Defining a Diverse and Learner-Ready Teaching Workforce
Developing common language for stakeholders and policymakers around diverse teaching and learning was among the top priorities the initiative outlined
Diversity can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. The dimensions of diversity include race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, mental and physical ability, class, and immigration status. Teacher Diversity refers to the representation of dimensions of diversity in the collective makeup or pool of individuals within the K-12 public school teacher workforce. The work of the CCSSO DLRT Initiative focuses specifically on increasing the racial diversity of the teacher workforce.
Culturally Responsive Practice in the classroom refers to both: 1) the use of cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to and effective for all students; and, 2) the embodiment of attitudes and dispositions that empower students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The work of the CCSSO DLRT Initiative focuses specifically on increasing the culturally responsive practice aptitude of the teacher workforce.
If states prioritize building a teacher workforce that reflects the racial diversity of the states K12 student population and ensure that all teachers in the workforce demonstrate culturally responsive practice, then we can build a teacher pipeline that attracts, prepares, supports, and retains a racially diverse and learner-ready workforce to ensure each student has equitable access to teachers who can advance learning.
- By 2020 all DLRT states (10 total) have revised, enacted, or removed policies to better address specific challenges that impede a racially diverse and culturally responsive teacher workforce.
- By 2022, a majority of states (more than 25) have done the same.
- By 2025, at least 15 states have evidence of increased racial diversity in their teacher workforce and measure the performance of teachers in relation to culturally responsive practice.
States who joined the initiative committed to the following
- Establishing a clear and transparent long-term vision for their role in increasing the ethno-racial diversity of the teacher workforce and ensuring culturally-responsive practice.
- Determining clear measures of success for both short-term and long-term goals for increasing the ethno-racial diversity of the teacher pipeline and ensuring culturally-responsive practice.
- Incubating and piloting innovative strategies, policies, and practices aimed at solving problems and assessing early indicators of effectiveness.
- Developing a plan to sustain progress and continuously improve the work over time.
The Diverse and Learner-Ready Teachers Initiative includes more than 30 national collaborating organizations, each working with others in one of three workgroups; collective action, communications & advocacy and policy & practice.
The Initiative is drawing from the major associations involved in enhancing teacher prep and teacher pipeline issues. Connecting states to broader resources like these associations help to broaden their view of how to diversify the teacher workforce and generate new ideas and strategies.
A Vision and Guidance for a Diverse and Learner-Ready Teacher Workforce
- To support the initiative’s efforts, CCSSO developed A Vision and Guidance for a Diverse and Learner-Ready Teacher Workforce to outline actions chiefs, leaders in educator preparation and local education agencies, and others can take to ensure each child in our public school system is taught by a diverse and learner-ready teacher workforce. The report illustrates a vision of what success will look like for students and teachers and outlines policy and practice guidance. The report is available here on our website.
The Diverse and Learner-Ready Teachers Best Practices Webinar Series
- The Diverse and Learner-Ready Teachers Best Practices Webinar Series is a showcase of evidence-based, best practices from researchers and practitioners across the country to improve the racial diversity of the teacher workforce and ensure that teachers engage in practices that are culturally responsive to students and communities. The series features the nation’s leading researchers and practitioners on a variety of topics including effective uses of data, high-retention models to increase racial diversity, and lessons in stakeholder engagement. To learn more about the series, visit the Diverse and Learner-Ready Teachers Best Practices Webinar Series page on our website.