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. https://www.winginstitute.org/pre-service-teacher-curriculum-content.

Link: https://www.winginstitute.org/pre-service-teacher-curriculum-content