The COVID-19 pandemic caused enormous disruptions to PK-12 school systems, including long-held beliefs about teaching and learning.
After several months of unexpected virtual and hybrid learning, some school systems have emerged with a new understanding of the instructional core. Commonly thought of as the relationships between teacher, student, and instructional materials that support student learning, these leaders have expanded their understanding of the instructional core to include families.
Despite enormous disruptions in education during the COVID-19 pandemic, changes brought on by pandemic learning led to critical lessons learned and academic breakthroughs that school districts and others can leverage to benefit students, according to new research released by the Center for Public Research and Leadership(CPRL) at Columbia University.
Fundamental 4: Pandemic Learning Reveals the Value of High-Quality Instructional Materials to Educator-Family-Student Partnerships reveals possibilities for sustained partnership between schools and families moving forward.
Leading Educators contributed to this research effort as a partner to the study sites.
The researchers found that digitally accessible high-quality instructional materials designed to bring families and educators together increased student learning and engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, high-quality instructional materials are strongest and most impactful when dimensions of “high-quality” are expanded from being aligned to standards to also include being tech enabled, culturally responsive and sustaining, and designed to enhance families’ ability to guide student learning and instruction.
- High-quality instructional materials that include these additional attributes drive good teaching and enable teachers to spend more time daily on high-impact activities like engaging with families rather than low-impact activities like creating curriculum from scratch.
- High-quality instructional materials become a more powerful and effective teaching tool when they are designed to foster close coordination and collaboration between teachers, parents and students.
- It is enriching for students, especially students from low-income households and students of color, to have access to high-quality instructional materials designed to support academic partnership between teachers and families.
The findings show that a good use of federal relief funds includes investment in high-quality instructional materials and curriculum-based professional learning focused on teaching skills because they can lead to improved academic outcomes.