Data Shows Positive Trends in Teacher Preparation
Since 2018, I have documented key trends in educator preparation in a series of reports for AACTE. Members can access these reports at aacte.org/resources/research-reports-and-briefs.
In these reports, I’ve shared a lot of negative information about declining participation in educator preparation during the 2010s. So, when the U.S. Department released new data on the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years — the height of the COVID pandemic — I held my breath.
I am so pleased to report that — in two new data updates released at the AACTE Annual Meeting last week — I have good news to share about several key indicators including the following:
- Enrollment in IHE-based teacher preparation programs leading to initial licensure
- Completions of these teacher preparation programs
- Degrees and certificates awarded in the field of education
Illinois’ much-publicized teacher shortage crisis actually showed signs of stability and even improvement during the exceptionally challenging COVID-19 pandemic period, a new report from education policy expert Advance Illinois has found. Still, despite encouraging progress, there is much work ahead to ensure there are high-quality, diverse educators in Illinois classrooms and some concerning trends to overcome, the report finds.
At a launch event in October featuring key policy leaders in education, Advance Illinois released its latest in-depth report on one of the most significant challenges facing Illinois public schools: finding more qualified, well-prepared, and diverse teachers and leaders to guide students in every school.
The new report, The State of Our Educator Pipeline 2023: Strengths, Opportunities, and the Early Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, is the follow-up to the group’s 2022 report The State We’re In, an early examination of the impact of the pandemic on Illinois’ education system.
PEN America’s new report, America’s Censored Classrooms 2023: Lawmakers Shift Strategies as Resistance Rises, written by program director Jeremy C. Young and research consultant Jeffrey Adam Sachs has now been published, highlighting the progress of educational gag orders as a result of state legislative sessions in 2023.
The report finds that, while the threat of gag orders has not diminished this year, the form and structure of such laws have changed dramatically. According to the report, more gag orders became law this year than in 2022, though fewer were introduced.
In PK-12, there was a major shift away from critical race theory (CRT) bans toward “Don’t Say Gay” bills, many of them as a result of Florida’s law last year. These bills attempted to censor any mention of gender, sexuality, or identity in the classroom, including extending some bans all the way through grade 12. In higher education, there was a shift away from classroom restrictions and toward limits on university governance processes that protect academic freedom. Diversity and inclusion bans, curricula, general education courses, accreditation agencies, and even university mission statements were censored, particularly in Florida, and Texas, and a bill still under consideration in Ohio.
This article was originally published by Southern Illinois University.
Split-second decisions frequently determine the outcome of a game, a medical procedure, a military battle, or a law enforcement situation. Scott Boatright, a doctoral candidate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is conducting research to see if people can train with simulation and extended reality to make judgments more quickly and effectively. His work has already garnered national recognition along with a $10,000 scholarship from the National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA).
Boatright, of Tampa, Florida, has been working on the project in the School of Education’s Organizational Learning, Innovation and Development (OLID) program with Peter Fadde, OLID professor of learning systems design and technology.
“The goal is to systemize and speed up the training and learning experience,” Fadde said. “We asked ourselves, how we could take the seemingly intuitive decision-making process used by experts and capture their methodology and expertise and train others to use it faster and faster.”
Boatright said getting to work on this innovative research using video-occlusion technology, a form of virtual reality, with Fadde and other SIU faculty is what drew him to SIU.
“I developed a keen interest in applying my classroom knowledge to the real world. Specifically, the application of innovative training methods and technologies, such as extended reality, to improve human performance in dynamic, high-pressure environments,” Boatright said.
A new report by Data Quality Campaign (DQC) shows data legislation in various states that have passed into law could positively affect student performance.
In 2023, state legislators introduced 269 bills in 44 states and Washington D.C. that address data across education and the workforce, 72 of which became laws. The Education and Workforce Data Legislation Review by DQC spotlights the bills introduced and laws enacted in 2023 addressing data governance, as well as other recommendations for states to support data access through improved statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs).
The first year of teaching is like a masterclass in adaptability and multitasking; teachers learn to balance daily teaching performance with the backstage work of grading, lesson planning, and learning to navigate the policies and practices of their new workplace. Student teaching experiences serve as the bridge connecting the pedagogical theories teachers acquire in teacher preparation programs to the dynamic, frequently turbulent, reality of the classroom. EdResearch for Action has released a research synthesis brief that explores how district leaders and education preparation providers can leverage evidence-based practices to chart a path toward ensuring novice teachers are at their most ready when they enter the classroom.
The brief, titled “Increasing Teacher Preparedness Through Effective Student Teaching,” weaves together findings drawn from over 75 research studies to identify what barriers to better student teaching experiences exist, in addition to what practices are truly effective and what practices fall short. What follows is a short summary of the brief’s findings.
A recent report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) evaluates more than half of the elementary teacher preparation programs in the United States, to gauge their effectiveness in reading instruction. A review by the National Education Policy Center finds, however, that the report lacks the rigor necessary to adequately inform policy or practice.
Paul Thomas of Furman University reviewed Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction, and found it to repeat the patterns made in previous NCTQ advocacy reports, including cherry-picked citations, a failure to distinguish between scientific and non-scientific evidence, and misrepresentation and exaggeration of the research base.
