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JTE Author Interview: Social Justice and Teacher Education

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the latest entry below.

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This interview features insights from the JTE article “Social Justice and Teacher Education: A Systematic Review of Empirical Work in the Field”, written by Carmen Mills and Julie Ballantyne. The article is featured in the September/October issue of JTE.

National Forum Spotlights Teacher Shortages, Threats to Equity

Tampa, Florida, is short 1,000 teachers this year. Nine out of 10 low-income schools have staffing deficits in special education. Across the United States this year, classrooms are in need of 60,000 teachers, and the number could reach 100,000 by 2018. These are among the sobering statistics presented at a national policy forum I attended September 15, sponsored by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI).

The event, “Solving Teacher Shortages: Attracting and Retaining a Talented and Diverse Teaching Workforce,” presented the latest staffing and enrollment data and what they mean for education – ranging from fewer classes and larger class sizes to the hiring of underqualified teachers. Various high-profile speakers explained that shortages are driven largely by attrition of teachers for reasons such as lack of respect and autonomy, poor working conditions, and inadequate pay and administrative support.

JTE Author Interview: ‘Engaging and Working in Solidarity With Local Communities in Preparing the Teachers of Their Children’

JTE-new

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the latest entry below.

This interview features insights from the JTE article “Engaging and Working in Solidarity with Local Communities in Preparing the Teachers of their Children,” written by Ken Zeichner, Michael Bowman, Lorena Guillén, and Kate Napolitan. This blog highlights the experience of authors Bowman (MB), Guillén (LG), and Napolitan (KN). The article is featured in the September/October issue of JTE.

JTE Author Interview: Alastair Henry on Preservice Teachers’ Identity Development

JTE-new

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the latest entry below.

In this author interview, Alastair Henry discusses his article, “Conceptualizing Teacher Identity as a Complex Dynamic System: The Inner Dynamics of Transformations During a Practicum,” published in the September/October issue of JTE.

Research: Teacher Shortages Are Real and Growing, But Evidence Recommends Solutions

Today, the Learning Policy Institute released a set of reports that present the latest data on U.S. teacher supply and demand and promote comprehensive recruitment and retention strategies to alleviate persistent shortages. AACTE commends the reports’ attention to the steep cost to students of understaffed schools, particularly in low–income communities, as well as the proposed solutions centered on high-quality clinical preparation of new teachers and reducing the attrition rate among practicing teachers.

School districts across the nation are struggling to staff classrooms with adequate numbers of skilled teachers, forcing them to make tough choices that shortchange students. Many educator preparation programs have stepped up recruitment and developed innovative partnerships with districts to meet local needs. Although these efforts are seeing some success, adjustments to the production end of the educator pipeline cannot compensate for the “leaky bucket” of practicing teachers who, according to the Learning Policy Institute, leave at a rate of nearly 8% per year.

Author Interview: Meghan Barnes, Peter Smagorinsky

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education editorial team? Check out the latest entry below.

In this author interview, Meghan Barnes discusses her article with Peter Smagorinsky, “What English/Language Arts Teacher Candidates Learn During Coursework and Practica: A Study of Three Teacher Education Programs.” Their piece will be published in the September/October issue of JTE, but you can read it now via OnlineFirst.

Study Tests Using Teacher Observation Data for Evaluation of EPPs

A new study finds that using observational ratings of beginning teachers may be a viable alternative—or a useful complement—to relying solely on controversial “value-added” modeling (VAM) in evaluation of educator preparation providers (EPPs).

An article about the study by Matthew Ronfeldt and Shanyce Campbell of the University of Michigan School of Education, published in the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, is now available online.

In what the authors describe as the first study to investigate the use of teachers’ observational ratings to evaluate their preparation programs and institutions, the results are compelling.

“The demands for teacher preparation accountability continue to grow, from the proposed federal regulations to new accreditation standards,” said Ronfeldt, who was also the 2016 recipient of AACTE’s Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article Award. “We sorely need better ways to assess program quality. Although VAM makes an important contribution to our understanding of program outcomes, we likely need multiple measures to capture something as complex as preparation quality. We are excited to find that teacher observational ratings could be a viable supplement.”

JTE Editorial Highlights: May/June 2016

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education editorial team? Check out the latest entry below.

In the editorial of the May/June 2016 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education, Carter Andrews, Bartell, and Richmond bring awareness to the recent teacher sick-outs in Detroit Public Schools as a way to illustrate the continued resistance to elements that serve to dehumanize the teaching profession. They write:

We are calling attention to the teacher sick-outs in Detroit and the factors leading up to them in these pages, because they represent one of the numerous examples throughout the country of educators’ resistance to the continued de-professionalization of teachers and teaching and the institutional and structural forms of dehumanization that teachers experience regularly. Furthermore, we believe teachers’ professional self-concept is negatively impacted by inequitable working conditions in many high-need schools and communities that are not present in schools that are resource-rich. (p. 170)

Study: Evidence ‘Thin’ for Key Accountability Efforts—Except for edTPA

A new policy brief out of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) reviews the evidentiary base underlying four national initiatives for teacher preparation program accountability and finds that only one of them—the beginning-teacher performance assessment edTPA—is founded on claims supported by research. The other three mechanisms included in the study are the state and institutional reporting requirements under the Higher Education Act (HEA), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards and system, and the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) Teacher Prep Review.

Holding Teacher Preparation Accountable: A Review of Claims and Evidence, conducted by Marilyn Cochran-Smith and colleagues at Boston College (MA), investigated two primary questions: What claims does each initiative make about how it contributes to the preparation of high-quality teachers? And is there evidence that supports these claims? In addition, researchers looked at the initiatives’ potential to meet their shared goal of reducing educational inequity.

Preparing and Retaining Effective Special Education Teachers: Systemic Solutions for Addressing Teacher Shortages

The views expressed in this brief are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Pending shortages of special education teachers have many states and local districts scrambling to find solutions for securing the teachers they need. Some states are proposing incentives for recruiting special education teachers (as well as teachers in other high-need areas) and reducing requirements for entry into the classroom. Others are looking for alternative ways of preparing teachers in high-need areas. Quick routes to the classroom and incentives such as signing bonuses will do little to solve the shortage problem in the long term. At best, they create a revolving door, because unprepared special education teachers are more likely to leave teaching. At worst, they exacerbate the problem. Instead, a more systemic approach to solving the teacher shortage problem in special education is needed—one that will increase the likelihood that an adequate supply of fully prepared special education teachers enters the classroom and remains there.

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