Tag Archives: Teaching Profession

Center for American Progress report: Teaching force lacks diversity and student achievement threatened

5 May

Moi believes that good and gifted teachers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and both genders. Teachers are often role models and mentors which is why a diverse teaching profession is desirable. Huffington Post has the interesting article, Few Minority Teachers In Classrooms, Gap Attributed To Bias And Low Graduation Rates which discusses why there are fewer teachers of color in the profession.

Minority students will likely outnumber white students in the next decade or two, but the failure of the national teacher demographic to keep up with that trend is hurting minority students who tend to benefit from teachers with similar backgrounds.
Minority students make up more than 40 percent of the national public school population, while only 17 percent of the country’s teachers are minorities, according to a report released this week by the Center for American Progress.
“This is a problem for students, schools, and the public at large. Teachers of color serve as role models for students, giving them a clear and concrete sense of what diversity in education–and in our society–looks like,” the report’s authors write. “A recent review of empirical studies also shows that students of color do better on a variety of academic outcomes if they’re taught by teachers of color.”
Using data from the 2008 Schools and Staffing Survey, the most recent data available, researchers found that more than 20 states have gaps of 25 percentage points or more between the diversity of their teachers and students.
California yielded the largest discrepancy of 43 percentage points, with 72 percent minority students compared with 29 percent minority teachers. Nevada and Illinois had the second and third largest gaps, of 41 and 35 percentage points, respectively.
In a second report, the CAP notes that in more than 40 percent of the nation’s public schools, there are no minority teachers at all. The dearth of diversity in the teaching force could show that fewer minorities are interested in teaching or that there are fewer minorities qualified to teach.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/few-minority-teachers-in-_n_1089020.html?ref=email_share

The lack of diversity in the teaching profession has been a subject of comment for years.

In 2004, the Council for Exceptional Children wrote in the article,New Report Says More Diverse Teachers Reduces the Achievement Gap for Students of Color:

Representation of Diverse Teachers in the Workforce
The number of diverse teachers does not represent the number of diverse students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2003):
• In 2001-2002, 60 percent of public school students were White, 17 percent Black, 17 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.
• According to 2001 data, 90 percent of public school teachers were White, 6 percent Black, and fewer than 5 percent of other races.
• Approximately 40 percent of schools had no teachers of color on staff.
Additional trends reflecting the dispersion of diverse teachers include:
• The percentage of diverse teachers does not approximate the percentage of diverse students in any state with a large population of diverse residents except Hawaii. The District of Columbia is also an exception.
• The larger the percentage of diverse students, the greater the disparity with the percentage of diverse teachers.
• Proportional representation of diverse teachers is closest in large urban school districts.
• Diverse teachers tend to teach in schools that have large numbers of students from their own ethnic groups.
• Diverse teachers are about equally represented in elementary and secondary schools. In addition, statistical projections show that while the percentage of diverse students in public schools is expected to increase, the percentage of diverse teachers is not expected to rise unless the nation and states take action.
The Impact of Diverse Teachers on Student Achievement
Increasing the percentage of diverse teachers not only impacts the social development of diverse students, it also is directly connected to closing the achievement gap of these students. Research shows that a number of significant school achievement markers are positively affected when diverse students are taught by diverse teachers, including attendance, disciplinary referrals, dropout rates, overall satisfaction with school, self-concept, cultural competence, and the students’ sense of the relevance of school. In addition, studies show that
o Diverse students tend to have higher academic, personal, and social performance when taught by teachers from their own ethnic group.
o Diverse teachers have demonstrated that when diverse students are taught with culturally responsive techniques and with content-specific approaches usually reserved for students with gifts and talents, their academic performance improves significantly.
o Diverse teachers have higher performance expectations for students from their own ethnic group.
Other advantages of increasing the number of diverse teachers are: more diverse teachers would increase the number of role models for diverse students; provide opportunities for all students to learn about ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity; enrich diverse students learning; and serve as cultural brokers for students, other educators, and parents. http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=6240&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CAT=none

A diverse teaching corps is needed not only to mirror the society, but because the continuing family meltdown has broadened the duties of schools.

