This Disconnect Between K-12 and Higher Education
Many businesses that work together to prosper are essential to our day-to-day existence, including, but not limited to, the restaurant and the product supplier, the manufacturer and the parts supplier, and the insurance company and the sales agency. In each of these instances, the success of one depends on the success of the other, and the consumer gains when both succeed. Partners must adapt and evolve as circumstances change in order to maintain success. The K-12 and higher education systems are equally dependent on one another. It’s not a novel notion to better align and coordinate operations across these two industries. For many years, a number of state P-20 councils have successfully encouraged collaboration, including those in Hawaii and Maryland.
In 2009, Kentucky, United States of America, passed legislation that specifically urged the two sectors to work together to enhance student performance. Despite these initiatives, there is still evidence of a gap between the sectors’ policies and practices. Teachers finish a program for educator training and receive their licenses, but they are not yet prepared to teach in a classroom. The academic standards of the opposite sector are not completely understood by educators in either sector. Students graduate from high school but have trouble with college-level work. They navigate murky admissions and placement standards, inefficient and disjointed remedial courses, or outdated curricula. Many students ultimately fail to achieve their ultimate objective of receiving a diploma or degree.
These gaps in connection are a serious issue that has severe repercussions for pupils. Fortunately, there is a chance for even more profound, more significant cross-sector synergy because of today’s heightened and widespread emphasis on college and job preparedness, including the implementation of new standards and evaluations. States are becoming increasingly aware of the potential for particular alignment techniques centered on new standards and examinations to assist a growing number of students in more simply and successfully achieving their academic goals.
K-12 and Higher Education Can Work Together
Today’s collaborations between university professors and K–12 educators, however, entail more than just a one-way information flow from an expert to his or her beginner pupils. The idea of “partnership” implies clear advantages for all parties. In partnerships, two or more people collaborate on a project having complementary knowledge or abilities.
Here are ways K-12 and Higher Education can work together;
1. A More Researched Inclined Teaching in K12
It is crucial for K–12 educators to understand that research, not instruction, is the foundation of higher education. A vast cry from the realm of K–12, the quality of a professor’s research is by far the most significant factor in determining whether or not they are granted tenure. In addition, despite the fact that Ph.D. holders frequently serve as the official teachers for college courses, there is actually very little academic preparation for a doctoral degree that prepares holders for classroom instruction. This is also in stark contrast to K-12 and Higher Education, where certification for teachers is often obtained after completing a program for teacher training.
While some doctorate candidates receive a teaching assistantship that enables them to learn from an experienced teacher, these positions are not only hard to come by but are often seen as secondary to the more sought-after research assistantships. This is one of the popular ways for K-12 and Higher Education can work together.
2. Accelerating Learning with Evidence-Based Student Supports
Postsecondary institutions have untapped talent pools, and schools need more help in the classroom. We may develop a paradigm where college students, particularly those majoring in the social sciences and education, can work as mentors, assistants, tutors, and coaches at K–12 institutions for pay or for academic credit.
All three organizations—City Year, Saga Education, and College Advising Corps—already have scalable, moderately priced recruiting and training infrastructures.
3. Supporting K-12 Educators Development
In order to revitalize the profession and position the workforce for future success, it is important to reevaluate how teachers are supported throughout pre-service and in-service training. Teachers are doing their very best. Through residency programs, teacher preparation programs, and career paths that allow educators to “create their own,” the talent pool that is available may be enlarged and varied. According to research, programs like TechTeach at Texas Tech University have been successful in ensuring that the local teacher pool is diverse enough to fulfill the needs of children of color.
4. Familiarizing K-12 educators with Educational Research
While K–12 instructors might benefit from additional exposure to field research, higher education needs to reinvest in a strong teaching foundation. When it comes to the most recent pedagogical approaches and educational research, K-12 and Higher Education frequently lack knowledge. For instance, research has revealed that many instructors’ unconscious prejudices affect how they judge the behavior and aptitude of their students.
5. An Integration Between K-12 Educators and Higher Education Instructors
K–12 and higher education must work together to meet the educational needs of all students, despite their glaring structural and philosophical disparities. But in order to overcome these differences, K-12 and Higher Education, must go outside of their comfort zones and become fully immersed in one another’s cultures.
Then, just like they did in 1952, both parties may actually innovate to create the program that serves as the foundation of their collaboration today.
In conclusion, effective K-12 and Higher Education, collaborations do not start with what university faculty members think needs to be altered in K-12 classrooms. Instead, productive collaborations arise from the requirements that working teachers identify for their particular curricula and classrooms. Furthermore, those who have a thorough understanding of both the science and the classroom settings where the modifications will be applied are best suited to describe the demands of the curriculum. Last but not least, effective collaborations involve university faculty members considering how collaboration with K-12 and Higher Education might improve the education of their own students.