There is a paucity of adequately powered studies; experimental research; independent replications; and studies with diverse and representative samples, settings, and contexts in the teacher-preparation research base. As such, it is difficult to identify generalizable, evidence-based practices for teacher preparation. One potential way to address these challenges is through crowdsourcing.
In contrast to the traditional research paradigm, in which individuals or small teams conduct many small studies, crowdsourcing leverages the broad scientific community to conduct studies on a scale not otherwise possible (Makel et al., 2019). “Crowdsourcing flips research planning from ‘what is the best we can do with the resources we have to investigate our question,’ to ‘what is the best way to investigate our question, so that we can decide what resources to recruit’” (Uhlmann et al., 2019, p. 713).
AACTE recently released its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, which includes a new vision statement: AACTE, its members, and partners collaborate to revolutionize education for all learners. Aligned with the new strategic plan, Ed Prep Matters is launching a new column called Revolutionizing Education to showcase the many ways the Association and member institutions are moving beyond traditional perspectives and are pioneering positive change in educator preparation.
The Revolutionizing Education column is an opportunity for member institutions and partners to share the leading-edge research, models, strategies, programs, and initiatives that focus on the three core values outlined in the new AACTE strategic plan:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Quality and impact
- Inquiry and Innovation
On November 14, I had the privilege of moderating the first in a series of webinars produced through a partnership of AACTE and the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab). This webinar, “Social and Emotional Learning, Cultural Competence, and Equity in Teacher Preparation,” will be followed by three others focusing on transformative research and practice in educator preparation.
Joining me for the webinar were Nancy Markowitz of the Center for Reaching and Teaching the Whole Child, Patty Swanson from San Jose State University, Pat Norman from Trinity University, and Mari Jones from the HighTech High Graduate School of Education.
Both Trinity and High Tech High, where Norman and Jones teach, are members of the EdPrepLab network. EdPrepLab, which launched this year, is an initiative of the Learning Policy Institute and the Bank Street College of Education that aims to strengthen educator preparation in the United States by linking research, policy, and practice and by supporting and expanding preparation that is equity-focused, student-centered, and grounded in the science of learning and development.
The motto of the Royal Society, “Nullius in verba” translates as “Take nobody’s word for it.” However, when educators read journal articles reporting research findings, transparency is limited. For example, educators only see authors’ reports of findings, and do not have access to data (to verify reported findings) or to the details of the research procedures (to examine, for example, whether researchers developed their hypotheses after knowing the results). This lack of transparency is potentially problematic, because researchers may be driven to find and report positive and significant findings to enhance the odds of publication. Indeed, many educational researchers report engaging in questionable research practices that might help generate positive, but potentially biased, research findings (Makel, Hodges, Cook, & Plucker, 2019). Open science is an umbrella term, encompassing diverse initiatives that aim to increase transparency in research. We briefly describe three open-science practices here: pre-registration, Registered Reports, and open data.
Read the latest JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.
In this interview, The JTE editorial team shares insights from the Sue C. Kimmel and Danielle E. Hartsfield, co-authors of the article “It Was . . . the Word ‘Scrotum’ on the First Page”: Educators’ Perspectives of Controversial Literature, published in the September/October 2019 issues of the Journal of Teacher Education.
What motivated you to pursue this particular research topic?
Sue: We both teach children’s literature, and we were interested in how our students who were pre-service educators reacted to controversy in children’s literature. We believe in the power of literature to promote empathy and positive inquiry into social issues. We were concerned with the willingness of pre-service educators to avoid “controversy” in the classroom and library with little critical thought about what it meant to withhold quality literature about difficult topics from their students.
The recent release of the 2019 Nation’s Report Cards for mathematics and reading in grades 4 and 8 illustrates a growing disparity in achievement between the highest and lowest achieving students. The results show the divergence is happening across the nation, across states, and for student groups by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), widely known as the Nation’s Report Card, provides data from the nation, states/jurisdictions, and urban school districts that volunteer to participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). Approximately 296,900 fourth- and eighth-grade students across the nation participated in the 2019 mathematics assessment and nearly 294,000 fourth- and eighth-grade students across the nation participated in the 2019 reading assessment. Results are available for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools, as well as for the 27 participating large urban districts.
