Educational Renaissance

Published by The Renaissance Group
Online ISSN: 2161-1602
Publications
Three teacher education professors describe their respective professional experiences surrounding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each detail how their professional experience and foci led them to make changes to best serve the students at their institution. This article intends to serve teacher educators by striking a balance between theory and practical application while candidly addressing successes and areas for improvement.
 
This article provides the personal account of two professors who reflect on the challenges of teacher education preparation due to COVID-19. They discuss the swift transition from face to face instruction to virtual learning and teaching including inequities faculty and teacher candidates faced during remote learning, obstacles surrounding state requirements for practicums and certification along with the social emotional impact. Suggestions for moving forward, based on the lessons learned, include additional supports for teacher candidates.
 
Conference presentation abstracts from the 2014 Renaissance Group annual meeting.
 
The "Renaissance Partnership", a consortium of eleven universities and their partner schools, was one of the first twenty-five Teacher Quality Enhancement Projects funded in 1999. The Project's two primary goals, "to become accountable for the impact of teacher graduates on the students they teach" and "to institutionalize reforms in preparation programs," to a great extent have been achieved. Successes are attributed to "the power of partnerships." This paper provides a brief account of the development of the Renaissance Partnership and the struggles to achieve project objectives, a description of project achievements, a third party evaluator's summary and, finally, a project director's reflections and conclusions.
 
Experience informs us that, after parents and guardians, educators have the greatest level of influence on children of all ages. These are the educators we prepare on our university campuses every semester, year after year, for whom the act of teaching is much more than a monthly paycheck, but is rather a very special calling. Parents, whose children are taught by the teachers and administrators our universities prepare, typically praise their local schools, teachers, administrators and support personnel. However, when we move beyond these familial educational settings, the general level of criticism directed toward our public schools and schools of education has never been higher.
 
Educational practitioners in the 21st century must respond to the availability of a wide array of data relating to student outcomes and student achievement. To make effective use of this data as well as be able to respond to the growing needs of the field, educational practitioners must be able to apply the knowledge they gain in the graduate preparation programs. In this article, the authors reflect on the role of a signature pedagogy grounded on inquiry-based learning in their leadership development, and how an ongoing emphasis on action research throughout their doctoral program was invaluable in their professional and academic growth. As a result, the authors recommend that action research should strongly supplement traditional, theory-driven graduate pedagogy in education.
 
In the following self-study, we share our investigation of the shifts in faculty pedagogical beliefs, instructional practices, and curricular decision-making while engaged in a cycle of reflection on tablet-focused teacher education course. We conducted this inquiry into our practice, using Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) and the Substitution-Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition (SAMR) model as frameworks to examine data from interviews and reflective writing. We conclude the need for the explicit connection of technology professional development, specifically tablet technology, with a meaningful theoretical framework, in order for faculty to engage in effective integration. We also share our model for examining the development of instructor’s thinking about integrating technology, including influences on thinking and classification of instructional decisions into the SAMR taxonomy.
 
Historically, teacher retention has been a more significant issue than teacher recruitment. This study looks at how teachers become “comfortable in their own skin.” To be successful in their chosen careers, teachers undergo a process of Teacher Identity Formation that blends one’s educational philosophy, teaching style, and personality. Finding one’s own voice, one that is less imitative of influential teachers from one’s past, occurs in those “Borderlands” where the personal and the professional meet, where who you are as a person and who you are as a teacher coalesce. Via an interview-based phenomenological study, this paper uses the cumulative wisdom of successful, experienced teachers to look at how they ultimately make sense of their position and overcome obstacles to identity formation. The findings may offer guidance to new teachers and teacher educators.
 
