When it comes to education, it seems like there’s always something to talk about. Whether it’s lawmakers’ latest plan for how to do it best, how to ensure equity for diverse populations, or simply the steady rhythm of school-year milestones. And of course there’s the money: funding for education at all levels remains a challenge for individuals and governments alike.
Nor has the education industry escaped the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with students of all levels learning at home, often online. This has led to concerns over student achievement as a result of lost hours in the classroom and whether online teaching offers value for money with decreased contact hours.
Ikon’s substantial illustration library has the education images to suit your project, covering the breadth and depth of this wide and varied subject. Below, we delve deeper into some of the key issues in education and showcase some of our favourite illustrations to bring it to life.
ABCs and 1,2,3s. Our littlest learners cover so much more than the basics. Through games and play, preschool children in early years settings learn the physical, personal, social and emotional development skills they need to set them up for the rest of their learning journey. Most experts agree this stage of education is vital, but its funding is a thorny issue in some countries, particularly in the US.
Primary school - also called elementary school - marks the beginning of compulsory school in most places. The play doesn’t stop but it does slow down, an area that is open to debate. Recent discussions over the efficacy of homework for this age group and its impact on achievement, as well as the pressure of standardised testing on both pupils and teachers alike seem likely to continue.
Like kids, the illustrations in Ikon’s image library are playful and imaginative. Picture buyers and editorial designers are sure to find the perfect stock image to vividly capture this spirit.
Secondary school, high school, sixth form or gymnasium: whatever the name, it’s a time when young people do a great deal of learning and can start focussing on the areas they enjoy most, making decisions about their future careers or study. This time of the year sees college-bound US high school juniors awaiting the results of the ACT and SAT entrance exams. Meanwhile, GCSE and A-level exams - and their accompanying pressures - are taking place in the UK for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
It’s also a time of exciting experiences and life lessons as young people take the good - more freedoms and independence, proms and student celebrations - with the bad - bullying, peer pressure, and other challenges that come with being a teenager.
Growing up (and algebra!) can be hard but finding an evocative image about school and learning isn’t. The hand-picked images in Ikon’s collection will bring out the best in your publication - no exam required.
Studying for a degree is seen by many to be the pinnacle of the educational journey and a bridge to the adult world. With ‘freshers’ weeks, frat parties, and student societies for just about anything, university can be a lot of fun. But pressures from workloads, finals, and finding a career path can easily mount. Still, many students every year think graduating with a degree is worth it, and the sector is only set to grow.
Then there’s the cost. Some Europeans are fortunate enough to get a fee-free degree, but debt is definitely a feature for US and UK graduates, where the average student loan debt in 2020 was around $30,000 and £45,000, respectively. Student debt will remain a hot topic as US President Joe Biden explores plans for student loan forgiveness and the UK government maintains fee caps for domestic students as part of its review of student finance and higher education more generally.
But while a college or university degree has been seen as a necessity for the career-driven, that attitude is changing. Vocational training and apprenticeships - more embedded in many European educational systems than in the UK or US - are an educational route that offer people another way to develop the skills for their chosen field, oftentimes in lucrative industries that have been recently overlooked. It’s part of the idea behind the UK government’s levelling up agenda, which seeks to fill gaps in the country’s workforce.
There’s clearly plenty to discuss when it comes to higher education, and we’re sure to see editorial content and commentary on these issues in blogs and newspapers in the coming months. Let Ikon’s evocative images bring clarity to whatever your project is.
While we often associate education with young people, learning is a lifelong process. Many adults engage in both formal and nonformal education, whether they are addressing gaps in their knowledge, such as improving reading skills, going back for secondary-level qualifications, or joining the increasing number of mature students studying for a degree.
Many graduates will then go on to seek professional qualifications or accreditation, with certain professions requiring minimum standards of continuing professional development (CPD) annually. Meanwhile, forward-thinking companies will invest in staff development and training.
Ikon’s illustrations are ideal to show how learning continues into adulthood, and are especially suited towards corporate development initiatives, CPD programmes and training.
Part of the adventure of education is deciding what exactly to study. Basic maths and English (and a country’s home language) are, of course, the cornerstones to success. And recent years have seen the US and European countries re-emphasising STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects in particular to tackle employment shortages in these areas - including, vitally, medicine - and to close the achievement gap with East Asian countries. But good old standbys such as geography, the humanities, and the creative arts continue to feature.
Because we have an illustration for almost any topic you can think of, Ikon’s extensive collection of illustrations cover all these subjects and more and are suitable for industry publications, as well as editorial design, book covers and blogs alike.
Whatever the subject, effective learning requires effective resources. At Ikon, our diverse range of illustrations will cover any subject you’re instructing, with eye-catching images and related backgrounds that will make your textbook, website or learning app engaging for students.
Header image: Matt Herring | Ikon Images