Niraj Chokshi reported in the Washington Post article, Map: The student-teacher diversity gap is huge—and widening:
Teachers and students are increasingly looking less like each other.

The divide between the share of teachers of color and the share of students of color grew by 3 percentage points over as many years, according to a new report from the liberal Center for American Progress.
Students of color make up almost half of the public school population, but teachers of color make up just 18 percent of that population nationwide. And the disparity is even larger in 36 states. It’s largest in California where 73 percent of students are nonwhite while just 29 percent of teachers are nonwhite…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/05/05/map-the-student-teacher-diversity-gap-is-huge-and-widening/

Here is the press release from the Center for American Progress:

RELEASE: U.S. Teacher Workforce Lacks Diversity, Puts Student Achievement at Risk
Contact: Katie Peters
Phone: 202.741.6285
Email: kpeters@americanprogress.org
Washington, D.C. — While America’s public schools are becoming increasingly more diverse, a new report released by the Center for American Progress finds that nearly every state is experiencing a large and growing teacher diversity gap, or a significant difference between the number of students of color and teachers of color.
The report released today revisits a similar Center for American Progress study from 2011. When the original report was released, students of color made up more than 40 percent of the school age-population, while teachers of color were only 17 percent of the teaching force. The report released today shows that since 2011, the gap between teachers and students of color has continued to grow. Over the past three years, the demographic divide between teachers and students of color has increased by 3 percentage points, and today, students of color make up almost half of the public school population.
“The student population of America’s schools may look like a melting pot, but our teacher workforce looks like it wandered out of the 1950s. It’s overwhelmingly white,” said
Ulrich Boser, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of the report ”We know from research that students of color do better academically if they are taught by teachers of color. We also know that all students need role models in their schools that represent our diverse society. Parents, teachers, and policymakers should be alarmed by the findings and demand that states and districts take action to address this growing problem.
The report, “Teacher Diversity Revisited,” includes state-by-state data documenting the teacher diversity gap across the nation. An analysis of the data reveals the following key findings:
 Almost every state has a significant diversity gap. In California, 73 percent of students are kids of color, but only about 29 percent are teachers of color. Maryland has the same problem, although the numbers are a bit better: In the Old Line State, more than 55 percent of students are kids of color, while just around 17 percent are teachers of color.
 The Hispanic teacher population has larger demographic gaps relative to students. In Nevada, for instance, just 9 percent of teachers were Hispanic. In contrast, the state’s student body was 39 percent Hispanic.
 Diversity gaps are large within districts. For the first time, we examined district-level data in California, Florida, and Massachusetts. These three states account for 20 percent of all students in the United States, and it turns out that the gaps within districts are often larger than those within states.
A companion report also released today by CAP and Progress 2050 describes how the shortcomings of today’s education system and the underachievement of many of today’s students of color shrink the future supply of the teachers of color. The report, “America’s Leaky Pipeline for Teachers of Color,” finds that fundamental constraints limit the potential supply of highly effective teachers of color. Students of color have significantly lower college enrollment rates than do white students. In addition, a relatively small number of students of color enroll in teacher education programs each year. Finally, teacher trainees who are members of communities of color often score lower on licensure exams that serve as passports to teaching careers.
Furthermore, the report reveals that teachers of color leave the profession at a much higher rate than their non-Hispanic white peers. Those who leave mention a perceived lack of respect for teaching as a profession, lagging salary levels, and difficult working conditions.
Despite the barriers in the educator pipeline, there is great opportunity ahead to make improvements. The report includes a set of policy recommendations for the federal government and for states and local school districts. Enlarging the pool of talented, well-educated teachers of color who are effective in improving student achievement in our schools will require aggressive and targeted recruitment and appropriate support. It will demand a steadfast determination to remove the barriers in the educator pipeline that limit and discourage strong candidates for the teaching profession. At the same time, policies must be in place to offer clear and meaningful monetary incentives, support, and professional development to ensure that the best and brightest students of color enter into teaching and succeed once in the profession.
Read the reports:
Teacher Diversity Revisited: A New State-by-State Analysis, by Ulrich Boser http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/report/2014/05/04/88962/teacher-diversity-revisited/
America’s Leaky Pipeline for Teachers of Color, by Farah Z. Ahmad and Ulrich Boser http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/report/2014/05/04/88960/americas-leaky-pipeline-for-teachers-of-color/

