Sometimes the story is as good as the headlines, and sometimes it’s even better. The New York Times op-ed “Teachers Aren’t Dumb” (Sept. 8) by Psychologist Daniel T. Willingham is a case in point. As Willingham notes, contrary to popular belief, new teachers are solid academic performers. And as his article asserts, they can benefit from the research on effective teaching that is being conducted in the schools of education that prepare them. Willingham also points out—with rhetorical hyberbole—that not all preparation programs are using the latest research. While program quality varies, the excellent preparation provided by the universities whose researchers he cites illustrates that teacher education has strong exemplars. Unfortunately, Willingham does not acknowledge the widespread change within the education preparation community.
The direction of today’s preparation programs is truly good news. Willingham accurately identifies two guiding principles for improving teacher preparation and program accountability: evaluate programs based on graduates’ performance on a rigorous, credible culminating assessment, and base that assessment (and programs’ content) on evidence of what works best for student learning.
As another ambitious teacher preparation innovation captures national attention, I invite you to join me in taking stock of how widespread creative change has become in this field. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced the launch of their brand-new research laboratory and graduate program to prepare teachers and school leaders. The educator preparation field, already rife with innovation, welcomes the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning as the latest partner in a robust entrepreneurial environment.
While I do not embrace the negative rhetoric that accompanied the new program’s announcement, I am keenly interested in the work. In fact, the Academy’s goals are quite aligned with those being addressed by many other educator preparation providers and organizations. Foundation President Arthur Levine and his partners at MIT will find themselves in good company as they pursue their particular reform interests and share their findings.
A new partnership between the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched last week to “transform policy and practice” in educator preparation. Announced June 16, the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning will be a graduate school of education based at MIT that conducts research and offers competency-based master’s programs in teaching and school leadership.
Foundation President Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University (NY), touted the academy’s plan to “throw out the clock”—focusing on its students’ mastery of competencies rather than on credit hours—and to produce open-source course modules for ease of replication nationwide.
The AACTE Learning Center now includes recordings of all six major forums from the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Anyone who was registered for the conference may log in to the Learning Center to view the videos and slides from the forums:
AACTE has chosen Nel Noddings’ book Education and Democracy in the 21st Century to receive the 2015 AACTE Outstanding Book Award. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Friday, February 27, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
Published by Teachers College Press, the book thoughtfully brings John Dewey’s work into the current era, exploring the relationship between schooling and civic polity in the age of “disruptions” in education.
Eighteen education deans have formed a new coalition, Deans for Impact, to engage in the ongoing and important discussion about educator effectiveness and quality evidence. This group has staked out an agenda that is congruent with AACTE’s overall goals and also echoes the professional standards being implemented by the Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation.
Academic leaders in teacher education are currently faced with unprecedented policy pressures related to collecting, reporting, and acting on an intensifying array of program outcome measures. Moreover, many of the state and federal policies driving these pressures are saturated with paradox, attempting to address multiple and often contradictory goals. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is related to the essential tension between policy goals related to identifying and eliminating “low-performing programs,” and those related to “program improvement.” Coping with contradictory discourses and policies related to accountability, program improvement, and “data use” has become one of the facts of life experienced by virtually all contemporary teacher educators.
Public education lost one of its most powerful voices on Saturday, November 29, when John Goodlad passed away.
He had worked in educational institutions at all levels, teaching in a one-room school in Canada, as dean of the Graduate school of Education at UCLA, and as founder of the Center for Education Renewal (http://www.ieiseattle.org/CER.htm ) and the Institute for Educational Inquiry (http://www.ieiseattle.org ).
John I. Goodlad, a giant in 20th-century education and former elected president of AACTE, died November 29 in Seattle. He was 94.
After 8 years of teaching in his native Canada — in the challenging conditions of a one-room schoolhouse and, later, a juvenile detention center — Goodlad completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of British Columbia and then came to the United States for doctoral work at the University of Chicago. By age 29, he was head of teacher education at Emory University (GA). He briefly returned to the University of Chicago before moving in 1960 to the University of California Los Angeles, where he spent 24 years, the last 16 as education dean.
Editor’s Note: In this opinion piece written for his local newspaper, Gonzalez provides his perspective on the enrollment decline in his state’s teacher preparation programs. This post originally appeared in the Indianapolis Star and is reposted with permission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. See also Sharon P. Robinson’s recent post calling national attention to the same topic.
I was pleased to see Tim Swarens’ Oct. 26 column making the point that education reform in Indiana needs a conversation not confrontation. That conversation should start with an honest assessment of the impact of reform efforts to date.
Over the last decade, teacher salaries in constant dollars in Indiana have decreased by more than 10%. Outpaced only by North Carolina, which experienced teacher salary decreases of 14%, Indiana had the second largest decrease in the country.