Categories for Quality Teachers
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 Institutehttps://www.winginstitute.org/pre-service-teacher-program-models.
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. https://www.winginstitute.org/pre-service-teacher-instructional-effectiveness.
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. https://www.winginstitute.org/pre-service-teacher-curriculum-content.
May 18, 2021
Teachers’ Essential Guide to Formative Assessment. This article offers information on how to implement formative assessments that will enhance student performance. The author defines formative assessment and highlights the benefits a teacher can expect when effectively implementing ongoing progress monitoring in the classroom. Formative assessment is defined, tips summarized to guide teachers in selecting the proper assessment tool for the task, and practical techniques for educators to consider are included for how to maximize the effectiveness of formative assessments.
Citation: Knowles, J. (2020). Teachers’ Essential Guide to Formative Assessment.
April 14, 2021
Cost-Effectiveness of Instructional Coaching: Implementing a Design-Based, Continuous Improvement Model to Advance Teacher Professional Development. Schools devote substantial resources to teacher professional development each year. Yet studies show much of this investment is directed toward ineffective short-term workshops that have little impact on instructional change or student outcomes. At the same time, more intensive job-embedded forms of professional learning, such as instructional coaching, require substantially more resources than traditional professional development. The authors report the results of a two-year study assessing the cost-effectiveness of instructional coaching through a design-based, continuous improvement research model. Our findings suggest that coaching programs can become more cost-effective over time, as coaches and teachers refine their work together.
Citation: Knight, D. S., & Skrtic, T. M. (2020). Cost-Effectiveness of Instructional Coaching: Implementing a Design-Based, Continuous Improvement Model to Advance Teacher Professional Development. Journal of School Leadership, 1052684620972048.
April 13, 2021
The Effects Of High-Quality Professional Development On Teachers And Students. This study includes an analysis of 52 randomized controlled trials evaluating teacher development programs, in order to establish their impact on pupil and teacher outcomes. The results suggest continued professional development has a significant effect on student learning.
Citation: Fletcher-Wood, H. and Zuccollo, J. (2020). The Effects Of High-Quality Professional Development On Teachers And Students: A Rapid Review and Meta-analysis. London, UK: Education Policy Institute. https://epi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/EPI-Wellcome_CPD-Review__2020.pdf
April 12, 2021
Does Teacher Learning Last? Understanding How Much Teachers Retain Their Knowledge After Professional Development. Teacher professional development (PD) is seen as a promising intervention to improve teacher knowledge, instructional practice, and ultimately student learning. While research finds instances of significant program effects on teacher knowledge, little is known about how long these effects last. If teachers forget what is learned, the contribution of the intervention will be diminished. Using a large-scale data set, this study examines the sustainability of gains in teachers’ content knowledge for teaching mathematics (CKT-M). Results show that there is a negative rate of change in CKT after teachers complete the training, suggesting that the average score gain from the program is lost in just 37 days.
Citation: Liu, S., & Phelps, G. (2020). Does Teacher Learning Last? Understanding How Much Teachers Retain Their Knowledge After Professional Development. Journal of Teacher Education, 71(5), 537-550.
April 12, 2021
Teacher Professional Development Challenges Faced by Rural Superintendents. Effective teacher professional development is defined as structured professional learning activities which result in changes in teacher practice and improvements in student learning outcomes. Superintendents face common challenges unique to the rural environment which hinder the delivery of effective teacher professional development in rural school districts. These barriers must be addressed to ensure a high-quality education for all rural students. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the common experiences and perceptions of superintendents responsible for providing teacher professional development in rural school districts.
Citation: Cadero-Smith, L. A. (2020). Teacher Professional Development Challenges Faced by Rural Superintendents. Monument, CO: International Society for Technology, Education and Science (ISTES). https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED605531.pdf.
April 12, 2021
The effects of targeted professional development on teachers’ use of empirically supported classroom management practices. Research suggests teachers receive limited training and support in classroom management, making it essential that school leaders provide efficient and effective professional development opportunities. This paper looks at the effects of a targeted professional development (TPD) approach (brief training, email prompts, and self-management of trained skills) on teachers’ use of three empirically supported classroom management skills (prompts, opportunities to respond [OTR], and specific praise). The results find that teachers increased their prompt and specific praise rates while they actively engaged in TPD. However, training effects did not maintain when TPD shifted to a new skill, and teachers’ increased use of OTRs during TPD was neither statistically significant nor sustained. Teachers found TPD to be acceptable, usable, and feasible.
Citation: Simonsen, B., Freeman, J., Myers, D., Dooley, K., Maddock, E., Kern, L., & Byun, S. (2020). The effects of targeted professional development on teachers’ use of empirically supported classroom management practices. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 22(1), 3-14.
April 12, 2021
Making the Most of Student Teaching: The Importance of Mentors and Scope for Change. A growing literature documents the importance of student teaching placements for teacher development. Emerging evidence from this literature highlights the importance of the mentor teacher who supervises this placement, as teachers tend to be more effective when they student teach with a mentor who is a more effective teacher. But the efficacy of policies that aim to have effective teachers perform as mentors depend a great deal on the availability of effective teachers to serve in this role. This paper examines data from Washington State to identify ways for improving student-teacher placements. The authors propose if policymakers value teacher candidate development equivalently to teacher in-service development, they should be willing to pay substantially more than the current average compensation for mentor teachers to recruit effective teachers to serve in this role.
Citation: Goldhaber, D., Krieg, J., Naito, N., & Theobald, R. (2020). Making the most of student teaching: The importance of mentors and scope for change. Education Finance and Policy, 15(3), 581-591.