By Kevin Graziano
AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology seeks participants to pilot a recently developed formative diagnostic tool designed for self-reflection and guidance for educational leaders as they develop technology-rich models for teacher candidates to successfully become 21st-century educators. The diagnostic tool serves as an opportunity to examine current practices and help develop realistic goals for program development. Participation in this study will consist of a telephone interview that should take no more than one hour.
The tool utilizes the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to further the development of TPACK-proficient teacher candidates. Leaders can use the diagnostic tool as a means to gather assessment and curriculum development data and to make decisions as to where to further emphasize selected steps in the process. By engaging in self-assessment throughout the change process, deans, chairs, or department heads can record progress, determine necessary recalibrations, and keep their vision in mind as they continue their evolution towards the goal of preparing TPACK-ready teacher candidates.
By Jerrica Thurman
Be inspired at the AACTE 68th Annual Meeting by Pedro Noguera, one of the nation’s most important voices on the state of education today. Noguera will speak at the Welcoming Session, to be held Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
An expert on school reform, diversity, and the achievement gap, Noguera is a powerful, articulate, and far-reaching advocate for a strong and vibrant public education system. He is Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at the University of California Los Angeles. Previously, he served as Peter I. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and as executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.
By Sharon Robinson
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.
By Guneev Sharma
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.
By Mark LaCelle-Peterson and Rodrick Lucero
Last month, we were honored to participate and speak at a convening to support teacher educators in their work to prepare teachers to educate all learners, including students with disabilities. At the meeting in Indianapolis in August, the University of Florida’s Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center convened educator preparation leaders from the center’s partner states to support their shared reform agenda.
By Jerrica Thurman
The AACTE 68th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas will provide a forum for you to engage in meaningful deliberation, share the latest research and best practices, and become better equipped to drive change in your field. Each year, thousands of educators come from around the country to discuss their challenges, discover new strategies, and join the nationwide conversation on the future of the profession. Don’t be left out of the largest gathering of educator preparation professionals—everyone will BE THERE!
By Lucy Berrier
Just 4 weeks remain before the deadline to submit entries for the 2016 AACTE Awards! Nominate your own program for one of our three Best Practice Awards, or enter an admired colleague in the running for a Professional Achievement Award. All entries must be received through AACTE’s online submission site by midnight EDT on Friday, October 9.
By Christine DeGregory
The latest video installment to AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series features university faculty, students, PK-12 cooperating teachers, and school leaders discussing the professional development school (PDS) model of clinical practice they use in Fort Collins, Colorado. For this blog, one of the partnership’s leaders—Donna Cooner, director of Colorado State University’s School of Teacher Education and Principal Preparation—spoke with AACTE Director of Member Engagement Tim Finklea about how this model works. Key lessons from their discussion are highlighted below.
By Kristin McCabe
A new nonprofit think tank led by Linda Darling-Hammond launched last week, aiming to inform education-related policies by sponsoring high-quality research on timely topics and making the findings easy to access and interpret. This Learning Policy Institute will target PK-12 policies at the federal, state, and local level and will both examine existing studies and conduct or sponsor new research to meet pressing needs for student learning.
In her Huffington Post article announcing the initiative, Darling-Hammond pledges to prioritize whatever works best for students over any partisan agenda. “We will follow the evidence wherever it leads, and will work with those of any political affiliation or point of view who share that commitment,” she writes.
By Aaron Goldstein
Fifteen high-level state policy makers recently completed the inaugural class of the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program, a 9-month training for state policy makers on education policy issues. The Hunt Institute, a center based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, created the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program in 2014 and named it in honor of former governors Jim Hunt (D-NC) and Tom Kean (R-NJ).
In their program, the fellows discuss and develop political and policy strategies around state education topics including teachers, school leaders, data systems, and higher education. The fellows are influential state leaders including governors, lieutenant governors, attorney generals, and state legislators considered to be some of the nation’s top “education catalysts of change.”
By Jerrica Thurman
Why hold the AACTE 68th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas? A recent AACTE member survey ranked Las Vegas as a top city to convene the nation’s largest conference for educator preparation. So by popular demand, we’re heading to Nevada in February 2016!
BE THERE to connect with your peers from across the country and get solutions for your toughest challenges as we discuss “Meeting the Demands of Professional Practice.” You’ll delve into best practices in educator preparation research, policy, and programs with leaders in the field. From the major forums and concurrent sessions to the Speaker Spotlight Session and the Job and Information Fair, you’ll become empowered to build a stronger teaching workforce, institution, and community.
By Kristin McCabe
Get ready to connect with your communities this month around the U.S. Department of Education’s 2015 “Ready for Success” bus tour, making stops in 10 cities September 14-18.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other senior officials will hold events in schools, universities, and other education settings to celebrate efforts to improve educational access and opportunity. Each “bus stop” will spotlight a different topic, ranging from college access and affordability to teacher leadership, disability resources, and technology.
By Sharon Robinson
This post also appears on the Public School Insights blog of the Learning First Alliance.
Educators from PK-12 schools and higher education share the goal of preparing preservice teachers in a way that develops candidates’ skills, contributes positively to student growth, and stimulates mutual renewal of schools and collegiate preparation programs. The conception of clinical experience as a few weeks of student teaching not only is antiquated but runs counter to our professional commitment to quality. Instead, today’s preparation programs are nurturing complex clinical partnerships with yearlong residencies or internships that both produce beginning teachers who are practice-ready and support a process that strengthens the schools’ capacity to deliver high-quality education for their students.
By Zachary VanHouten
In its latest effort to debase educator preparation programs, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is reaching out to PK-12 school districts to develop an “Honors Student Teaching” program in partnership with NCTQ. The effort seeks to replace existing student teaching commitments the districts may have with their local institutions of higher education (IHEs) over the course of 2-3 years. See this document for the details of the proposal.
A recent NPR story quoted NCTQ President Kate Walsh as saying, “It’s time for school districts to be much more insistent on what the qualifications are of teachers who enter and try to get a new job with them.” The new partnership proposal demonstrates that NCTQ intends to take charge of defining those qualifications. The proposal offers districts a set of complimentary services that include developing the knowledge and skills requirements for teacher candidate selection, as well as identifying local teacher preparation programs that would best meet the needs of the district—presumably using NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review as a guide.
By Christine DeGregory
A new video is now available in the Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series, part of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange. Kicking off a series focused on building partnerships for clinical preparation, this first video presents an interview with Jennifer Roth, who is both a doctoral candidate in principal leadership at Colorado State University and assistant principal at nearby Fort Collins High School. This blog highlights Roth’s experiences shared in the interview, which was conducted by AACTE with support from the Wallace Foundation.
Jennifer Roth’s principal leadership journey began more than a decade ago, when she was a teacher at Fort Collins High School and wanted to step up her work developing educator interns from Colorado State University (CSU). To do so, she completed a master’s degree for principal licensure at CSU, after which she became assistant principal at Fort Collins. This move allowed her to co-instruct CSU’s school-based course for interns, have a greater impact on future educators, and jump-start her own leadership trajectory.