Knowledge Gained from 2000 United States Census Regarding the Role of Demographics in Education

Knowledge Gained from 2000 United States Census Regarding the Role of Demographics in Education

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In an article about the effect of demographics on education—released shortly after the findings of the 2000 United States Census—Hodgkinson (2000/2001) discusses, rather generally, knowledge gained from the census in terms of its ramifications for educators and educational leaders. Beginning with a discussion of general changing demographics, the author continues by exploring the questions of race and age in America, and concludes with a section on tips for teachers and the importance of demographics. Important to note is the fact that such changes differ based on the (1) area of the country, (2) population of the area in which you live, and (3) proximity to a city. Of particular interest was the fact that none of the 10 most racially segregated cities are in the South, where history was harshest to racial minorities.
Fowler (2004) writes that “[w]ise school leaders read newspaper and magazine articles about changing demographics with keen interest, asking themselves: What does this mean for children? For schools and teachers? For districts and administrators? What policy changes are needed…” as a result (p. 70)? Foremost among the many answers to this question is continued, ongoing training in multiculturalism and the impact of changing demographics on education. I am, being less than two years removed from my M.S.Ed. programs, a young teacher. As a teacher trainee, I was inundated with information, seminars, discussions, roundtables, and coursework on multiculturalism in education—but it is not enough. While there is certainly a place for these items in the curricula of teacher prep schools, an even better fit is found in the districts and school buildings across the country. There are a couple of reasons that ...

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...and need the support of strong professional development programs guided by strong educational leaders to be successful.
Education, and the educational institution, is as reactive to societal changes and demographic shifts as any other institution or organization. For this reason, it is critical for successful administrators to keep a keen eye on the demographics of their district/school and to anticipate changes coming in the near future. If a school it to be successful, it must meet the needs of all stakeholders, which can only be done through an appropriate level of knowledge about those stakeholders.

Works Cited
Fowler, F. (2004). Policy studies for educational leaders: An introduction. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Hodgkinson, H. (2000/2001). Educational demographics: What teachers should know. Educational Leadership 58(4), 6-11.

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