Which brings us back to diversity in the teacher corps. The Center for American Progress report, Teacher Diversity Matters A State-by-State Analysis of Teachers of Color, which was highlighted in the Huffington Post article makes the following recommendations:

There have been some successful initiatives to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce over the years. The successful characteristics of these programs are detailed in an accompanying study released with this paper by Saba Bireda and Robin Chait titled “Increasing Teacher Diversity: Strategies to Improve the Teacher Workforce.”10
Briefly, though, those recommendations include:
• Increasing federal oversight of and increased accountability for teacher preparation programs
• Creating statewide initiatives to fund teacher preparation programs aimed at low-income and minority teachers
• Strengthening federal financial aid programs for low-income students entering the teaching field
• Reducing the cost of becoming a teacher by creating more avenues to enter the field and increasing the number of qualified credentialing organizations
• Strengthening state-sponsored and nonprofit teacher recruitment and training organizations by increasing standards for admission, using best practices to recruit high-achieving minority students, and forming strong relationships with districts to ensure recruitment needs are met http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/11/pdf/teacher_diversity.pdf

The mantra is the system is broke and we, as a society, cannot afford the cost of implementing these recommendations. The reality is, we as a society, cannot afford the long-term cost of not implementing these recommendations.

Related:
Is there a ‘model minority’ ?? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

Urban Teacher Residencies: A Space for Hybrid Roles for Teachers http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_ahead/2011/10/urban_teacher_residencies

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Mayo Clinic study: Teachers more likely to develop speech disorders

1 Nov

Leigh Ann Morgan listed the hazards of the teaching profession in The Hazards of Being a Teacher:

Disease Transmission
Teachers spend their days with students, colleagues and parents, making them susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. In fact, a study led by investigators from the MGEN Foundation for Public Health revealed that teachers are more susceptible to certain types of infections than other workers. During the study, researchers surveyed 1,817 non-teachers and 3,679 teachers ranging in age from 20 to 60. After adjusting for variables, they found that male and female teachers had a higher lifetime prevalence of laryngitis and rhinopharyngitis, two infections of the upper respiratory tract. They also found that female teachers had a higher lifetime prevalence of bronchitis. The results of this study appeared in the April 21, 2006, online edition of “BMC Public Health.”
Workplace Violence
The American Psychological Association reports that approximately 7 percent of teachers in the United States are threatened with injury each year. These threats are more prevalent in urban high schools, and female teachers receive more than twice as many threats as male teachers. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed students as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance. Nearly 6 percent of the students surveyed admitted carrying a gun, knife or club on school property during the 30 days preceding the survey. This increases the risk for physical violence.
Ergonomic Issues
Ergonomics involves fitting the work environment to the employee instead of forcing the employee to fit the work environment. Employers use the principles of ergonomics to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries and other occupational health problems. Teachers spend much of their time standing, and may have to bend, stretch and lift to use educational aids and equipment such as blackboards and projectors. This puts them at risk for varicose veins and for injuries, including sprains, strains, pulled muscles, and back injuries. For teachers who spend a lot of time using a computer, the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome is also a concern.
Work-Related Stress
Teachers have several sources of stress in the workplace. They include increased class sizes, student performance objectives, lack of control over work hours and methods, lack of student motivation, difficulty working with parents, lack of professional recognition, and inadequate salary. Although everyone reacts to stress differently, too much stress can affect mood, behavior and physical health. The Mayo Clinic says that stress can lead to headaches, sleep problems, fatigue, muscle tension, upset stomach, chest pain and muscle pain. It can also cause anxiety, irritability, depression, anger, drug or alcohol abuse, social withdrawal, and changes in appetite.
Legal Considerations
Educators must comply with laws designed to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, enacted in 1990, gives students with disabilities access to special education services. The act also protects the right of students with disabilities to receive a free public education regardless of their ability. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 implemented education reforms designed to improve student achievement and hold educators responsible for student progress.
Teachers and administrators must also adhere to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The act gives parents the right to review the education records of their minor children and request the correction of any inaccuracies. It also prohibits educators from releasing information from a student’s education record without written permission from the parent. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as releasing information requested by authorities or complying with a judicial order, but educators need to be aware of these exceptions and release information only when required. Failing to comply with these laws and any state-specific education laws puts teachers at risk of being sued or losing their professional credentials. http://work.chron.com/hazards-being-teacher-9309.html

