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NCTQ Says Textbooks Neglect Student Learning Strategies, Adds Related Standard for 2016 ‘Review’

In a report released last week, Learning About Learning: What Every New Teacher Needs to Know, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) evaluates four dozen teacher preparation textbooks for their content of specific student learning strategies. As an offshoot of the exercise, NCTQ will include a new standard, “Fundamentals of Instruction,” for secondary programs in its 2016 Teacher Prep Review.

For Learning About Learning, NCTQ reviewed 48 “relevant textbooks” used at just 28 institutions of higher education to determine whether they include six of the strategies identified as effective by the Institute of Education Sciences’ Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning: A Practice Guide (2007). Finding little of what NCTQ sought, the report contends that textbook authors and publishers (and the preparation programs that assign the texts) are “failing the teaching profession, students, and the public by neglecting to provide our next generation of teachers with the fundamental knowledge they need to make learning ‘stick.’” See also Education Week’s coverage of the new report.

It comes as no surprise that NCTQ again relies on the content of published syllabi as the basis for its study, nor that it conflates its findings to be representative of all of teacher preparation programs despite the small sample size and notable absence of alternative-route teacher preparation programs.

As always, I encourage you to explore AACTE’s resource page for more information and resources about NCTQ, including our updated Institutional Response Kit for members. You may also want to familiarize yourself with the new Fundamentals of Instruction standard for the upcoming Teacher Prep Review. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to share information on your experience with NCTQ, please contact me at zvanhouten@aacte.org.

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Zachary VanHouten

Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE