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Collaboration Across State Lines Transforms Educator Preparation

In February, the Louisiana Department of Education hosted representatives from six states in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Network for Transforming Educator Preparation (NTEP). Formed in 2013, this aligned action network brings together state chiefs and their education agency staff who are committed to activating key policy levers around licensure, program approval, and data as they transform educator preparation in their respective states. As a representative from the Missouri NTEP team, I joined colleagues from five states—Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington—on the visit to Baton Rouge to attend Louisiana’s Believe and Prepare Community Meeting and learn from the work of practitioners, programs, and districts across Louisiana leading efforts to improve educator preparation.

School-University Partners Discuss Clinical Principal Preparation and Partnerships at Preconference Event

Wallace PreCon
Facilitator Angela Sewall talks with participants in the Wallace-sponsored preconference event

Prior to the start of the 68th Annual Meeting, AACTE hosted a daylong workshop titled “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Through School-University Partnerships Educational Leaders Preconference,” sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. The event was attended by more than 125 PK-12 and higher education leaders from across the nation, including school-university partners who attended together with the goal of strengthening their collaboration in principal preparation programs.

The event agenda featured a series of presentations and interactive PK-24 “table talk” discussions, focused on examining aspects of clinical practice and effective partnerships to advance principal preparation. Participants explored topics such as these:

A Site Visit: Keeping It Real with St. John’s University and P.S. 101

I recently had the opportunity to visit St. John’s University in New York City at the invitation of Dean Michael Sampson. Witnessing a high-functioning clinical partnership in action was both inspiring and reassuring, providing a concrete glimpse into the terrific work being done around the country to prepare high-quality teachers.

My visit began at P.S. 101 in Queens, a St. John’s partner school. There, I met with university-based instructor Liz Chase, Department Chair Judith McVarish, Assistant Principals Laura Fahey and Irtis Gonzalez, and Principal Monique Paniagua. The school was bustling with youngsters greeting friends and teachers exuberantly as we made our way to the principal’s office. The joy and laughter filling the hallways showed that the students were excited about being at school.

Title II Data Show Student Teaching Hours Vary by Program Type, but Differing Definitions Hinder Comparisons

Editor’s note: As AACTE moves from collecting information through the Professional Education Data System (PEDS) to tapping other nationally available data sources on educator preparation, we will be providing periodic data reports on Ed Prep Matters based on PEDS, federal collections such as Title II and SASS, and other sources.

The U.S. Department of Education collects data annually from states on teacher certification/licensure programs of all kinds, as mandated by Sections 205 through 208 of the Title II of the Higher Education Act. Assembling information on programs that are “traditional” and “alternative,” based both inside and outside of institutions of higher education (IHEs), the Title II data collection aims to provide a comprehensive view of the field of teacher preparation.

Etta Hollins to Win AACTE Award for Book on Preservice Field Experiences

AACTE has chosen Rethinking Field Experiences in Preservice Teacher Preparation: Meeting New Challenges for Accountability, edited by Etta Hollins of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, to receive the 2016 AACTE Outstanding Book Award. The award will be presented at the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Tuesday, February 23, at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

Published by Routledge in 2015, this edited volume offers a robust set of perspectives on critical and challenging elements of teacher preparation—how field experiences are designed to support preservice teachers while they are learning to teach. Chapters are organized into three sections focusing on “approximation and representation of practice,” “learning teaching situated in context,” and performance assessment and program improvement. The book provides a collection of models of field experiences across a variety of teacher preparation contexts and deeply examines how the experiences are theorized, designed, and implemented for preservice teacher learning.

Meet the Coteaching in Clinical Practice TAG

The author leads AACTE’s topical action group on Coteaching in Clinical Practice. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Does your institution use a coteaching model of clinical practice? Are you interested in learning more about coteaching as a model to prepare teacher candidates? You are invited to join the Coteaching in Clinical Practice Topical Action Group (TAG) of AACTE—a space for dissemination of research on coteaching, sharing of implementation experiences, and development of collaborative research efforts.

