A quick look at the numbers suggests overall job growth and lower unemployment since 2008’s recession. But taking a closer look, the jobs that did increase were either low-paying/low-skill OR required a college degree which is increasingly difficult to afford.
So, what do we know about the kinds of jobs the economy is struggling to keep? We know more “routine” jobs are being lost to increasingly complex technology and industry, and that more “non-routine” jobs are the ones that are actually on the rise.
Since it’s hard for me to talk about pretty much anything in life without referring it back to CLASS, it got me thinking: How does all this talk about “routine” and “non-routine” in the workforce relate to CLASS??
Two words: Instructional. Support.
The Instructional Support dimensions (Concept Development, Quality Feedback, Language Modeling) address precisely the kinds of skills our students need to be competitive in tomorrow’s workforce. For instance:
The problem (for many reasons beyond this humble post) is that it's precisely these skills that are hard for teachers to help students develop. Teachers are pressured to prioritize rote and routine cognitive tasks over practices that challenge students to think, compare, contrast, brainstorm, and reflect. Scores in these dimensions— across demographics, geography, age levels and over time—are universally low and are difficult to change.
Luckily, there is a bright light shining at the end of the tunnel: CLASS Professional Development (PD)!
Research shows that important ingredients for solid PD support systems in education are things like: how aligned and targeted are efforts, and how focused, intensive, or comprehensive are they over time? When all of this comes together good things happen for students and teachers.
It’s so exciting to learn about the many ways people are embedding CLASS into their high quality and intentional PD efforts. According to our State of CLASS survey conducted earlier this year, over 79% of respondents work to link CLASS with their efforts to support teacher growth and development. That’s awesome, but of course, ideally we’d see this at 100% in the future.
The more that educators agree to prioritize and promote teaching practices that align with CLASS, the more teachers that will be able to foster Instructional Support interactions that today’s students will need for their futures.
And that, if anything, should be something we can all agree on!
What are your experiences embedding CLASS into your professional support system? We’d love to hear your thoughts on what has worked well and what is still tough!
As a CDA with CLASS facilitator, I now recognize that CLASS also helps us think about how we can be present and responsive in supporting the curiosity, engagement, and persistence of adult learners.
I am blessed to be able to support CDA learners, many of whom are returning to formal education for the first time in many years. Some of these learners come from previous educational experiences that were not supportive, that left them feeling that they weren’t good at school or weren’t competent students. But with the right support, these learners can grow their persistence as well as their sense of competence and confidence.
In the wake of the widespread civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd, the national conversation about the inequities in the educational opportunities provided white students and students of color has been amplified. Due to racial and socioeconomic segregation, Black students, and other students of color, are more likely to attend poorly funded schools. EdBuild, a non-profit focused on fair and equitable school funding, reports that high poverty school districts that predominantly enroll children of color receive on average, $1,600 less per student than the national average. By their calculations, there is a $23,000,000,000 gap between funding for schools that primarily serve high poverty Black students and those that predominantly serve white students. Schools that predominantly serve high poverty white students, only receive $1440 less per student (EdBuild, 2019).
I recognize and admit to having a chip on my shoulder about the field of early childhood education - and, at times, disbelief that others may not see that period of time as the power-packed years in our developmental timeline which can lay the groundwork and set the course for much of the rest of our lives.
Since the coronavirus has disrupted many of our in-person plans, you might be trying to figure out how you can transition in-person coaching to online coaching. Online coaching can open a number of doors for coaches and teachers that might not be an option in face-to-face work.