In addition to the hazards listed by Morgan, a Mayo Clinic study found teachers are more likely to have speech disorders.

Science Daily reported in the article, Teachers More Likely to Have Progressive Speech, Language Disorders:

Mayo Clinic researchers have found a surprising occupational hazard for teachers: progressive speech and language disorders. The research, recently published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, found that people with speech and language disorders are about 3.5 times more likely to be teachers than patients with Alzheimer’s dementia.1
Speech and language disorders are typically characterized by people losing their ability to communicate — they can’t find words to use in sentences, or they’ll speak around a word. They may also have trouble producing the correct sounds and articulating properly. Speech and language disorders are not the same as Alzheimer’s dementia, which is characterized by the loss of memory. Progressive speech and language disorders are degenerative and ultimately lead to death anywhere from 8-10 years after diagnosis.
In the study, researchers looked at a group of about 100 patients with speech and language disorders and noticed many of them were teachers. For a control, they compared them to a group of more than 400 Alzheimer’s patients from the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging. Teachers were about 3.5 times more likely to develop a speech and language disorder than Alzheimer’s disease. For other occupations, there was no difference between the speech and language disorders group and the Alzheimer’s group.
When compared to the 2008 U.S. census, the speech and language cohort had a higher proportion of teachers, but it was consistent with the differences observed with the Alzheimer’s dementia group.
This study has important implications for early detection of progressive speech and language disorders, says Mayo Clinic neurologist, Keith Josephs, M.D., who is the senior author of the study. A large cohort study focusing on teachers may improve power to identify the risk factors for these disorders….
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015094508.htm

Citation:

Journal Reference:
1. C. F. Lippa. Loss of Language Skills in Teachers: Is There a Link to Frontotemporal Degeneration? American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 2013; 28 (6): 549 DOI: 10.1177/1533317513502251
Mayo Clinic (2013, October 15). Teachers more likely to have progressive speech, language disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1,

Here is the press release from the Mayo Clinic:

Mayo Clinic Study: Teachers More Likely to Have Progressive Speech and Language Disorders
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic researchers have found a surprising occupational hazard for teachers: progressive speech and language disorders. The research, recently published in theAmerican Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, found that people with speech and language disorders are about 3.5 times more likely to be teachers than patients with Alzheimer’sdementia.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Dr. Josephs talking about the study, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Speech and language disorders are typically characterized by people losing their ability to communicate — they can’t find words to use in sentences, or they’ll speak around a word. They may also have trouble producing the correct sounds and articulating properly. Speech and language disorders are not the same as Alzheimer’s dementia, which is characterized by the loss of memory. Progressive speech and language disorders are degenerative and ultimately lead to death anywhere from 8-10 years after diagnosis.
In the study, researchers looked at a group of about 100 patients with speech and language disorders and noticed many of them were teachers. For a control, they compared them to a group of more than 400 Alzheimer’s patients from the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging. Teachers were about 3.5 times more likely to develop a speech and language disorder than Alzheimer’s disease. For other occupations, there was no difference between the speech and language disorders group and the Alzheimer’s group.
When compared to the 2008 U.S. census, the speech and language cohort had a higher proportion of teachers, but it was consistent with the differences observed with the Alzheimer’s dementia group.
This study has important implications for early detection of progressive speech and language disorders, says Mayo Clinic neurologist, Keith Josephs, M.D., who is the senior author of the study. A large cohort study focusing on teachers may improve power to identify the risk factors for these disorders.
“Teachers are in daily communication,” says Dr. Josephs. “It’s a demanding occupation, and teachers may be more sensitive to the development of speech and language impairments.”
The study was funded by National Institute of Health grants R01 DC010367 and P50 AG16574.
###
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit MayoClinic.com or MayoClinic.org/news.
Journalists can become a member of the Mayo Clinic News Network for the latest health, science and research news and access to video, audio, text and graphic elements that can be downloaded or embedded.