Distribution of Number of Samples by Program Area
Standard Deviation and Holistic Score Different by More Than Two Levels
Scoring Rubric Indicator Learning Goal 9 (LG9)
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the process used to examine the inter-rater reliability of the Teacher Work Sample (TWS) Scoring Rubric involved with the senior culminating experience for teacher candidates used at a large comprehensive university. The study compared holistic and analytic scores reported by Student Teacher Seminar course instructors to those of trained participants to determine the consistency of ratings between the two groups. The study resulted in several clear areas for revising the TWS for reliability and created a foundation for future revisions. What may prove to be the most important finding of the study, however, is the need to examine the differences among scoring practices of raters because scoring varies among people. Common errors include misinterpretation of scoring rubrics, prompts, the teaching and learning process, and even concepts such as revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. This finding could be generalized to other universities as all education programs utilize scoring prompts and rubrics to measure teacher candidate performance and most all use revised Bloom’s Taxonomy in the teaching and learning process.
 
This research essay examined a growing trend in a rural area of the Midwest where PK–12 school districts are partnering with a local university to hire teacher candidates (TCs) as the Teachers of Record (TORs). Many rural school districts are challenged to address the teacher shortage. As a result, many school districts are hiring TCs as the TOR during the TC’s student-teaching experience. Due to the limited research on the topic, this paper aimed to determine if appointing the TC as the TOR was an effective practice. We used three data sources to gauge the perceptions of the TC, the TC’s mentor, and the TC’s administrator. Meeting the needs of partnering districts and providing quality placements for TCs engaged in the culminating field experience can be mutually beneficial for teacher candidates, the school district, and the university.
 
Course accessibility is a priority in higher education, particularly in the design and delivery of digital learning experiences. Proactively addressing accessibility as part of online and blended course design meets the needs of all learners, including those in the margins. Inclusive design for online and blended courses connects the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework in order to address learner variability as an intentional part of course design. Inclusive design fosters expanded options in the ways that learners access learning materials, engage in learning experiences, and demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have learned. This paper describes practical applications of WCAG and UDL for the design and facilitation of inclusive online and blended courses in the post-secondary setting.
 
This paper examines the impact of diverse clinical field experiences on rural teacher candidates’ perceptions of their ability to effectively teach urban, diverse students. The literature framework supporting the study builds on Nieto’s description of socially-just pedagogy and responsive approach to diversity while meeting national education program standards despite declining resources. Researchers gauged candidates’ perceptions of the impact of working with students from race, language and class backgrounds different from their own. Findings revealed four significant impacts: increasing capacity to use culturally-relevant practice, boosting ability to differentiate for urban learners’ diverse needs, understanding the importance of strong relationships, and raising candidate self-efficacy and desire to teach in diverse schools.
 
While little is known of the perceptions held by members of the general public toward persons of low literacy background, this research study worked to inform a subset of those perceptions as held by developing teacher candidates. Additionally, this study sought to more concretely frame contributing and non-contributing factors which this same population believed influenced occurrences of low literacy. Anchored in the concept of intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1989), this study collected and analyzed 56 survey responses which yielded informative themes that further defined low literacy as an obstacle, outcome, level of performance, or degree of achievement. Teacher candidates further demonstrated an understanding that conditions of low literacy were often situationally-defined as those persons were commonly disadvantaged in some way. Candidates’ responses further purported their action plan in confronting low literacy in their classroom was founded upon these verbs: act, invest, connect, and equalize. Though this study alone is not comprehensive or absolute in its findings, it does help to inform a step of the journey that will lead to a more accurate understanding of the perceptions held of low literacy and its many, influential tentacles.
 
The goal of this study is to determine how effectively student teachers from a large comprehensive institution have used technology to compliment their teaching in mathematics and science. The researchers reviewed the required Teacher Work Sample (TWS) capstone projects of student teachers. The TWS is an authentic assessment instrument designed to guide student teachers in designing, implementing, reviewing, and adjusting instruction. The TWS document narratives articulated the use of technology, and this use was compared to the 2008 U.S. Department of Education (USDE): Measures of Teacher and Student Technology Use. Data gathered in the study revealed both strengths and weaknesses regarding the student teachers’ use of technology to enhance their teaching goals.
 