AACTE is excited to partner with the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab), an initiative of the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) and Bank Street College of Education, to bring a series of webinars to members. Educator preparation programs across the country can access AACTE and EdPrepLab resources to support their teaching, research, and policy in higher education.
In this series of webinars, our members will hear from member institutions, stakeholders, scholars, practitioners, and policymakers as presenters dive into topics that will include addressing social emotional learning, cultural competence, creating inclusive classroom and school environments, and teacher residency models.
We hope you will register for our first webinar on Social and Emotional Learning, Cultural Competence, and Equity in Teacher Preparation that will take place on November 14 at 3:00 p.m ET. The panel of experts include:
A majority of the nation’s public school students are students of color, but less than 20% of teachers are teachers of color—and only 2% are Black men. While more teachers of color are entering the classroom, data reveal that educators of color are also leaving at higher rates than their peers. To show the root cause of this problem and to identify solutions, The Education Trust and Teach Plus today jointly released new research that examines the challenges teachers of color face and documents the experiences of staff in schools that deliberately work to retain faculty of color.
If You Listen, We Will Stay: Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover comprises authentic narratives of teachers of color and successful school leaders. For this report, researchers conducted focus groups with teachers who identify as Black or Latino who talked about their experiences in the workforce and what schools, districts, and states could do to keep them in the field. Researchers also conducted case studies in schools and districts that were selected for their intentionality around retaining teachers of color.
In the focus groups, five themes emerged, highlighting the challenges that teachers of color face in the workforce and the reasons many of them fall out of teaching: (1) experiencing an antagonistic school culture; (2) feeling undervalued; (3) being deprived of agency and autonomy; (4) navigating unfavorable working conditions; and (5) bearing the high cost of being a teacher of color.
A team of Penn State College of Education faculty led by P. Karen Murphy has won a five-year, $1.98 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve the preparation of undergraduate preservice elementary teachers.
Murphy, distinguished professor of education (educational psychology), is the principal investigator (PI) on the study. She is joined by co-PIs Gwendolyn Lloyd, the Henry J. Hermanowicz Professor of Teacher Education and professor of education (mathematics education); Amy Voss Farris, assistant professor of education (science education); and Rachel Wolkenhauer, assistant professor of education (curriculum and supervision).
With support from the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Program: Education and Human Resources, this project aims to serve the national interest by investigating whether teaching preservice elementary teachers how to use discussion-based pedagogy improves the quality of mathematics instruction in their classrooms. Specifically, the researchers will adapt Quality Talk (QT), a small-group, teacher-facilitated discussion approach, for use by teacher educators in STEM methods courses and classroom-based field experiences for future elementary teachers.
Read the latest JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team member Lauren Snead. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.
This interview features insights from the article “Rethinking Student Teacher Feedback: Using a Self-Assessment Resource With Student Teachers” by Lauren Oropeza Snead and H. Jerome Freiberg. The article was published in the March/April 2019 issue of the JTE.
Q1. What motivated you to pursue this particular research topic?
As a doctoral student in Dr. Jerome Freiberg’s graduate class, I was challenged to self-assess my own teaching by using student feedback. This was an area of growth I had not previously explored and it completely changed the way I looked at my teaching. As I briefly discuss in the article, I had spent many years as a K-12 teacher, where I focused on what administrators thought of me. Up until this point, my teaching evaluations dictated how I taught my class. I based any areas of growth or changes on what the administrators said about my classroom. Now that I look back, I cannot believe how blind I was to all of the potential feedback perspectives in classrooms. Using Dr. Freiberg’s self-assessment resource, the Person-Centered Learning Assessment (PCLA), I realized for the first time that the power for change started with my students. Accessing student feedback gave me a fresh perspective into areas of growth. It was an empowering experience. That experience spurred on my curiosity to dive further into the PCLA.