Of course, more information will be needed about whether further studies confirm the Mayo Clinic study and what links, if any, the skill set necessary to be a teacher has to later speech problems. Still, the study has an interesting result.

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Responsive teaching

18 Sep

Moi said in The ‘whole child’ approach to education:

Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

Christina A. Samuels describes “responsive teaching” in the 2008 Education Week article, Responsive Teaching:

In practice, RTI can look quite different from school to school. But several key components are necessary for a successful program, researchers say. Students are generally screened early in the school year to determine if they may have educational difficulties, and to help their teachers figure out what extra lessons they may need.

Children with such difficulties are given increasingly intense instruction geared to bolstering the areas where they need help. The interventions must be scientifically based and teachers must present the lessons as they were designed to be taught. Additional tests, or “progress monitoring,” continues for those students through the school year, to make sure the extra lessons are working.

Finally, if a student still hasn’t responded to several different interventions, he or she may need further evaluation, or special education services.

Federal special education law specifically allows states to use RTI as a tool for identifying children with learning disabilities. However, the hope among some proponents of RTI is that by providing instruction as soon as a problem is noted, children can be steered away from special education….

IOWA’S PRINCIPLES FOR RTI
All students are part of one proactive educational system
• Belief that all students can learn
• Use available resources to teach all students

Use scientific, research-based instruction
• Curriculum and instructional approaches must have a high probability of success for most students
• Use instructional time efficiently and effectively

Use instructionally relevant assessments that are reliable and valid
• SCREENING: Collecting data for the purpose of identifying low- and high-performing students at risk for not having their needs met
• DIAGNOSTIC: Gathering information from multiple sources to determine why students are not benefiting from instruction
• FORMATIVE: Frequent, ongoing collection of information, including both formal and informal data, to guide instruction

Use a problem-solving method to make decisions based on a continuum of student needs
• Provide strong core curriculum, instruction, and assessment
• Provide increasing levels of support based on increasing levels of student needs

Data are used to guide instructional decisions
• To align curriculum and instruction to assessment data
• To allocate resources
• To drive professional development decisions

Professional development and follow-up modeling and coaching to ensure effective instruction at all levels
• Provide ongoing training and support to assimilate new knowledge and skills
• Anticipate and be willing to meet the newly emerging needs based on student performance

Leadership is vital
• Strong administrative support to ensure commitment and resources
• Strong teacher support to share in the common goal of improving instruction
• Leadership team to build internal capacity and sustainability over time

SOURCE: Iowa Department of Education                                         http://www.edweek.org/tsb/articles/2008/09/10/01rti.h02.html?tkn=WOSDnI3HlWLBNfcrzyzcwghb8yKAqYXw6HP%2B&intc=es

A study supports “Responsive Teaching” as an effective strategy for helping many children make academic gains.