With the implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), K-12 teachers, counselors, and administrators will be held accountable for meeting the explicitly defined standards of college and career readiness for every high school graduate. An equivalent and reciprocal challenge is also placed upon universities to prepare future education professionals to successfully meet the expectations for CCSS downstream outcomes. This will require significant changes to higher education processes to ensure rigorous teacher preparation which includes not only best practices in pedagogy, but also full understanding of the standards set forth by the CCSS. However, opportunities for developing in pedagogy and CCSS do not commonly exist. In an attempt to improve pedagogical rigor of new faculty members, the Network for Instructional Support and Enhancement (NISE) Program at the University of Central Missouri was initiated in the fall semester of 2012. Comprised of an orientation and mentoring process, this study provides an evaluation of the programs strengths, deficiencies and specific suggestions for enhancing the program. The research is limited because it was conducted at the mid-point of the pilot delivery of the complete program. Qualitative analysis was conducted on data collected from university senior leaders, NISE Program committee members and new faculty about their perceptions of the program’s delivery and impact.
 
This paper presents a collection of case stories from five Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) within colleges of education, four from institutions in Texas and one from California, to present a micro cross-sectional narrative interpretation of what constitutes excellence in educator preparation. The broad framework utilized in this interpretation focuses on the individual approaches used by each institution for creating and sustaining positive cultures of data-informed decision-making, with the ultimate objective of continuous program improvement, while also meeting the accreditation expectations of each institution.
 
The Renaissance, French for “rebirth”; Italian, Rinascimento, from re - “again” and nascere -“to be born”, was a cultural movement that initiated in Florence, Italy, in the Late Middle Ages and later spread to the rest of Europe, encompassing periods from the Fourteenth to the Seventeenth Century. This time was focused on the improvement of various disciplines, through a revival of ideas from antiquity, by employing new, creative approaches to thinking and doing. The influence of the Renaissance movement affected art, literature, philosophy, politics, science, religion, politics and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. What does the Renaissance movement of Fourteenth Century Italy have to do with The Renaissance Group (TRG) of 21st century America? The times and places may be very different, but as we review TRG’s contributions to teacher education from the 1980s to the present, a time during which The Renaissance Group laid a strong foundation to shape this national consortium of colleges, universities and professional organizations, we may discover more similarities between the two entities than imagined.
 
A teacher preparation institution critically reviewed current programs and began moving toward a clinically based model. One focuses on Middle Grades/Secondary Math and Science, another focuses on Secondary English Language Arts, and a pilot project focuses on Elementary with a minor in either English/Language Arts or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Keywords: teacher education, clinical practice, and clinical teacher preparation
 
Teacher preparation programs on a national level have been called to change, focusing on clinical practice as a primary focus of teacher education rather than course work. Concurrently, performance based assessment is becoming the tool to measure candidate capacity to plan and instruct. This study highlights one teacher education program and the Pre-Service Co-Teaching Model (PSCT), which utilizes instruction in co-teaching models, co-teaching internships, and instructional coaching as a means for teacher development. Forty-three pairs of co-teachers and 14 coaches participated in this study. Each coach, collaborating teacher, and teacher candidate participated in professional development to better understand co-teaching models, as well as coaching techniques. Each co-teaching pair had a coach to observe and debrief the implementation of co-teaching models in classrooms for the purpose of planning, assessment, and instruction. Goal setting, conference notes, coaching reflections, as well as focus group interviews served as data. Analysis indicated that co-teaching strategies from the professional development were used primarily to facilitate differentiated instruction as well as classroom management. Analysis also indicated that coaches had a tendency to be more prescriptive regarding classroom management and have a more open-ended conversation when the focus was on differentiated instruction.
 
The traditional mathematics pre-requisite model creates obstacles for pre-service educators by increasing the number of semesters to graduation. Extended time results in additional financial burdens for students in developmental courses along with increased risk of student drop out. Education majors, with little or no room for electives in their programs of study, have been particularly impacted. The pilot of a co-requisite model, involving the collaboration of two academic departments, has proven successful in enhancing students’ academic achievement while addressing social and emotional needs of students.
 
