Categories for Education Resources

What do we know about teacher preparation program models?

August 15, 2021

Teacher Preparation Program Models Overview. Teacher preparation began in the mid-19th century with the normal school, a 2-year course of study that prepared candidates for teaching. This model remained unchanged until the early 20th century, when universities created the undergraduate model, which currently predominates. Teacher candidates are required to spend 4 years obtaining a bachelor’s degree built around a prescribed course of education study. A second relatively recent modification is the 5-year credential model, requiring candidates to obtain a bachelor’s degree before beginning a 5th year of instruction in teaching. The driving force behind the postgraduate model was the belief that teachers were not respected. It was assumed that a post-bachelor’s and/or graduate degree certificate would confer greater esteem on the profession. This model is offered across the country and is mandated for all new teachers in California. A third option, the alternative credential (AC) model, arose as a solution to teacher shortages. The AC model is distinct from the traditional models in that candidates receive formal preparation coursework while already employed in the classroom. Currently, little evidence exists to support the superiority of any one method over the others.

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2021). Teacher Preparation Models. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute




How Effective is Teacher Pre-service Pedagogy?

August 3, 2021

Teacher Preparation: Instructional Effectiveness Overview. Discussions of teacher preparation generally focus on content (what to teach) rather than pedagogy (how to teach). Teacher training has changed little in 100 years. Preparation programs rely on lectures supplemented with 8 weeks of student teaching under minimal university oversight. Lecturing persists for various reasons: It requires nominal effort, instructors have greater control of what is presented, and assessing mastery of the material is easy using tests and papers. There are significant disadvantages to lecturing. Listening to a lecturer and answering questions during the lecture are very different from being able to perform skillfully in a real-world setting. Research shows that the most effective training of complex skills occurs when the training follows the elementary paradigm “I do,” “we do,” “you do.” This model relies on introducing skills through lectures and discussions, in tandem with demonstrating the skills (I do). This is followed by learners practicing the skills alongside a coach (we do), and finally the student teacher performing independently with feedback from the coach (you do). Research suggests it is only when coaching is added to the mix that skills are fully mastered and used effectively in the classroom.

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R., States, J. & Keyworth, R. (2021). Teacher Preparation: Instructional Effectiveness. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




What are common criticisms expressed against data-based decision making?

July 7, 2021

Misconceptions about data-based decision making in education: An exploration of the literature. Research on data-based decision making has proliferated around the world, fueled by policy recommendations and the diverse data that are now available to educators to inform their practice. Yet, many misconceptions and concerns have been raised by researchers and practitioners. This paper surveys and synthesizes the landscape of the data-based decision-making literature to address the identified misconceptions and then to serve as a stimulus to changes in policy and practice as well as a roadmap for a research agenda.

Citation: Mandinach, E. B., & Schildkamp, K. (2021). Misconceptions about data-based decision making in education: An exploration of the literature. Studies in Educational Evaluation69, 100842.




Should financing be a component of evidence-based decision making?

June 18, 2021

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: A Component of Evidence-Based Education. Including cost-effectiveness data in the evaluation of programs is the next step in the evolution of evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice is grounded in three complementary elements: best available evidence, professional judgment, and client values and context. To fully apply the cost-effectiveness data, school administrators will have to rely on all three of these elements. The function of cost-effectiveness data is to guide decisions about how limited financial resources should be spent to produce the best educational outcomes. To do so, it is necessary for decision makers to choose between options with known cost-effectiveness ratios while working within the budget constraints. In this article, I discuss some of the considerations that have to be addressed in the decision-making process and implications of including cost-effectiveness analyses in data-based decision making.

Citation: Detrich, R. (2020). Cost-effectiveness analysis: A component of evidence-based education. School Psychology Review, 1-8.




What decision-making frameworks can enhance evidence-based decision making?

June 17, 2021

Evidence-based decision-making: A team effort toward achieving goals. Implementing evidence-based practices requires not only knowledge of various interventions and practices but also professional judgment in selecting and applying an intervention that best meets the needs of the child and the family. Previous work on decision-making in evidence-based practices has focused on describing evidence-based practices, how the identification of evidence-based practices has affected the field of education (and, specifically, special education), and strategies for implementing evidence-based practices. The next logical step is in addressing how practitioners might make decisions about how to select evidence-based practices that match strengths and needs as well as contexts for children.

