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:
AACTE’s Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) will sponsor a major forum at AACTE’s 2014 Annual Meeting focused on “Clinical Preparation, From Policy to Research to Practice: Strengthening the Programs.”
Research and practice have demonstrated for decades that sustained and high-quality clinical experiences positively contribute to the effectiveness of new teachers and to the likelihood that they will stay in the classroom longer. Unfortunately, preparation providers encounter myriad constraints in developing clinical programming, particularly stemming from challenges facing their PK-12 partners. Today’s school systems are being pressured to implement new teacher evaluation systems amidst new standards, new assessments, and changes to tenure laws—all within the context of significant economic hardships. Despite these challenges, many preparation providers are exploring multiple partnerships and intensive clinical programs, such as a full-year internship or residency, with local districts to ensure that their candidates have high-quality experiences.
As AACTE’s Mary Harrill-McClellan alerted members last week, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its latest critique of university-based teacher preparation today, Training Our Future Teachers: Classroom Management.
The report follows the standard NCTQ model of using a review of course materials from a small sample of programs to support the broad claim that the teacher preparation profession is not getting the job done.
AACTE issued a statement citing specific concerns with the report, including mainly that the report does not actually tell us whether programs are adequately preparing teacher candidates to manage classrooms. Other concerns noted in the statement are that the report contains no evidence to support the sweeping claims about “the field” of teacher preparation and that the assertions that edTPA does not focus on classroom management skills are incorrect.
The January/February 2014 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) is now available online. See what Volume 65 Number 1 has to offer—without waiting for the mail delivery!
- In this month’s editorial, JTE‘s editors at Penn State University announce the 2014 Editorial Review Board and outline the highlights of this issue’s articles.
- “The Effects of Teacher Entry Portals on Student Achievement” classifies North Carolina public school teachers into 11 predominant “portals” of entry into the profession and estimates their effects on students’ test score gains. The gains are generally higher for students of teachers prepared through in-state, public undergraduate programs—but Teach for America corps members seem to be more effective in STEM subjects and at the secondary level.
This year, the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) received an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant to continue building its advocacy efforts and presence at the state level and to further develop its relationship with AACTE. In addition to utilizing funds to send its members to AACTE’s Annual Meeting and State Leaders Institute, WACTE will host its second Day on the Hill in Madison in conjunction with its 2014 spring conference, which will include an expanded symposium focusing on state and national education issues.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
Today, we join the world in mourning the death and celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela. Mandela was one of the world’s greatest leaders, teachers, and champions for justice – dedicating his life to educating and advocating for freedom. Not only did he accept the insurmountable challenges he often encountered, but he also embraced them with patience and strength.
On December 10, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) will release a report on how well educator preparation programs prepare teachers to effectively manage classrooms. The report will include an analysis of 122 programs, judging them based on what NCTQ has identified as the five most important classroom management strategies:
- “Rules: Establish and teach classroom rules to communicate expectations for behavior.
- Routines: Build structure and establish routines to help guide students in a wide variety of situations.
- Praise: Reinforce positive behavior, using praise and other means.
- Misbehavior: Consistently impose consequences for misbehavior.
- Engagement: Foster and maintain student engagement by teaching interesting lessons that include opportunities for active student participation.”
AACTE has no further information about the report at this time, but we’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Information on past NCTQ reviews is available here.
Today, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released results from the 2012 administration of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study of 15-year-old students’ performance on mathematics, science, and reading. American students’ performance remained largely unchanged from the previous PISA administration in 2009, although the U.S. ranking declined relative to other countries that improved over the past 3 years.
AACTE signed on to a statement of the Learning First Alliance about the results and also issued its own call for policy makers to look closely at the test’s lessons, along with the recommendations made by the OECD in its report Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons From PISA 2012 for the United States as well as in the 2011 edition of the report, which focuses more on teacher preparation.
On December 17 at 2:00 p.m. EST, AACTE will offer a free webinar, Assessing Principal Preparation Program Quality: Lessons From the Field.
Over the summer, AACTE surveyed its members with principal preparation programs to better understand the characteristics of such programs and to identify areas in which members would like assistance. Program evaluation was one such area—which is not surprising, because evaluating preparation program quality is necessarily complex. It can be challenging to identify indicators of program quality, develop needed resources (including data and personnel), and navigate the political terrain that is often associated with program evaluation.
A groundbreaking policy guide released today provides state lawmakers and education advocates with a blueprint for practical changes to improve teaching quality in America. The guide recommends policies based on research and state models that have been highly effective in developing and sustaining talented and diverse teaching forces that prepare all students for college, career, and life.