May 13, 2021 | By Barbara Pape
“Learning in the 21st Century: How the American Public, Parents, and Teachers View K-12 Teaching and Learning in the Pandemic,” a national survey (conducted in January 2021) produced for Digital Promise’s Learner Variability Project by Langer Research Associates, documents the broad range of difficulties in K-12 teaching and learning as perceived by the American public, public school teachers, and parents.
Highlights from the survey include:
It is not surprising that teachers’ job satisfaction, already at a low level (34 percent in our fall 2019 survey), dropped to 23 percent in this survey. This was a rough year, in which teachers, parents, students had to pivot almost overnight to move schools from in person to online. Yet, there remains a possibility that taking steps back could be the catalyst for an education renewal if lessons learned are addressed with intentionality.
While a year teaching and learning with COVID-19 looming unveiled inequities that have always existed, what was learned can inform how the nation proceeds in transforming educational systems designed to understand and address the learner variability of each student. Data points from the survey can help point the way to fully realize the dream of educational equity.
Many thanks to my colleagues who also contributed to the survey, Medha Tare and Alison Shell.