Citation: McCollow, M. M., & Hoffman, H. H. (2020). Evidence-based decision-making: A team effort toward achieving goals. Young Exceptional Children23(1), 15-23.




How does money fit in the equation when evidence-based decision making?

June 17, 2021

A Cost Analysis of the Innovation–Decision Process of an Evidence-Based Practice in Schools. The translation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) to improve students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and academic out- comes into authentic school settings has posed significant challenges for both researchers and practitioners. Among the many barriers to the adoption and use of EBPs are their associated costs. This study presents a framework for integrating the diffusion of innovation theory into an economic evaluation utilizing a societal perspective, which affords the capturing of costs of all phases from adoption through implementation of EBPs for all stakeholders.

Citation: Barrett, C. A., Pas, E. T., & Johnson, S. L. (2020). A Cost Analysis of the Innovation–Decision Process of an Evidence-Based Practice in Schools. School Mental Health12(3), 638-649.

Link: A Cost Analysis of the Innovation–Decision Process of an Evidence-Based Practice in Schools



What skills and knowledge should teacher preparation programs teach?

June 3, 2021

A substantial body of evidence is available to guide teacher preparation programs in developing a pre-service curriculum based on universal skills needed for success across settings, age ranges, and subjects being taught. These skills include instructional delivery, classroom management, formative assessment, and personal competencies (soft skills). Research tells us that better learning happens when teachers offer explicit instruction in which they select the learning area to be taught, set criteria for success, inform students of criteria, demonstrate the lesson through modeling, evaluate student learning, provide remedial opportunities, and offer closure after each lesson. Subject matter expertise is frequently identified as essential training for teachers, with substantial resources being allocated for such training. However, there is little research in support of emphasizing subject matter training, except for specialized training in reading, science, and mathematics. Time is better spent training new teachers to be fluent in universal skills. In its research and rating of teacher preparation programs, National Council of Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has found that many programs do not organize their curriculum around universal skills that evidence finds are essential to effective teacher preparation.

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R., States, J. & Keyworth, R. (2021). Curriculum Content for Teacher Training Overview. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




What do we know about standardized testing?

May 19, 2021

Standardized Testing and the Controversy Surrounding It. The purpose of this paper is to provide a general understanding of standardized testing as well as the current controversy surrounding it, particularly in the context of performance-based accountability systems. The overview addresses the following questions related to standardized testing:

  • What do stakeholders need to understand about standardized testing?
  • What is the history of standardized tests and how have the tests been used?
  • What are the reasons for the current controversy over standardized testing?

Citation: Polster, P.P., Detrich, R., & States, J., (2021). Standardized Testing: The Controversy Surrounding It. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




How do I effectively use formative and summative assessments in the classroom?

May 18, 2021

Playing like you practice: Formative and Summative Techniques to Assess Student Learning. This chapter offers a practical review of formative and summative assessment techniques, the evidence for their effectiveness in the classroom, and provides concrete strategies and resources for a range of classroom contexts and formats. The formative assessment techniques can be incorporated into virtually any class, in-person or online. Each of these strategies are adaptable to many different course contexts and virtually any topic. The most common form of summative assessment is the multiple-choice exam. Beyond examinations, summative assessment can involve a wide range of projects and other written assignments. At the most complex and challenging end of the spectrum of summative assessment techniques, the portfolio involves a collection of artifacts of student learning organized around a particular learning outcome.

Citation: Beers, M. J. (2020). Formative and Summative Techniques to Assess Student Learning. High impact teaching for sport and exercise psychology educators.




What Does the Research Say About Testing?

May 17, 2021

For many teachers, the image of students sitting in silence filling out bubbles, computing mathematical equations, or writing timed essays causes an intensely negative reaction. Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002 and its 2015 update, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), every third through eighth grader in U.S. public schools now takes tests calibrated to state standards, with the aggregate results made public. In a study of the nation’s largest urban school districts, students took an average of 112 standardized tests between pre-K and grade 12. The pushback on high-stakes testing has also accelerated a national conversation about how students truly learn and retain information. This paper acknowledges the validity of teachers concerns, but discusses the need for well-designed classroom tests and quizzes and standardized exams.

Citation: Berwick, C. (2019). What Does the Research Say About Testing? Marin County, CA: Edutopia.