How Did the Teaching & Learning Principles Have Changed Over the Past 50 Years?

If we look 50 years back from today, the state of education in the US has been much different from what we can see now. Apart from the obvious lack of technology in the classroom, there were also significantly different approaches to both learning and teaching.

The 1970s marked one of the big transformational stages in education. During this time, most efforts were focused on expanding opportunities for previously disadvantaged minorities like immigrants, African Americans, the disabled, etc. Apart from this, there were plenty of concerns in terms of improving students’ academic performances. As a result, many schools across the country tried experimenting with a more progressive approach to teaching and learning.

It’s crystal clear that today, everything is much different. But, what exactly has changed in terms of learning and teaching principles since that time? In this article, we will try to find the answer. Let’s dive in!

Approach to Learning: 4 Major Changes

First of all, let’s see how students are different now from what they used to be 50 years ago.

Delegation and Helpful Tools

It is hard to imagine a student who could pay for essay writing 50 years ago. Of course, this is primarily due to the fact that there were fewer resources for this. But, today, delegating is okay.

Modern students have access to a huge range of helpful tools and services that make learning simpler. There are essay writing services like EssayService, auxiliary tools for taking notes, managing time, getting ready for exams, etc. And students don’t mind using these tools to their benefit.

The Rise of e-Learning

Another significant change is the rise of online learning. Modern students have recognized the convenience and cost-efficiency of studying online. So, more and more young people opt for online education.

Better Study-Life Balance

Though student lives are still extremely busy, we can’t deny the fact that young people are now much more conscious about the importance of a good study-life balance than they were 50 years ago. Modern students seem not to push themselves too hard. Instead, they recognize the importance of their well-being and prefer to keep their studies and lives balanced out so that they don’t burn out.

Growing Concerns in Terms of the Importance of Education

Lastly, another changing tendency that we can’t avoid mentioning is the dropping rate of kids who pursue higher education. Just several decades ago, there were no doubts concerning the value of higher education. Moreover, acquiring a degree was basically the only way to build a career. But, now, things are way different. Due to the growing tuition cost and many additional reasons, more and more high school graduates decide not to go to college. And, this doesn’t prevent them from starting careers.

Approach to Teaching: 5 Major Changes

Just like students’ approaches to studying changed, teachers’ approaches changed as well. So, below are the top five massive changes in teaching principles that we can observe these days.

More Data

Teachers have always relied on data to track and measure students’ performances. However, just a few decades ago, educators simply didn’t have access to such a broad range of data as they do now. Today, teachers can assess student achievement with the help of large sets of data, and this is the first drastic change.


50 years ago, most schools and colleges preferred to follow universal standards in teaching and provide their students with the same duration, intensiveness, quality, and pace of education. But, these days, teachers recognize the benefits of personalization. It is neither new nor rare to see educators try to provide more personalized experiences to their students to improve their overall performances in modern educational facilities.

More Reliance on Technology

Educational technology has always been a big deal. Of course, the concepts of educational technology have been significantly different 50 years ago, but educators still used the available technology in the classroom. Now, educational technology is much different and way more advanced. And the teachers’ reliance on technology has grown larger as well.

Better Connection With Students

In the past, the bonds between teachers and students seemed to be not as close as they are now. If 50 years ago, students and teachers would interact with each other only in the classroom, today, they stay connected outside the classroom too. These days educators strive to establish a better connection with their students, and this has a range of positive effects on students’ experiences and academic performances.


One last change that can be noticed in the field of teaching is gamification. Thanks to the available technology and different approaches to teaching, today, we can see educators do their best to provide more engaging and fun experiences to their students. And, gamification plays a huge role here. In the past years, teachers have finally recognized the benefits and usefulness of digital games in terms of learning. So, now, gamification is gradually becoming an integral element of education.

The Bottom Line

Without any doubt, learning and teaching 50 years ago were drastically different from today. In the past decades, we could observe a variety of changes and reforms that took place in the field of education. And, along with that, the approaches of students and teachers have changed as well.

Yet, even now, the changes are not over. Every year we can see new updates in the field of education, so more is yet to come!

Josh Linus
Josh Linus
Josh can talk films for hours on end, discussing the really good cinema, the really bad, and anything in between. He enjoys everything - from epic fantasies to horror, from rom-coms to crime and action thrillers, from sci-fi to musical dramas.

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