction #7

Innovative assessments are on the way.

Amit Patel Education Predictions

“AI can quickly and effectively produce a reliable multiple-choice or short-answer quiz to test understanding of student reading. But technology can take students beyond answering comprehension questions in the usual way. Now students can interact with fictional characters or historical figures. This capability opens up new possibilities for exploring character motivation and understanding history in context. It also allows for assessing skills in multiple subject areas with ease. An assessment might leverage students’ interest in basketball and ask them to demonstrate their knowledge of statistics and physics. So we’re creating more personalized assessments on topics that students really love and that will create a deeper level of engagement without making demands on teachers’ time.”

Prediction #8


Technology will connect K–12 education to careers.

Amit Patel Education Predictions

“We're seeing a movement in K–12 schools to connect students with the careers they might want to pursue, and technology is fueling this exploration. Thanks to advancements in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), students can experience a day in the life of a person in nearly any profession. They can get to know what it’s like to work at Google, for instance, get a tour of the offices, and see what folks are working on. Schools don’t have to be limited by once-a-year field trips or visits to local companies only. These technologies open up a world of careers—in politics, finance, education, tech, you name it—to young people and allow them to figure out which ones they’d most like to delve deeper into, and which ones might not match their interests or skill sets.”

Prediction #9

More districts will switch to a four-day school schedule.

Ed predictions thompson 2

“Post-pandemic, there’s been a lot of teacher burnout and shortages in some areas around the country. We’re seeing more schools move to a four-day school week to attract and retain teachers. The thinking is, ‘We can’t offer more money, but we can offer a more flexible schedule.’ There’s a snowball effect where one district changes, then neighboring districts also change. Historically, the switch to a four-day week has been in rural areas. But with attention now on attracting teachers, we’re seeing the four-day school week in larger districts. Research will have to bear out whether this is an effective strategy over the long term. One thing research does tell is that it’s key to keep instructional time stable when making the switch. This can be done by lengthening the school day to eight hours, four days a week, or by lengthening the school year.”

More Trends in Education in 2024

With the help of experts, we've highlighted some of the hot topics in education right now. Let us know what we've missed. Share with us your ideas for future trends in education to watch. You can connect with us on  Facebook, Instagram, or via email at shaped@hmhco.com.

The views expressed in this article are those of the education leaders highlighted and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.

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