Hear from our distinguished ADR advisors on what to expect and what is needed in education today. Their experience in education, diversity, and social justice makes their perspectives invaluable.
e same holds true for social justice and equity initiatives. Fierce resistance from right-wing politicians, state legislatures and a few other conservative segments of society notwithstanding, such issues, without question, more important now than ever.”
2. “It is our responsibility to teach in a way that reaches every child, regardless of background.” This quote by Clarice Clash of Tucson should resonate with us all. Ms Clash said this in response to one her team members telling her that “students aren’t arriving with necessary prerequisites to teach grade-level ELA standards.” I agree with Ms Clash and believe that the education system must now find a way to shift to meet the needs of all students.
After speaking with several educators from different regions in our nation, I discovered that many are planning to start private institutions where they can better focus more on the needs of not only the students, but also the family. This is challenging but they strongly believe that it can be done, and they are committed to this end.”
~ Dr. Gail Hayes: Thought Leader and Race Relations Consultant who is a Bridge between races, genders, generations, and political parties because of her ability to paint pictures with words that promote understanding.
3. “The most disadvantaged students under the pandemic regime of out of class learning are those with disabilities and those who are limited English proficient. Much has been made of the digital divide and the number and percent of students who don’t have access to broadband and good high speed Internet connections. While it is appropriate to focus attention on IT issues and the digital divide during the public school closures, there are measures that can be taken to deliver education in addition to using the Internet for laptops and desktops. These include maximizing education over mobile devices and gamification, especially since that’s how a great many young people today receive and transmit information and spend time, and since almost all households today have cellphones; using good old educational TV, since almost all households in the US have TVs; using traditional homeschooling methods; using old-fashioned lessons by mail; and using radio, as used to be done in rural America and in Australia. Some solutions are ready-made and available off the shelf, such as mobile device maximized foreign language education applications. The current crisis provides an opportunity to rethink some old-fashioned aspects of education, and substitute gamification. This is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity. It encourages users to engage in desired behaviors by showing a path to mastery and by taking advantage of the psychological predisposition to engage in play games.
A problem that hasn’t been solved, and which technology isn’t going to solve, is the fact that about a third of K-12 students aren’t even bothering to log on to their school sites to participate in distance learning. This figure far exceeds the gap caused by the digital divide. There will probably be bad long-term consequences for student achievement due to the lack of imagination by educators. A bigger, different question is what are people learning under the pandemic. Some demonstrators are learning the virtues of mob rule as a form of civic participation. Overall, we should all be learning that life is contingent and that nature bats last. Students of public administration may be learning that lack of national leadership is extremely harmful. Business students may be learning that everything they learned in Econ 101 can be tossed into a cocked hat.”
~ Marc Brenman: Served as Executive Director of Washington State Human Rights Commission and held positions with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education.
4. “Across the nation, governors, state education commissioners, school boards, and, reluctantly, teachers and parents are discussing and planning how to open schools.
I think, regardless of method of delivery, I know how schools will open.
With rage. And fear.
There has always been some amount of frustration in the schools — not understanding concepts, unhappy home life, school bullying, mean teacher, mean students, poor teaching, poor teaching/learning conditions — on the part of both teachers and students. And there have been tragedies in some schools, such as school shootings. But now, rage and fear are escalating. That puts children at risk. More angry people = more incidents/tragedies in schools.
Children, even teenagers, copy and/or reflect the adult-in-the-room’s behavior. If the adult shows anger, students react to it, either by being angry or tensing up in fear. This is true at home and at school.
As I scroll through social media posts, I flinch. People started out angry over not being able to buy toilet paper, then they became angry over people hoarding toilet paper. This escalated to not being able to go out of the house, then anger and fear over those who were going out to do their business. Then, for the last couple of months, it’s been masks and social distancing (and other things that need their own article), all overarched by politics, which really have no place in deciding what is safest (because the first tenet of opening schools is to keep children safe; an eight-year-old doesn’t know from politics, but they know what fear is). And it’s not a civil conversation either. It’s “People should wear masks in public” and then there is an explosion. “You are stupid, (insert derogatory name here).” “No, you’re (spelled “your”) stupid, (you something-about-political-belief).” The weepy announcement about unfollowing/blocking all those who do not share the same beliefs follows, and there we are, setting an example for students who are gearing up to go to their diverse schools.
In person, people are going into Wal-Mart without masks and arguing about it — pulling guns on each other. People spit on each other in stores and huff on the produce, just to monger fear. Until we adults can get a handle on our behavior, schools need to stay closed. Not because of a virus, but because of the total absence of civility in our behavior toward each other.”
~ Dr. Beth Lynne: Held positions as an elementary teacher, middle school science and math teacher, special education teacher, high school English teacher, and vice principal.