A major forum at AACTE’s 2014 Annual Meeting will highlight lessons for transforming education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and for bridging the STEM achievement gap. To advance STEM education in PK-12 and improve access for disadvantaged students, educator preparation programs will have to produce career-ready teachers who have deep content knowledge in mathematics and science and pedagogical skills to teach to the differing needs of students to improve their achievement.
At the forum, a panel of education researchers, teacher educators, and practitioners will identify social and cultural barriers that contribute to persistent education inequities. Additionally, they will discuss effective education policies and innovative initiatives that promote progress in narrowing educational disparities in STEM.
The editors of Go Teach magazine recently turned to AACTE to help prospective teacher candidates navigate the proliferation of conflicting visions of what constitutes effective teacher preparation. In response, my colleague Saroja Barnes and I coauthored an article for the magazine that ran in the November/December issue as the cover story, “How to Choose an Effective Teacher Preparation Program.”
Based on relevant research on teacher preparation, the article points to several key components of high-quality programs that potential teacher candidates should consider. Structured by seven key questions, the article guides prospective candidates to think through the following issues when exploring teacher preparation pathways:
Good news: A new study shows that transferring highly effective teachers to low-performing elementary schools improves the achievement of students in those schools. The impact of the transferred teachers in this study was greater than the impact of Teach For America (TFA) teachers found in studies with similar student populations.
Mathematica conducted the multisite experimental study, in which highly effective teachers were offered $20,000 over 2 years to transfer into and remain in elementary and middle schools that had low average test scores.