Pathways Alliance Releases a Shared Vision for Diverse, High-Quality Teachers
Teacher residency programs seek to offer an innovative approach to teacher certification, shifting the landscape of education to better recruit and retain high-quality teachers. These residencies can help attract a diverse pool of teachers — aiming to offset the shortage crisis and address the immediate staffing needs — by offering a supportive and affordable path to teaching.
Based on input from residency programs and education leaders, Pathways Alliance recently released a report, co-constructed by a collaborative working group of members, that gathered perspectives to create a nationally-vetted residency definition:
Teacher residencies are preparation pathways anchored in partnership where local education agencies and teacher preparation providers collaboratively design the teacher resident curriculum:
- Ensuring aspiring teachers have affordable, high-quality opportunities and supports while they learn to teach; and
- Supporting the instructional and staffing needs of local schools and districts.
With the release of this report, the Pathways Alliance hosted a webinar to chart a path toward a national shared vision for effective and affordable teacher residency programs.
A shared definition, in turn, helps to articulate the essential components that lead to diverse, well-prepared, and high-quality teachers for education preparation providers, districts, community-based organizations, and policymakers. These components include partnerships, curriculum, resident experiences, and mentors, as discussed in the webinar*:
- Partnerships: Residency partnerships between preparation programs and schools or school systems are grounded in a shared, co-constructed vision for quality teacher preparation.
- Curriculum: Residency curriculum includes program coursework that is tightly integrated with clinical experiences and reflects the shared goals of the partnership.
- Resident Experiences: The resident completes at least a full academic year of preservice preparation alongside a mentor teacher and takes aligned coursework before becoming a teacher of record.
- Mentors: Mentors are skilled PK-12 teachers who possess the ability to articulate their own instructional practices and decisions, as well as collaborate with, observe, evaluate, and coach residents, monitoring resident progress and providing strategic feedback for growth and development.
The Pathways Alliance is a coalition of leading organizations dedicated to supporting and implementing diverse and inclusive educator preparation pipelines, including teacher residency programs. Launched in October 2021, and with AACTE as one of the founding members, it is co-led by InnovateEDU and The Learning Policy Institute.