Recently there has been increasing emphasis on co-teaching experiences for teacher candidates. Despite the significance of collaboration between cooperating teachers and student teachers, limited empirical attention has focused on student teachers' co-teaching experiences. The following study utilized survey data to ascertain if student teachers' use of different co-teaching strategies changed over the course of their student teaching semester, as well as, compared student teacher use of co-teaching strategies in elementary, middle, and secondary program areas. Pilot Study Survey data revealed that approximately one-fourth of the student teacher's time is spent teaching alone. However, the Student Teacher Survey data indicated that the Team Teaching co-teaching strategy increased more than any other co-teaching strategy in all program areas. The study concludes that as teacher education programs seek to maximize the benefits of the co-teaching model, student teachers and cooperating teachers need additional training in ways to utilize all the co-teaching strategies to maximize student learning.
 
The goal of this project is to reform teacher preparation through the implementation of a research-based model of co-teaching in student teaching at teacher preparation institutions across the country. Four years of research conducted on a co-teaching model of student teaching has demonstrated a statistically significant increase in academic performance for elementary learners in co-taught classrooms. Co-teaching is designed to assist both the cooperating teacher and teacher candidate in collaboratively planning, organizing, delivering, assessing, and sharing the physical space of the classroom, allowing the classroom teacher to partner with the teacher candidate rather than give away responsibility. The Renaissance Group (TRG), a national consortium of teacher preparation institutions, proposed to take the co-teaching model initially developed at Saint Cloud State University and provide the training and support necessary for teacher preparation institutions across the nation to successfully expand it. The 14 institutions involved in this proposal collectively produce over 2,500 teachers each year and work with over 600 school partners. One hundred percent of these institutions work with high needs schools and all of them place students in classrooms where Adequate Yearly Practice (AYP) has not been met. During the 2011-12 academic year, TRG applied to the US Department of Education for a thirteen plus million dollar grant on behalf of its member universities to expand the co-teaching model. Although the proposal was not funded, the co-teaching model has become a high priority and practice in educator preparation institutions across the country.
 
With national and state regulatory changes related to clinical practice within teacher education programs a reality, one university examined the outcomes of co-teaching model trainings required for stakeholders, both higher education faculty and P-12 educators. The training participants indicated the co-teaching model could increase student teacher preparedness while also positively impacting P-12 student learning. Nearly a year after the co-teaching training, one university surveyed student teachers on their co-teaching experience prior to and during student teaching. While there were increase mean scores of all the co-teaching models, results pointed to questions of whether teacher candidates were engaged in lower-level impact co-teaching models, which involved teacher candidates observing and assisting.
 
Cooperating Teacher and Student Teacher Sample
Portion of Time Spent by Student Teachers on the Co-teaching Strategies
Mean and Standard Deviations Among Co-Teaching Strategies and Planning Time
Mean and Standard Deviations for Cooperating Teachers and Student Teachers for Time Spent on Co-teaching Strategies and Time Spent Planning
Accrediting organizations and regulations have compelled teacher preparation programs to establish partnerships with PK-12 schools to produce quality educators by utilizing effective teaching approaches such as co-teaching. The study examined co-teaching survey completed in the middle of student teaching. Data was collected from cooperating teachers and student teachers at different grade levels. The survey assessed participants' use of co-teaching strategies and the number of planning hours in each week. Pearson Correlations measured the relationship among the co-teaching strategies and the relationship between the co-teaching strategies and planning time. Results suggest there were more correlations among the co-teaching strategies for elementary student teachers. Three relationships were found in the middle school cooperating teachers data. Additionally, no correlations were found between any co-teaching strategies from either high school cooperating teachers or student teachers. The amount of planning time was shown to have no significant differences between any of the co-teaching strategies.
 
Teacher preparation is complex in nature. Students in K-12 education comprise an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse population. Standards have significantly evolved with state and Common Core State Standards that now place a greater emphasis on academic discourse both in written and oral forms. To better prepare the next generation of teachers to address these shifts in expectations, we are examining the influence of instructional coaching at the university level. The work encompasses professional development on research-based ELL principles to support the changing populations of students in conjunction with coaching sessions to enhance coursework. The results of this study were statistically significant and have set the stage for our next steps in sustainable change at the university level.
 
Ideas on collaboration from a Deputy Superintendent.
 