Plans and Progress: AACTE Clinical Practice Commission

The AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) is composed of 25 members whose experiences represent the spectrum of teacher preparation, from PK-12 through higher education graduate programs, as well as the perspectives of national education organizations.

The CPC conducted its initial work via a series of conference calls and electronic communications throughout the spring and summer, culminating in an August meeting in Washington, DC, hosted by AACTE (see report here). Over the 2 days of intense dialogue and collaboration, commissioners arrived at a common understanding of the current status of clinical practice and a shared sense of commitment to the urgent, complex work of the commission. Our passionate colleagues exhorted the group to “be bold!” in our efforts to both reflect the excellent work already in progress nationally and provide leadership for the future.

Commission Meeting Sets Stage for National Discussions About Clinical Practice

The AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) has been working over the last 6 months to examine the state of clinical practice in educator preparation. With a charge to develop a white paper that provides a common understanding of effective approaches to field experiences and clinical practice, members of the CPC met for a 2-day working session in Washington, DC, in August.

Members of the commission, who represent institutions of higher education, PK-12 school districts, and professional associations, formed workgroups around the core topics that will provide a foundational structure for the white paper: literature review, foundations of theory, foundations of practice, lexicon, and current context and policy background.

A Visitor’s View: Clinical Practice at Colorado State University

If you have been inspired by the previous Research-to-Practice Spotlight videos featuring the robust partnership between Colorado State University (CSU) and the Poudre School District (PSD) in Fort Collins, don’t miss the final mini-installment in the series, in which various teachers at Fort Collins High School share their passion for teaching. Below, Christine DeGregory reflects on what she witnessed during her visit with the partners last spring.

I’m a firm believer in the power of clinical practice—particularly clinical practice supported by a professional development school model. I had heard many wonderful things about the special partnership that Colorado State University (CSU) had nurtured with the Poudre School District (PSD), but having the opportunity to talk to partnership members and see their work in action reaffirmed to me that some common approaches to clinical practice can be successfully reimagined.

Member Voices: Advice on Building Clinical Practice Partnerships

If you have been inspired by the previous Research-to-Practice Spotlight videos featuring the robust partnership between Colorado State University (CSU) and the Poudre School District (PSD) in Fort Collins, don’t miss the newest installment in the series, in which school and university officials share advice on how to implement a successful clinical practice model.

Utilizing a professional development school approach, CSU and PSD have created an intentional, collaborative endeavor to achieve their shared mission of preparing highly qualified and effective teachers.

Ready to Teach: Simultaneous Renewal in a Colorado PDS

A new video in AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series focuses on a thriving partnership in Colorado from the perspectives of novice teachers prepared in a professional development school model. This blog highlights one teacher’s experience and offers insights from his assistant principal about the program’s success.

The forward-thinking partnership between Colorado State University (CSU) and the local Poudre School District employs a professional development school (PDS) model to prepare teachers who are ready to teach on Day 1. Their classroom is the classroom: Instead of taking their classes off site at the university, prospective teachers receive their lessons and then put them into practice in the same school building—with real kids and under the tutelage of a real teacher. While the program’s elements are fairly typical, its particular success comes from each course’s clinical component and support from a robust professional community.

Student Teaching Innovation: Coteaching Trios at Colorado State University

A new video in AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series explores the innovative coteaching model of student teaching newly employed by Colorado State University, offering perspectives from administrators, student teachers, and a cooperating teacher. This blog highlights some of the observations they share about the model.

An innovative coteaching model is reshaping student teaching for candidates at Colorado State University (CSU), placing two teacher candidates with one cooperating teacher for a semester-long collaborative learning experience.

Spotlight on Colorado State University’s PDS Partnership

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.

Demystifying Clinical Practice in Teacher Preparation

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.

Research-to-Practice Spotlight: Partnering for Principal Preparation

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.

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