The demand for PFL training across the USA has been accelerating since 2010. Many states including our own Colorado Department of Education, have created new academic content standards. CCEE has discovered that each of the 178 school districts in Colorado, in response to the PFL mandate, has its own approach, its own timetable and plan for implementing PFL. But some realities are overarching.
It’s worth noting that all elementary teachers (K-5) are expected to incorporate PFL into their teaching. PFL is embedded in the math and social studies (economics) standards, and each elementary teacher is responsible for helping his or her students master that knowledge and internalize the accompanying skills and behaviors. The reality is that as active as CCEE (and other organizations like Jump$tart and Junior Achievement) have been in promoting PFL training, the potential demand, especially at the elementary level, simply exceeds the capacity to offer the training. There are nearly 900,000 public and private school students in the state of Colorado. About half of those are elementary students. That translates into somewhere around 18,000 elementary teachers (calculated at 450,000 students divided into individual classes of 25). At the secondary level, it’s the economics, social studies, business or consumer family studies and perhaps math teachers who will end up delivering PFL. At the elementary level, EVERY teacher, all 18,000, will be expected to incorporate PFL into their instructional repertoire. CCEE has come to the conclusion that it is at the elementary level where the most immediate demand will be, and it is the most problematic in terms of professional development. These courses and resources help teachers address this challenge.