(continued)
Candidates? Ability to Connect Research to Classroom Practice
This study investigated the effects of using teacher candidate-created observation protocols based on current research on classroom practices to connect research to practice. The study examined the extent to which mentor teachers modeled current research-based practices as measured by the protocols and explored the frequency with which the practices were observed. Findings indicated that teacher candidates had a positive experience applying research to practice, that utilization of the protocols created an awareness of best practices being used, and the importance of individualizing the practices to meet student needs. Individualization of utilization based on mentor teacher personalities was also observed and many practices the teacher candidates selected were utilized in the mentor classrooms, particularly in the areas of lesson planning and reading instruction.
 
Youth who experience academic failure are at a greater risk for involvement in delinquency. While studies have revealed a myriad of factors for such failure, the perceptions of these youth regarding their educational experiences have proven to be one of the most valuable resources regarding the systematic barriers to academic achievement. The purpose of this essay is to examine how youth of color are overwhelming affected by a phenomenon known as Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline. Several school districts in the U. S. employ harsh discipline practices that inevitably push students out of classrooms, on the streets, and in the juvenile justice system at an astounding rate. Students of color experience higher rates of suspensions, expulsion, truancy, retention, and academic failure in schools. Harsh discipline polices, along with bias and discrimination have a direct or indirect impact on their academic journey, including feeling of inferiority due to their academic shortcomings. *The original version of this article included the term Native Indigenous students. Per the authors request, the term Native Indigenous has been replaced with Indigenous.
 
The phrase “Are we there yet?” is used by travelers, often children who pose the question to gauge the distance and time remaining in a trip. How far have we traveled? How much longer will it be until we arrive at our destination? This article describes curriculum redesign for our early childhood and elementary education programs at Winthrop University in South Carolina. The details of this journey offer a roadmap of the program revision process that we encountered in our efforts to work toward continuous improvement in teacher education. By working with program faculty from within our college as well as faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences we accomplished our goals for curriculum redesign. As we enter the final phase of this 2-year endeavor, our writing documents the process that we encountered to achieve this goal.
 
A response from the field to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and President Barack Obama’s plan for teacher education reform and improvement as described in the document Our Future, Our Teachers (2011).
 
Black male teachers are less than two percent of all current teachers in the United States. However, there has been an effort to recruit and retain Black men into the teaching profession for a number of reasons. All student benefit when they have a Black male teacher. Black boys, in particular, have markedly higher test scores and improved discipline when they have a Black male teacher. Black male adults in educational settings is essential for enhancing Black boys’ academic and social development. There is a need for Black male teachers in education. Even with nationwide recruitment efforts like My Brother's Keeper, the numbers of Black male teacher remain small. Additionally, Black male teachers leave the profession at a higher rate than other subgroups. This paper will examine one teacher preparation program's effort to increase retention of Black males in the teacher preparation program and the teaching profession.
 
By leveraging the strengths and commitments of each of the partners, a university, a private nonprofit, and a middle-sized urban school district, collaborated to impact student learning of key concepts in middle-grade mathematics and to change mathematics teaching. The project targeted middle grades mathematics because success in it is the greatest predictor of later school achievement. In well-researched learning modules, students visualize, interact with, and analyze mathematical representations connected to dynamic simulations of real-life phenomena in a curricular learning system comprising dynamic technologies, curriculum replacement units, and professional development. Through planned professional development, teachers have the technological skills, pedagogical skills and mathematical content knowledge required to engage their students in an interaction between the software, the curriculum materials, and the mathematics. Student learning gains and changes in teacher pedagogical, technological, and mathematical content knowledge provide evidence of the project’s continued success after three years. Concomitant institutional changes in each of the partnering organizations attest to the project’s sustainable impact.
 
This issue of Educational Renaissance is devoted to documenting the proceedings from the Fall 2012 Joint Conference of The Renaissance Group (TRG) and the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities (TECSCU) at the Key Bridge Marriott, Arlington, VA, September 30 - October 2, 2012. The conference, entitled “The Proof of Effective Partnerships: Educators Meeting the Challenges and Opportunities Of the 21st Century,” highlighted outstanding examples of innovative partnerships in teacher preparation. Here we present one article and the proceedings from five selected conference presentations, as well as the multimedia slides from five other sessions.
 
