Advancing Quality in Early Care and Education
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HOW EDUCATORS CAN PLAN BEYOND COVID-19
Myra G. Crouch, PhD, Education Consultant
October 31, 2021
We could have never imagined the disruption that was felt in the U.S. and abroad to the world that we have built around us as a society. Most significantly, the education system. As we shut-down globally, in the U.S., schools closed, families unable to report to work and the exposure of the inequities across so many of our social and educational systems. There are so many opinions out there by experts, scholars, policymakers, and parents about what this disruption has exposed us to and the implications for planning the future of the American education system. Many administrators across the education sector (birth -5, K-12) are putting systems and resources in place as a result of the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to ensure that classrooms are safe and that teachers, staff and parents receive the necessary resources to avoid any further gaps in student learning and social-emotional development.
As American educators battle the COVID-19 crisis, we are rightly recognizing that providing quality education faces incredible new challenges in the short and long term. Establishing strategies that can lead to “building back better” is going to require all involved to ensure a better education system. As we have all witnessed from this pandemic the devastating truth diversity, equity and inclusion which are a root cause of ineffective educational practices. Most schools struggled to put in place virtual and hybrid systems for student learning which will require that we avoid trying to return back to normal or to retrofit back to the way learning environments were structured.
From my perspective as an educational psychologist, this transformation must include a major shift that will re-engage teachers, administrators, students and families toward greater outcomes and academic achievement. So how do we sustain success when disruptions occur like a global pandemic, so no student is left behind? This crisis will require American educators, as well as abroad to rethink the future of education across all early childhood, elementary, secondary, and higher education learning environments to implement transformation improvements to how we offer students with a positive educational experience. With shortages among educators, administrators and support staff, this call to action is imminent.