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Teachers Learn in the Classroom, Too

Research out of Brown University (RI) shows that teachers improve tremendously in their first year of teaching and continue to do so during their career. Researchers John Papay and Matthew Kraft discussed this work in a free AACTE webinar last month, “Toward a Broader Conceptualization of Teacher Quality: How Schools Influence Teacher Effectiveness,” which was recorded and is now available in AACTE’s Resource Library.

Papay, assistant professor of education and economics, and Kraft, assistant professor of education, shared findings from their research, recently published in Productivity Returns to Experience in the Teacher Labor Market: Methodological Challenges and New Evidence on Long-Term Career Improvement and Can Professional Environments in Schools Promote Teacher Development? Explaining Heterogeneity in Returns to Teaching Experience. These studies show that teachers’ learning develops exponentially in their early years in the classroom but also continues to grow throughout their careers at a slower rate, and teachers working in more supportive professional environments improve their effectiveness more over time than teachers working in less supportive contexts.

JTE Coeditor: NCTQ Appraisal of Journals Based on Narrow View of Teacher Prep Research

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) published an article in last week’s Teacher Quality Bulletin that criticized journals with a teacher education focus for not publishing enough articles on “core techniques and skills.” Targeting AACTE’s Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) in particular, the authors report that “only” 11% of the articles published in JTE in the past 5 years address this topic. JTE Coeditor Fran Arbaugh of Pennsylvania State University sent the following response to the article’s authors:

Strategic Deployment of Teacher Experience: Getting It Right for Students

News Flash! The interest of students and their opportunity to learn is not better or even well served by a strategy of constant and high demand of inexperienced teachers. Retention matters, not just to teachers but, most critically, to students.

Recent studies showing that teacher effectiveness continues to develop over time reinforce this imperative to do right by our students. First, in a working paper completed last year for the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, researchers at Duke University found that middle school teachers’ effect on student test scores as well as attendance rates improves over at least several years. A subsequent study out of Brown University found improvement in teacher effectiveness is indeed steepest in the early years in the classroom but continues for many more years, challenging the common perception that teacher quality is a fixed characteristic after just a couple of years of experience.

Apples to Oranges: Comparing Student Performance Across Countries With Varied Socioeconomic Conditions

In the three decades since A Nation at Risk was released, the state of America’s education system relative to other countries’ has been a matter of heated debate. Along the way, public opinion has placed the onus for our schools’ perceived failure on teachers and their preparation, and education policy has echoed this assumption through an array of accountability measures for teachers and preparation programs.

One driver of the continued misconception about U.S. teacher quality is the highly publicized results of international large-scale education assessments (ILSAs) that suggest America’s students are performing far below other nations. At January’s press briefing for the report The Iceberg Effect, lead researcher and report author James Harvey explained that ILSAs have been misused and that the science behind them is highly questionable, akin to comparing apples to oranges.

Research Fellows: Can Persistence of Urban Teachers Be Attributed to Their Preparation Pathway?

Editor’s Note: AACTE’s two Research Fellowship teams will present a joint session at the Association’s Annual Meeting, Saturday, February 28, at 1:30 p.m. in Room A704 of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. This post provides background on the fellowship based in New Jersey at Kean University, Rowan University, and William Paterson University.

Is there a difference in teacher persistence in urban districts attributable to specific pathways? Why do teachers say they persist in urban districts? Researchers from Kean University, Rowan University, and William Paterson University came together to explore these and other related questions as part of the AACTE Research Fellowship.

Research Fellows: Data-Collection Challenges Hold Implications for Accountability Measures

Editor’s Note: AACTE’s two Research Fellowship teams will present a joint session at the Association’s Annual Meeting, Saturday, February 28, at 1:30 p.m. in Room A704 of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. This post provides background on the fellowship at the University of Southern Maine.

The recent release of proposed federal reporting requirements for educator preparation programs stirred up intense interest in the methods and metrics used to evaluate programs. As many people noted in their letters of comment to the U.S. Department of Education earlier this month, several of the proposed new measures are unprecedented and would require investment of significant time and money to collect, analyze, and report data on an annual basis.

edTPA Literature Review Now Available

The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) is excited to share the edTPA Review of Research on Teacher Education, developed by SCALE with input from educators and researchers to identify foundational research literature that informs the development of edTPA.

The literature cited provides a research foundation for the role of assessment in teacher education, for the common edTPA architecture, and for each of the 15 shared rubric constructs.

‘The Iceberg Effect’—Not Just About Asking Questions

Upon arriving at AACTE last month to begin our semester-long internship, we were whisked off to the National Press Club for a press briefing on The Iceberg Effect, based on the new studySchool Performance in Context: Indicators of School Inputs and Outputs in Nine Similar Nations. For three doctoral students who are dedicated to promoting social justice in and out of the classroom, this could not have been a more fitting introduction to our work at AACTE.

The report, released by the National Superintendents Roundtable and the Horace Mann Foundation, casts new light on U.S. students’ performance on international assessments, controlling for social and economic factors that have not been previously studied alongside student achievement on this scale. The results highlight the relatively strong academic achievement of America’s students in spite of our nation’s poor performance in providing supports to help offset the widespread social and economic effects of poverty.

AACTE Names Michigan State Faculty as Next JTE Editors

AACTE is pleased to announce Michigan State University’s College of Education as the next editorial host of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE). The editors were selected through a competitive proposal process and approved by the Association’s Board of Directors for a 3-year term.

The current editorial team at Pennsylvania State University, which has served the JTE since August 2010, will continue work on the journal through June 2015 to complete Volume 66; however, the Michigan State team will receive all new manuscript submissions effective March 1.

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