Rural schools face unique challenges recruiting teachers. Rural school administrators report difficulties finding qualified applicants. Unique challenges rural special education teachers face, e.g., working with a more diverse group of students including those with significant disabilities, heighten the difficulties rural administrators experience when recruiting and retaining qualified special education teachers. Leveraging university/rural school partnerships, e.g., resident teacher university/school partnerships, can help rural schools recruit and retain qualified special education teachers. This article describes the Teachers College Special Education Fellowship Program (TCSEFP), a virtual residency in teaching program. This program established virtual partnerships between the university and numerous rural school districts throughout the state. The article includes a description of the program, evaluation data, and implications for other virtual university/school residency in teaching programs.
 
This study aggregated supervisor’s ratings of teachers trained at The Renaissance Group (TRG) and the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities (TECSCU) institutions. Fourteen studies conducted by 12 universities or states were gathered, and 12 that met inclusion criteria were included in this analysis. The total number of survey items in all studies (N = 374) was coded into 13 variables. Frequencies of the percentages of ratings falling into below average, average, and above average for those variables were tabled. Supervisors consistently gave teachers very high ratings.
 
Multicultural Education as a field of study in education is intimately connected to Teacher Education. Most frameworks in Multicultural Education are primarily centered on the inclusion of cultural and linguistic diversity in the curriculum of schools. The purpose of this article is to explain why cognitive learning theory must be an essential element in frameworks of Multicultural Education and Multicultural Teacher Education. Teachers need to understand the principles of cognitive development in students in order to create classrooms where students become self-regulated learners.
 
Amid countless challenges faced by teacher education, public universities, preparing a large share of the nations' teachers, are called upon to a lead the charge of moving the field forward. The American Association of State Colleges and University's Teacher Education Task Force sought to examine current conditions among member institutions. Presidents, provosts and deans of education responded to a survey with their assessment of the current status of teacher education. The results yielded six recommendations for quality teacher education programs. The latter of which stresses professionalizing the field. Further examination of the recommendations reveals gaps between the current landscape and the recommendations. It is through these gaps that a strategic means to advance the professionalization of teacher education is put forth. Advancing the professionalization of teacher education is a collaborative effort of leadership. The process demonstrates and builds momentum from positive impact on communities and the profession itself. It is undergirded by an ethical imperative.
 
A university near a major city in Georgia and a large, urban school district established a Professional Development School (PDS) in which the majority of junior and senior-level pre-service teacher coursework and fieldwork took place at seven urban, high-needs public schools. The purpose of this study was to provide preliminary feedback to the middle grades teacher preparation program concerning the UE (Urban Education) program in preparation for the second cohort of UE interns and the second year of study with the first cohort. What emerged from the study was evidence that the program, for its participating teacher candidates, leads to commitment, strengthens self-efficacy, and fosters early development of teacher efficacy, but which ultimately evolves into teacher candidate overconfidence. As pressure continues to mount concerning the quality of education in America, teacher preparation programs must improve their programs in order to better prepare teachers for diverse classrooms. This study relates one such effort toward that end.
 
This study investigated the ability of a redesigned teacher preparation program to effectively meet the needs of teacher candidates and partner school districts. The study examined the effects of the redesigned school of education program on perceptions of teacher candidates, administrators, teachers in partner districts, and faculty members. Findings from school-partnership districts and the school of education were explored. The goal was to use best practices to meet the needs of teacher candidates and provide rich theoretical and clinical experiences in diverse school settings. Findings indicated a change in perceptions of teacher candidates in understanding the importance of equity in the teaching process and of the connection between theory presented in the classroom and application in settings of diverse learners. Teachers and principals indicated an appreciation for renewal through the collaborative experience with teacher candidates during field experiences.
 
