Associate Director of Education Writing and Research, AACTE
The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Jessica Milton at email@example.com.
The Bradley Professional Development Schools (PDS) Partnership was established in 1995 to address the needs of the eight PDS sites affiliated with Bradley University (IL). Inspired by a full-service community schools model, the partnership extends beyond teacher education to include all five departments in Bradley’s College of Education and Health Sciences.
How does the profession support teachers’ development over time? Addressing that question from a collaborative approach, a new report was released yesterday by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at American Institutes for Research and five other national education organizations, including AACTE. The Council of Chief State School Officers hosted a release event featuring a panel discussion by teacher leaders, researchers, and policy makers about the report’s findings.
Insights in the report, From Good to Great: Exemplary Teachers Share Perspectives on Increasing Teacher Effectiveness Across the Career Continuum, are based on an exploratory survey of more than 300 former national and state teachers of the year. This research identifies valuable professional experiences and supports that were essential to these exemplar teachers’ professional growth and effectiveness throughout various stages of their career. Teachers responded to survey questions relevant to four stages of the teacher career continuum, identified as the preservice, novice, career, and teacher leader stages.
The deadline to apply for AACTE’s new research fellowship was March 28, and we are ecstatic about the number of submissions we received! Nearly 80 research teams from a variety of member institutions submitted applications to study educator preparation pedagogy and/or educator workforce development.
The AACTE Research Fellowship for Educator Preparation is a new program established under the Innovation Exchange that aims to cultivate emerging scholars and support high-quality research in the area of educator preparation. Aligned with AACTE’s mission and strategic goals, the research fellowship will engage education scholars in collecting, documenting, and disseminating research on innovative educator preparation practices to fuel program improvement and influence policy decisions.
On March 19, I attended the release event of Beginners in the Classroom: What the Changing Demographics of Teaching Mean for Schools, Students, and Society, a report that examines the causes, conditions, and consequences of the rise of less-experienced teachers in the classroom.
Issued by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the report cites research showing that the shift toward greater numbers of inexperienced teachers has “serious financial, structural, and educational consequences for American public education—straining budgets, disrupting school cultures, and, most significantly, depressing student achievement.” (AACTE, too, seeks to address these problems through its Educator Workforce Advisory Task Force, an initiative of the new Innovation Exchange.)
A major forum at AACTE’s 2014 Annual Meeting will highlight lessons for transforming education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and for bridging the STEM achievement gap. To advance STEM education in PK-12 and improve access for disadvantaged students, educator preparation programs will have to produce career-ready teachers who have deep content knowledge in mathematics and science and pedagogical skills to teach to the differing needs of students to improve their achievement.
At the forum, a panel of education researchers, teacher educators, and practitioners will identify social and cultural barriers that contribute to persistent education inequities. Additionally, they will discuss effective education policies and innovative initiatives that promote progress in narrowing educational disparities in STEM.
As part of its Principal Pipeline Initiative, the Wallace Foundation last week convened its National Provider and Graduate Principal Professional Learning Community (National Provider PLC). I attended the meeting on behalf of AACTE, which is a communications partner for the initiative.
The National Provider PLC, launched in April, offers an opportunity for the initiative’s principal preparation providers, program alumni, and district administrators to collaborate in determining the most effective and efficient way to identify, develop, and support effective school leaders. Each district in the Principal Pipeline Initiative—Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC), Denver (CO), Gwinnett County (GA), Hillsborough County (FL), New York City (NY), and Prince George’s County (MD)—also participates in a local PLC. In all, 20 principal preparation programs and 20 graduate principals are involved in this change-driving work, and, of the programs, half are AACTE member institutions.
The editors of Go Teach magazine recently turned to AACTE to help prospective teacher candidates navigate the proliferation of conflicting visions of what constitutes effective teacher preparation. In response, my colleague Saroja Barnes and I coauthored an article for the magazine that ran in the November/December issue as the cover story, “How to Choose an Effective Teacher Preparation Program.”
Based on relevant research on teacher preparation, the article points to several key components of high-quality programs that potential teacher candidates should consider. Structured by seven key questions, the article guides prospective candidates to think through the following issues when exploring teacher preparation pathways:
On November 20, an interactive webinar sponsored by the Midwest Regional Educational Laboratory at American Institutes for Research addressed the preparation of preservice teachers to educate PK-12 students in online, hybrid, and blended environments. Mary Herring, associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Iowa and chair of AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology, and Bryan Zugelder, executive director for undergraduate affairs and partnerships at the University of Central Florida’s College of Education and Human Performance, discussed the preservice teaching landscape as it relates to online learning; the implications of virtual education on preservice teacher preparation programs; and the skills that current research and theory suggest preservice teachers should have to be successful in online and blended learning programs.