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Leadership Research Center Reports

Big Ideas 2021: 10 Broad Trends in
K-12 Education in 10 Charts

October 2021

Each year, for the past four years, Education Week has produced a special report on big ideas in K-12 education. The reports focus on important and timely issues that schools have grappled with in the past 12 months. Not surprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic was a major emphasis in the 2021 edition, Big Ideas for Education’s Urgent Challenges. Initially published in September 2021, this report examined such pandemic-related topics as remote learning, educator stress, and student home environments.

Drawing upon the results of a nationally representative survey of nearly 900 teachers, principals, and district leaders that was incorporated into Education Week’s fourth annual report on big ideas in K-12 education, this Spotlight sums up 10 broad trends in 10 accompanying charts. These ideas include the transformation of educational technology, educators’ knowledge of students’ lives outside of school, and educator stress. Given the time period covered by the survey, all of these broad trends were deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, a theme that resonates throughout this report.

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