In California, the longstanding insufficiency of special educators has compounded since the 2013-2014 academic year. Districts and state legislators have relied on the issuance of substandard permits (i.e., Provisional Intern Permits, Short-Term Staff Permits, and Intern Credentials) to counteract the shortage. However, the effectiveness of this approach has limited evaluation. This study evaluated differences between pre-service and in-service special educators’ self-efficacy ratings. Special educators serving in California’s Central Valley on substandard permits or valid teaching credentials (i.e., Preliminary and Clear Credentials) completed the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale. Differences were assessed across several variables using independent t-tests and one-way ANOVAs. Significant differences emerged in special educators’ self-reported levels of self-efficacy as a function of credential status, favoring those with valid credentials. The findings indicate a correlation between special educators’ credential status (a proxy for training) and self-reported self-efficacy. The results of this study add to the research on special educators’ self-efficacy by exploring the phenomenon among a newly emerged group of California-based special educators: substandard permit holders. keywords: self-efficacy, special education, substandard authorization, pathways to teaching
 
This article describes a hybrid eMentoring model used to support fellows during an 11-month fellowship program, the Teachers College Special Education Fellowship Program (TCSEFP). The TCSEFP is a residency in teaching (RIT) induction program that leads to the completion of a high incidence special education endorsement and a master’s degree in special education. During the fellowship, each participant receives extensive, explicit mentoring from onsite and off-site mentors. This hybrid eMentoring model, developed as a part of the TCSEFP, is facilitated in part via distance technologies.
 
The research study described in this article is an extension of a yearlong mixed methods study of eight co-teaching pairs (four English and four science) and their implementation of co-teaching during the clinical experience. A year after these eight pre-service teachers participated in the co-teaching research study while enrolled in a teacher education program, they were interviewed at the conclusion of their first year of employed teaching with the goal of exploring the impact that the co-teaching experience had on their development as a teacher. Findings reveal that co-teaching during the clinical experience provides an opportunity to shape pre-service teachers to be collaborative, reflective practitioners who seek out opportunities to collaborate and position themselves as lifelong learners. However, teacher education programs that implement co-teaching during the clinical experience have a responsibility to ensure that co-teaching occurs with fidelity and that pre-service teachers are supported to transition to full-time employment where the day-to-day co-teaching opportunities may be more limited.
 
This essay uses qualitative elements to examine characteristics of inspirational teachers through the eyes of teacher candidate autobiographical essays. Based on narratives written by 35 college students, three teacher educators examined the responses through several lenses, including: the characteristics the inspirational teachers had in common, and the impact the teachers had on the students. Seven emerging themes indicate that truly inspirational teachers go beyond the normal call of their duties, sometimes in intangible ways. Also indicated is the notion that knowledge and instructional strategies are not sufficient for making a teacher inspirational. Implications for teacher education are discussed.
 
The focus of this research is to examine the impact of an instructional instrument to improve the quality of pre-service teachers’ lesson plans. The HEAT instrument focuses on four components essential to high-quality lesson plans: Higher-Order Thinking, Engaged Learning, Authentic Learning, and Technology. The research study examined a) data from elementary education classes for two semesters to measure the impact of the HEAT instrument on instructional planning during the semester and b) these pre-service teachers’ subsequent performance on the Teacher Work Sample compared to a control group of student teachers to measure the impact of the instrument on pre-service teacher performance. In the treatment group, pre-service teachers’ scores on the HEAT instrument were lower each successive semester of the study; however, during the student teaching semester the teacher candidates had higher scores on the Teacher Work Sample which measured the four components embedded in the HEAT instrument. Keywords: lesson plans; Bloom’s Taxonomy; teacher education; cognitive complexity; higher-order thinking; technology integration; authentic learning; engaged learning
 
Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an instructional framework based in neuroscience, optimizes teaching and learning by supporting learners through three overarching principles: Multiple Means of Engagement, Multiple Means Representation, and Multiple Means of Action and Expression (?About universal?). These principles and the subsequent framework that grew out of the work of CAST co-founders and framework co-creators Dr. David Rose and Anne Meyers has become greater than the sum of its parts. Practitioners who have even dabbled in Universal Design for Learning have likely come to the understanding that UDL is a student-centered value system of flexibility, accessibility, and high standards for all students; indeed, the goal of Universal Design for Learning is to create learning environments where students grow to be experts in their own learning. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) defines and endorses Universal Design for Learning as the framework for designing learning experiences that support the success of all learners
 
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