McGRAW-HILL RESEARCH FOUNDATION POLICY PAPER CITES URGENT NEED TO IMPROVE EFFECTIVENESS OF INSTRUCTION IN ADULT EDUCATION
Authors recommend development of new national standards, providing new professional development opportunities and introducing credentialing options
NEW YORK, March 20, 2012 – Studies forecast that from 2007 to 2032, better-educated individuals retiring from the U.S. workforce will be replaced by younger workers who have lower levels of skills and education. This statistic, combined with the fact that the gap between our most and least educated is already among the highest in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, underlines the critical need for improving the quality of adult education programs to ensure the future competitiveness of the American workforce. Helping undereducated and underprepared adults to learn requires a targeted set of skills and the cornerstone to strengthen these programs is to improve the preparation and effectiveness of adult education teachers, tutors, and administrators.
A new McGraw-Hill Research Foundation white paper, Improving Adult Education Teacher Effectiveness: A Call to Action for a New Credential, sheds light on this issue and offers recommendations by advocating the creation of new national standards for adult education teachers, providing additional professional development opportunities, and introducing credentialing options.
The paper is written by a team of adult education specialists: Marcia Hess, BS, BA, State Director/ABE Program Manager, Wyoming Community College Commission; Lennox McLendon, EdD, Executive Director, National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium; Bonnie Moore, PhD., Assistant Executive Director, National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium; and Mitch Rosin, MA, MS, MS, Director of Adult Learning and Workforce Initiatives, McGraw-Hill Education.
The authors state, “National trends suggest greater need for common academic standards in education across state lines. The adult education field can build upon the work of other fields, including both higher education and K-12. . . .With the updating of high school equivalency credentials, the need for coordinated teaching standards—and teaching credentials—become more compelling. . . . Thus, by creating a national mechanism for developing standards, making available a diverse range of professional development resources and providing credentialing options, the field will be able to expand capacity throughout the nation, while creating a system for teachers (both paid and volunteer) to acquire portable, stackable credentials.”
The authors propose that mathematics be the first area around which national competencies should be developed for adult education professionals. Of the subjects traditionally assessed on high school equivalency exams, passing grades were lowest in math and studies reveal a startling lack of understanding and competency among Americans in mathematical concepts and their application to work and life.
There is a growing recognition that the performance of students can be predicted by the quality of instruction. The stakes for adult learners, and for the programs that support them, are greater than ever, as all must meet the needs for greater standards and more complexity in the 21st century workforce.
For full details of the recommendations, download a copy of Improving_Adult_Education
About The McGraw-Hill Research Foundation
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