Jaclyn Zubrzycki reports in the Education Week article, Research Links ‘Responsive’ Teaching to Academic Gains:

In this second in-depth study of Responsive Classroom led by Ms. Rimm-Kaufman, 24 elementary schools in an unnamed Virginia district were randomly assigned to either receive training, materials, coaching, and administrative support to implement Responsive Classroom or to be part of a control group that did not adopt the approach. The researchers followed 2,904 students, taught by 295 teachers, from 3rd to 5th grade, and examined their academic performance on the 5th grade state standardized test.

The researchers also used surveys and observations to determine the degree to which Responsive Classroom practices were used in every elementary school in the district, as the approach involves practices that may also be used by teachers who were not teaching in the Responsive Classroom schools.

Simply being assigned to implement Responsive Classroom strategies did not have a direct effect on student scores, the researchers found, but there was a strong indirect effect: Schools in which teachers adhered more closely to the approach had significantly higher math scores, especially for students who had had low math scores in 2nd grade. Even within the group of schools that was not assigned to use Responsive Classroom, more-frequent use of the approach’s strategies was correlated with higher math achievement. In both the control and treatment groups, using more Responsive Classroom practices was associated with a 23-point gain on state standardized tests. Which specific program components were associated with higher performance will be the topic of a different paper, Ms. Rimm-Kaufman said, but preliminary findings show that the program’s focus on academic choice, which involves allowing students to choose among different activities to accomplish the same learning goals, may be particularly effective.

On the other hand, students in schools that were assigned to implement the program but did not do so with strong fidelity actually saw a small negative effect on their scores. “If you have lackluster fidelity, you don’t see gains in whatever the intervention happens to be,” Ms. Rimm-Kaufman said. But she said the dropoff in scores could also be tied to “something about schools and teachers that is both predicting use of practices and predicting achievement gains.” A school with a principal who was adept at helping teachers prioritize, for instance, might be more likely to implement Responsive Classroom with fidelity and also have higher test scores.

A Schoolwide Effort

The fact that the schools that implemented the program more faithfully saw better results is no surprise, said CASEL’s Mr. Goren. Previous research on similar programs has also indicated that social-emotional-learning programs are more effective when they are whole-school initiatives. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/09/13/04responsive.h32.html?tkn=OTLFQBaxSAzFYuW8%2FfLrhWZWEe7pAYkXBPim&intc=es

Citation:

Efficacy of the Responsive Classroom Approach: Results from a Three Year, Longitudinal Randomized Control Trial

Authors and Affiliations:

Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman, Ross Larsen, Alison Baroody,

University of Virginia

Tim Curby,

George Mason University

Eileen Merritt, Tashia Abry, Julie Thomas, Michelle Ko

University of Virginia                                                                         https://www.sree.org/conferences/2012f/program/downloads/abstracts/683.pdf

In order to ensure that ALL children have a good basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources:

What is responsive teaching?                              https://education.alberta.ca/apps/Readtolive/Workshops/Ws1bottem.htm

Relational Intervention Equips Parents of Toddlers with Evidence-based Practice                                                     http://msass.case.edu/childrenandfamilies/intervention.html

Responsive Classroom                           http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/

Related:

Oregon State University study: Ability to pay attention in preschool may predict college success                    https://drwilda.com/2012/08/08/oregon-state-university-study-ability-to-pay-attention-in-preschool-may-predict-college-success/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’ https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

Missouri program: Parent home visits                    https://drwilda.com/2012/05/30/missouri-program-parent-home-visits/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

The teaching profession needs more males and teachers of color

13 Nov

Moi believes that good and gifted teachers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and both genders. Teachers are often role models and mentors which is why a diverse teaching profession is desirable. Huffington Post has the interesting article, Few Minority Teachers In Classrooms, Gap Attributed To Bias And Low Graduation Rates which discusses why there are fewer teachers of color in the profession.

Minority students will likely outnumber white students in the next decade or two, but the failure of the national teacher demographic to keep up with that trend is hurting minority students who tend to benefit from teachers with similar backgrounds.

Minority students make up more than 40 percent of the national public school population, while only 17 percent of the country’s teachers are minorities, according to a report released this week by the Center for American Progress.