The report claims to identify how well candidates are prepared to teach elementary reading based on NCTQ’s Reading Foundations standards for scientifically based reading practices. The evaluation, drawn simply from analyzing course syllabi and materials, concludes that “[only] 25% of programs adequately address all five core components of reading instruction.” Further, it outlines model programs and recommended actions for teacher preparation programs, state leaders, school districts, advocates, teachers, and parents.
A reminder that the prestigious James D. Anderson Outstanding Dissertation Award nomination period is quickly approaching. As the leading voice on educator preparation, AACTE is dedicated to recognizing excellence in our member institutions and the individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the field.
Learn more about the Dissertation Award, and submit your nomination by July 28. All other award nominations are due by September 1. This is your chance to shine a spotlight on the remarkable programs, practices, writing, research, and achievements that shape the future of educator preparation.
The Teacher Educators’ Journal (TTEJ) is published by the Virginia Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (VACTE), a state unit of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The journal aims to stimulate discussion and reflection about issues related to teacher education; authors need not be based and research need not be conducted in Virginia for manuscripts to be considered for publication. Manuscripts submitted for consideration may be research/empirical reports and analyses, position papers, book reviews, or conceptual essays.
The American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) is pleased to announce the release of its 2022-2023 Educator Supply and Demand Report, and wishes to thank the many colleges, universities, and school systems responding to the survey that served as the basis for this report.
The Educator Supply and Demand Report is conducted in conjunction with the Center for Marketing & Opinion Research, LLC (CMOR). With data and perceptions gathered from educational organizations over several decades, the report generated will provide education professionals and institutions with valuable regional and national insights and trends in PK-12 educator supply and demand.
(From left:) Molly Fisher, Ph.D., professor of STEM education in the College of Education and principal investigator; and REU student fellows Jacquelyn Armstrong and Alexandra Boardman.
A new study designed at the University of Kentucky College of Education is gauging the types of supports teachers across the nation need in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on schools. It is supported by a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grant from the National Science Foundation.
“We are seeking K-12 teachers from anywhere in the U.S. who taught during the pandemic, or who were student teaching during the pandemic, to respond to a survey that will collect information on access to resources and the types of demands being faced as our schools return to normal,” said Molly Fisher, Ph.D., principal investigator and professor of STEM education in the College of Education.
Teachers willing to participate in the study can take the survey now. Responses will help researchers share information that will lead to equipping teachers to meet the demands of the current educational system, Fisher said.
In the latest webinar hosted by SchoolSims, titled “Evidence of the Impact of Simulations on School Leader Development and Preparation,” a panel of experts in educational leadership discuss their research on school leader preparation and development and the impact of experiential learning opportunities through simulations. Panelists include including Sara Dexter, Ed.D., Jennifer Bailey, Ed.D., David De Jong, Ed.D., Mike Johanek, Ed.D., and Trent Grundmeyer, Ph.D.
The purpose of the webinar is to provide context for the potential impact of simulation practice as a targeted professional development method that may go beyond pre-service preparation and continue as a learning pathway for in-service school leaders and teachers by examining the most recent research on leadership and teacher development.
AACTE released a new analysis focusing on alternative preparation programs run by institutions of higher education (IHE-based alternative programs). The study shows that IHE- based alternative teacher preparation programs are bringing more educators to the strained workforce than alternative programs run by organizations other than colleges and universities.
“This new analysis confirms that colleges and universities serve a critical role in preparing qualified future educators for the profession,” says AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D. “These IHE-based alternative-based programs are doing the critical work of addressing the teacher shortage by providing those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree with a streamlined path to becoming fully licensed teachers.”
Virtual reality has a number of applications for pedagogy and teacher training; simulation training in these much-needed areas may add an essential component to the field of teacher education (Tondeur, Pareja-Roblin, van Braak, Voogt, & Prestridge, 2017). Computer simulations can provide guided practice for a variety of situations that pre-service teachers wouldn’t frequently experience during their teacher education studies (Mason, Jeon, Blair, & Glomb, 2011; Mason, 2011). Simulations can help pre-service teachers develop the skills that it takes to properly run a classroom without the high-stakes risk of causing harm to actual students (Matsuda, 2005).
There are numerous benefits to game-based learning, including improved learner motivation and engagement, constructive knowledge frameworks, exploratory and independent learning and, at times, higher achievement outcomes over traditional pedagogy (Boyle et al., 2016; Cheong, Flippou, & France, 2015; Peterson, 2019). Simulations can allow pre-service teachers to see their students from a different perspective, gain insight into the best ways to manage their future classroom, and understand the direct consequences of their actions in the classroom (Ferry et al., 2004). Including simulations in pre-service teaching coursework has demonstrated an increase in the confidence and effectiveness of first year teachers (Englebert, 2010).
AACTE will host its annual Holmes Program Research and Dissertation Retreat in Boca Raton, FL on November 9 – 10. The event, co-sponsored by the PNC Foundation and Florida Atlantic University, is AACTE’s annual flagship event to advance research and scholarship of graduate students of color who are pursuing doctorate degrees in education.