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PDS Partnership Benefits PK-12 Students From Many Angles

Two new videos are available this week on AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series highlighting the George Mason University (VA) College of Education and Human Development’s clinical preparation program. This week’s videos present partner elementary schools’ experience with having multiple teachers in the classroom and display the readiness of George Mason students after completing their 1-year internships.

The College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University (GMU) and its network of professional development schools (PDSs) benefit PK-12 student learning in several ways. Students enjoy having access to a second adult in the room dedicated to helping them succeed; teacher mentors gain new perspectives and techniques they can integrate in their classroom; and teacher candidates are prepared through a yearlong internship to hit the ground running in their own classrooms in the future.

AASCU Report Maps Challenges, Priorities for Teacher Preparation

A new report from the Teacher Education Task Force of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) makes a compelling case for quality teacher preparation, capturing the key challenges that make the current context complex but also offering recommendations for both university leaders and policy makers to move the field forward.

The task force conducted a survey last year of presidents, provosts, and education deans at state colleges and universities to gauge the current state of educator preparation. (The survey results are included as an appendix to the new report.) The responses informed conversations among task force members to distill the core themes, debate their implications in light of the latest research, and determine consensus recommendations for priority actions by higher education administrators. The results were combined to craft the new report, and the AASCU policy team added a set of priorities for federal and state policy.

Videos Explore PDS Approach to Mentoring, Feedback

A new set of brief videos in AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series focuses on implementing clinical practice at the George Mason University (VA) College of Education and Human Development; see this article introducing the series and the first video segment. Today’s article highlights messages from the next two videos, which discuss the team-building approach used by Mason’s education faculty to create strong relationships with partner schools for supporting teacher candidates.

The College of Education and Human Development at Virginia’s George Mason University (GMU) and its professional development school (PDS) partners have established leadership teams to plan robust and personalized training programs for teacher candidates. The teams at the university and school sites work together to engage interns in well-rounded experiences, such as by involving them in local school activities, to help fulfill their individualized professional development plans.

New Research-to-Practice Spotlight Features PDS Model at George Mason University

It is my pleasure to introduce the George Mason University (VA) College of Education and Human Development as the next featured institution in the AACTE Research-to-Practice Spotlight series. Continuing our focus on exemplary models of clinical practice, this series highlights the long-standing professional development school (PDS) partnership cultivated by George Mason and schools in Fairfax County, Virginia. Mason is the state’s largest producer of PK-12 teachers and largest comprehensive research university.

Call for Participation – Study on Yearlong Preservice Preparation Models

The clinical models promoted by the Bank Street Sustainable Funding Project are among the high-quality formats for teacher preparation being studied by AACTE’s Clinical Practice Commission. The study described in this article is not officially connected with AACTE or the Clinical Practice Commission.

The Sustainable Funding Project (SFP) at Bank Street College of Education (NY) seeks educator preparation leaders to participate in a study of clinically rich preparation programs.

Educators agree that sustained preservice clinical practice is essential to ensure teachers enter the classroom well-situated for success. SFP studies how to enable all aspiring teachers to enter the profession through affordable, high-quality programs—programs that include yearlong clinical experiences for teacher candidates—so that every teacher is prepared for the demands of the 21st-century classroom.

San Francisco State University, Partners Innovate to Address Teacher Shortage

California, like many states in the nation, faces a critical shortage of teachers. As California recovers from the Great Recession, teacher hiring needs have steadily increased from a recent low of 10,360 in 2011-2012 to 21,482 in 2015-2016. During the same period, the number of new credentials issued has decreased to a low of fewer than 14,000 candidates in the 2014-2015 school year. This reduction in productivity is reflective of the downward trend in enrollment in teacher preparation programs.


Teacher Recommendations for Enhancing Teacher Preparation

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

I’m a high school teacher in Florida. I entered the profession through an alternative certification route after completing a 20+ year career in telecommunications. Beyond my standard college classes, my classroom-based preparation consisted of only 10 days of observation along with the creation and delivery of two practice lessons. I graduated as “highly qualified” and was hired immediately as a science teacher at the local teacher job fair.

If I were entering the profession now, especially coming from the business world, I would want a more effective teacher preparation experience than the one I had 10 years ago. Many experienced educators concur. Hope Street Group’s On Deck: Preparing the Next Generation of Teachers (a report released this spring) was the first study that compiled data collected by teachers from classroom teachers regarding their professional preparation. Along with 17 other National Teacher Fellows, I conducted this peer research, sourcing educators of all tenures who were certified in 49 states plus the District of Columbia. Amid several interesting findings in On Deck, two particularly resonated with me as I also reflect on “what I wish I’d learned then.”

Expanding AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series

innovations exchange logo

It’s been a busy fall of traveling for the AACTE Member Engagement and Support team as we’ve been visiting campuses to document exemplary clinical partnerships and practices for our online Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series, part of the AACTE Innovation Exchange.

This fall, we’ve been filming at St. John’s University (NY); the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and California State University, Long Beach. We are also busy scheduling visits with State University of New York at Oswego and Butler University (IN) for spring 2017. At each location, we’ve met with deans, professors, teacher candidates, school district principals, teachers, and PK-12 students to see firsthand how a variety of programs are developing and sustaining successful clinical partnerships. The video production company “Ideas That Breathe” has been a valuable partner for filming, editing, and producing a compelling series from each site we visit. Each series is then segmented into episodes for posting on the Innovation Exchange and highlighting in the Ed Prep Matters blog.

On the ‘Residency Era’ in Teacher Preparation

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

When John Dewey wrote of the need to create an “intimate union” between the university and the elementary school such that each is a laboratory for the other, he was speaking of a need that is still yet to be fully satiated. Today’s increasing prevalence of the residency model, however – supported by a growing body of research and application across diverse settings – is ushering in a new era that offers new promise toward achieving Dewey’s vision.

For Dewey, the intimate union would have the university contributing “to the evolution of valuable subject-matter and right method while the school in turn will be a laboratory in which the student of education sees theories and ideas demonstrated, tested, criticized, enforced, and the evolution of new truths” (Dewey, 1900/1990, p. 93). And although Dewey’s University of Chicago Laboratory Schools flourish as a living instantiation of his intimate union, in many practical ways the ideal has proven elusive.

Clinical Practice Commission Convenes, Refines Work

Last week, AACTE’s Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) met to continue its consensus work regarding clinical experiences in teacher preparation. Colorado State University was a gracious host, and the high altitude was matched perfectly by the commission’s high expectations.

After our last meeting in June, commission members had been hard at work reviewing literature, considering exemplars, and drafting pieces of a large research document. Early on at this meeting, we affirmed our belief in the centrality of clinical practice and clinical partnerships for high-quality teacher education programs and practices. In hopes of maximizing the usefulness and traction of our work in the field, we decided to adjust our focus to producing a shorter white paper outlining bold claims and key supporting tenets for successful clinical partnerships and practices. The white paper will be accompanied by several additional pieces of scholarship aimed at different audiences and providing more details.

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