“This is a problem for students, schools, and the public at large. Teachers of color serve as role models for students, giving them a clear and concrete sense of what diversity in education–and in our society–looks like,” the report’s authors write. “A recent review of empirical studies also shows that students of color do better on a variety of academic outcomes if they’re taught by teachers of color.”

Using data from the 2008 Schools and Staffing Survey, the most recent data available, researchers found that more than 20 states have gaps of 25 percentage points or more between the diversity of their teachers and students.

California yielded the largest discrepancy of 43 percentage points, with 72 percent minority students compared with 29 percent minority teachers. Nevada and Illinois had the second and third largest gaps, of 41 and 35 percentage points, respectively.

In a second report, the CAP notes that in more than 40 percent of the nation’s public schools, there are no minority teachers at all. The dearth of diversity in the teaching force could show that fewer minorities are interested in teaching or that there are fewer minorities qualified to teach.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/few-minority-teachers-in-_n_1089020.html?ref=email_share

The lack of diversity in the teaching profession has been a subject of comment for years.

In 2004, the Council for Exceptional Children wrote in the article,New Report Says More Diverse Teachers Reduces the Achievement Gap for Students of Color:

Representation of Diverse Teachers in the Workforce

The number of diverse teachers does not represent the number of diverse students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2003):

·         In 2001-2002, 60 percent of public school students were White, 17 percent Black, 17 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.

·         According to 2001 data, 90 percent of public school teachers were White, 6 percent Black, and fewer than 5 percent of other races.

·         Approximately 40 percent of schools had no teachers of color on staff.

Additional trends reflecting the dispersion of diverse teachers include:

·  The percentage of diverse teachers does not approximate the percentage of diverse students in any state with a large population of diverse residents except Hawaii. The District of Columbia is also an exception.

·  The larger the percentage of diverse students, the greater the disparity with the percentage of diverse teachers.

·  Proportional representation of diverse teachers is closest in large urban school districts.

·  Diverse teachers tend to teach in schools that have large numbers of students from their own ethnic groups.

·  Diverse teachers are about equally represented in elementary and secondary schools. In addition, statistical projections show that while the percentage of diverse students in public schools is expected to increase, the percentage of diverse teachers is not expected to rise unless the nation and states take action.

The Impact of Diverse Teachers on Student Achievement
Increasing the percentage of diverse teachers not only impacts the social development of diverse students, it also is directly connected to closing the achievement gap of these students. Research shows that a number of significant school achievement markers are positively affected when diverse students are taught by diverse teachers, including attendance, disciplinary referrals, dropout rates, overall satisfaction with school, self-concept, cultural competence, and the students’ sense of the relevance of school. In addition, studies show that

o    Diverse students tend to have higher academic, personal, and social performance when taught by teachers from their own ethnic group.

o    Diverse teachers have demonstrated that when diverse students are taught with culturally responsive techniques and with content-specific approaches usually reserved for students with gifts and talents, their academic performance improves significantly.

o    Diverse teachers have higher performance expectations for students from their own ethnic group.

Other advantages of increasing the number of diverse teachers are: more diverse teachers would increase the number of role models for diverse students; provide opportunities for all students to learn about ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity; enrich diverse students learning; and serve as cultural brokers for students, other educators, and parents. http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=6240&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CAT=none

A diverse teaching corps is needed not only to mirror the society, but because the continuing family meltdown has broadened the duties of schools.

This portion of the comment is not politically correct. If you want politically correct, stop reading. Children, especially boys, need positive male role models. They don’t need another “uncle” or “fiancée” who when the chips are down cashes out. By the way, what is the new definition of “fiancée?” Is that someone who is rented for an indefinite term to introduce the kids from your last “fiancée” to?

