CLASSIC© ESL Program
The CLASSIC (Critically reflective, Lifelong Advocacy for Second language learners, Site-specific, Innovation, and Cross-cultural competency) model is an evidence-based, standards-driven endorsement sequence (TESOL, NCATE & Kansas State Standards). In brief, eight universities and 100 school districts in eight states have utilized this model for capacity building among teachers of English language learners (Herrera, Morales, Holmes, & Terry, 2011; Holmes, Fanning, Morales, Espinosa, & Herrera, 2012; Penner-Williams, Perez, Worthen, Herrera, & Murry, 2010).
Critically-reflective: To maximize the learning of research-based educational theory regarding culturally and linguistically diverse students, participants are encouraged to embark on self-reflection and exploration of their own socialization, previous experiences, assumptions, and beliefs. By learning about oneself, one can better understand the needs of others. It is only when one can better understand others that research-based educational theory can be effectively applied.
Lifelong: It is the goal of the CLASSIC program that educators will continue to stay current on educational theory and research in a growing and evolving society. By engaging in coursework such as this, participants are demonstrating the fact that they are adult-centered learners who choose to be in control of their own learnings.
Advocacy: As a result of critical reflection and course learning, participants empower themselves to not only continue to stay current about educational theory and research but will become an advocate for students and families by sharing their learnings with others and proactively becoming part of educational reform.
Second Language Learners: The CLASSIC© program provides training for educators to most effectively meet the needs of their second language learners.
Site-Specific: The CLASSIC© program provides extensive up-to-date information and educational research on issues relating to culturally and linguistically diverse students. It does not prescribe one-size-fits-all solutions nor does it provide recipes. Each educator is encouraged to creatively find solutions based on their resources, personnel, demographics, programming, and students’ needs.
Innovative: The CLASSIC© program takes an active learning and constructivist approach to learning. The format of the courses is conducive to collaboration and providing opportunities for professional, self-directed, conversations on practice. The program addresses the differing needs of educators and students across the state. It focuses on critical reflection and self-exploration as the basis for learning the most up-to-date educational theory and research.
Cross-cultural Competence: Ultimately, through critical reflection, course learning, collaboration and application of learning, educators work toward ongoing growth in multicultural awareness and understanding.
Through an innovative and flexible format of traditional classroom, video-mediated, or online delivery of courses, the CLASSIC© program offers professional development which is available, accessible, and adaptable to individual and site-specific needs. The CLASSIC© program focuses participant attention on the site-specific dynamics and current curricular initiatives within schools and communities to provide a holistic approach to the instruction of English language learners. This innovative program approach has proven to increase the number of and upgrade the qualifications of certified educational personnel to meet high standards of professional practice with ELL students in more than 50 school districts and 165 schools in Kansas; partnerships with 7 states in the continental U.S.; and international programming in Ecuador through the Go Teacher program.
A Standards-Based Approach
Since its inception in 1999, CLASSIC© has provided high-quality professional development that yields mastery in critical competencies among participating educators (teachers, administrators and others). The CLASSIC© program has aligned curricula to TESOL/NCATE teacher standards to reflect professional consensus on standards for the quality teaching of pre-K-12 ELL students, the CREDE standards for Effective Pedagogy and Learning, and the Center for Equity and Excellence in Education (CEEE) Guiding Principles.
States implementing the Common Core State Standards will also find the CLASSIC© Program readily aligns to these standards. Through this alignment, the CLASSIC© program meets the following NBPTS standards: Meaningful Learning, Multiple Paths to Knowledge, Instructional Resources, Learning Environment, and Reflective Practice. Meta-analysis of state standards across the nation also ensures the accuracy of alignment of curricula to best practices set forth by states and national organizations.
As a result of the academic rigor associated with the CLASSIC©, participants learn content that is guided by theory and research-driven practice. Using the information they have learned, participants are then prompted, in school/district-based collaborative groups, to appropriately adapt that knowledge to theory-into-practice applications tailored to ELL student needs in their region. This innovative approach to professional development has been proven to enhance the quality of teaching for, and the climate for learning among ELL students, as evidenced in increased standardized achievement scores nationwide.
Previous Domestic Partnerships
In 2006, CIMA created partnerships with multiple universities and colleges across the nation to replicate our CLASSIC© ESL Program (e.g., Martinez, Penner-Williams, Herrera & Rodriguez, 2011; Bowman-Perrott, Herrera, & Murry, 2010). K-State worked one-on-one with eleven potential partners to write proposals for the Title III NPD program, and of those four chosen and funded, one partner chose to replicate without Title III support, bringing our total to five partners. Currently, our five partners are:
- Colorado State University
- University of Arkansas
- University of Georgia
- Eastern New Mexico University
- Morningside College