Back in the day, “fiancée” meant one was engaged to be married, got married and then had kids. Nowadays, it means some one who hangs around for an indeterminate period of time and who may or may not formalize a relationship with baby mama. Kids don’t need someone in their lives who has as a relationship strategy only dating women with children because they are available and probably desperate. What children, especially boys, need are men who are consistently there for them, who model good behavior and values, and who consistently care for loved ones. They don’t need men who have checked out of building relationships and those who are nothing more than sperm donors.

This Washington Post article made me think about the importance of healthy male role models in a child’s life. This article is about a good male role model, a hero. Number of BlackMale Teachers Belies Their InfluenceThe reason that teachers like Will Thomas are needed, not just for African American kids, is because the number of households headed by single parents, particularly single women is growing. Not all single parent households are unsuccessful in raising children, but enough of them are in crisis that society should be concerned. The principle issues with single parenting are a division of labor and poverty. Two parents can share parenting responsibilities and often provide two incomes, which lift many families out of poverty. Families that have above poverty level incomes face fewer challenges than families living in poverty. Still, all families face the issue of providing good role models for their children. As a society, we are like the Marines, looking for a few good men.

The purpose of this comment is not that boys and girls cannot learn from teachers of either sex. The point is too many children are being raised in single parent homes and they need good role models of both sexes to develop. That brings me back to Will Thomas and The Washington Post story. Mr. Thomas is not only a good teacher, but a positive role model for both his boy and girl students. We need more teachers like Mr. Thomas.

I have never met an illegitimate child. I have met plenty of illegitimate parents. People that are so ill-prepared for the parent role that had they been made responsible for an animal, PETA would picket their house. We are at a point in society where we have to say don’t have children you can’t care for. There is no quick, nor easy fix for the children who start behind in life because they are the product of two other people’s choice, whether an informed choice or not.  All parents should seek positive role models for their children. For single mothers who are parenting boys, they must seek positive male role models to be a part of their son’s life. Boys and girls of all ages should think before they procreate and men should give some thought about what it means to be a father before they become baby daddy.

This brings me to an opinion piece in the Washington Post by Yvette Jackson of the National Urban Alliance in the Answer Sheet, a column normally written by Valerie Strauss. In How toHelp African American Males In School: Treat Them Like Gifted Students Ms. Jackson opines:

Damaging and pervasive chasms grow between teachers and students when teachers feel unprepared to meet the needs of students of color or economically disadvantaged students. Making cultural connections and strengthening teacher-student relationships are critical to making learning meaningful and relevant to students.

Finally, students must be enabled to be more active in their own education. Schools should give students opportunities to participate in teachers professional development aimed at enriching curriculum, improving teaching and expanding the range of materials students create.

Ms. Jackson is correct that having high expectations is essential along with discipline and structure. Still, what she fails to recognize is only one part of the equation, which is education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s) and school. All parts of the partnership must be committed and involved.

Which brings us back to diversity in the teacher corps. The Center for American Progress report, Teacher Diversity Matters A State-by-State Analysis of Teachers of Color, which was highlighted in the Huffington Post article makes the following recommendations:

There have been some successful initiatives to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce over the years. The successful characteristics of these programs are detailed in an accompanying study released with this paper by Saba Bireda and Robin Chait titled “Increasing Teacher Diversity: Strategies to Improve the Teacher Workforce.”10

Briefly, though, those recommendations include:

Increasing federal oversight of and increased accountability for teacher preparation programs

Creating statewide initiatives to fund teacher preparation programs aimed at low-income and minority teachers

Strengthening federal financial aid programs for low-income students entering the teaching field

Reducing the cost of becoming a teacher by creating more avenues to enter the field and increasing the number of qualified credentialing organizations

Strengthening state-sponsored and nonprofit teacher recruitment and training organizations by increasing standards for admission, using best practices to recruit high-achieving minority students, and forming strong relationships with districts to ensure recruitment needs are met

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/11/pdf/teacher_diversity.pdf

The mantra is the country is broke and we, as a society, cannot afford the cost of implementing these recommendations. The reality is, we as a society, cannot afford the long-term cost of not implementing these recommendations.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©