Teacher professional learning communities provide environments in which teachers engage in regular research and collaboration. They have been found effective as a means for connecting professional learning to the day-to-day realities faced by teachers in the classroom. In this paper, we draw on survey data collected in primary schools serving 71 villages in rural Gansu Province, as well as transcripts from in-depth interviews with 30 teachers. Our findings indicate that professional learning communities penetrate to some of China's most resource-constrained schools, but that their nature and development are shaped by institutional supports, principal leadership, and teachers' own initiative.
Policy statements were gathered from 13 organizations which have major responsibilities in the area of teacher education. Statements were solicited on 20 issues, including educational quality and standards, program structure, certification, governance, and student admission. Agreements and disagreements among organizations are described. (PP)
Oklahoma teachers, asked their opinions about aspects of a new state law to upgrade teacher preparation, supported raising college admission requirements, requiring an entry-year internship for beginning teachers, and participation in staff development activities. The teachers questioned the value of minimum competency testing. (PP)
Cross-cultural research findings are summarized in an effort to inform multicultural educators of subtle differences in how children from various cultures learn. Differences in spatial conceptualization, cognitive learning, nonverbal communication, personality, and general attitudes are discussed. Research methodology is noted. (PP)
In May 1977, the National Council for Accredita tion of Teacher Education (NCATE) adopted revisions to the standards which will become effective on January 1, 1979. Prior to the adoption of the new NCATE con stitution in 1973, AACTE had the responsibility for re vising standards. The 1970 revision of standards was largely the work of the AACTE committee on stan dards. However, under the new constitution, the NCATE's committee on standards is charged with the responsibility for recommending changes in the stan dards. In the present case, the committee made a series of proposals. According to the NCATE constitution, there must be a waiting period between presentation and adoption of changes in standards. During this period, constituent organizations and member institu tions had the opportunity to react. One public meeting was held at which NCATE constituent members ap peared. An AACTE task force on accreditation pre pared reactions to the proposed changes, many of which were adopted by the NCATE committee on standards. The committee's final recommendations were adopted by the council in May 1977. According to the NCATE constitution, there must be an 18 month period before implementation, so the standards will apply to institutions being visited after January 1, 1979.
This paper will discuss the revised standards with emphasis on changes from the present standards. Im plications for institutions as they prepare for NCATE visits will also be considered. In many cases, the changes are merely clarifications of existing standards. However, as will be seen, there are some significant and substantial changes. In the final section we raise some fundamental questions about the application of the standards.
In 1978 and 1979, the Texas Research and Development Center for Teacher Education initiated extended discussions, commissioned papers, and sponsored a conference on major topic areas that cut across the teacher education continuum. The planning processes, the conference and its formation, the final report, and national agenda are described. (JN)
Criticism and recommendations made toward teacher education programs do not usually examine the diversity among these programs. This article explores characteristics of various institutions, their education students, and the content of their programs. (DF)
The authors present a program of research on the teaching practices of 1st-year teachers that has evolved within a partnership between and among a university and area school districts. The research links observed 1st-year teaching practices with school level (elementary, middle, high school) and type of teacher preparation (traditional bachelor's degree or nontraditional master's degree or postbaccalaureate certification). This study was conducted during 3 consecutive years, and results suggest that 1st-year teachers, as a group, performed adequately. School-level analyses reveal higher quality classroom management practices at the elementary level. Type of preparation analyses reveal higher quality management practices among teachers who attended traditional programs. The potential interaction between school level and type of preparation was not definitive but suggests further research is needed on the match between type of preparation and school level as expressed in quality of teaching practices.
Provides a rationale and framework for promoting critical reflection in teacher preparation, focusing on what critical reflection is, whether and how reflective practice can be taught, constructivist methods, dialogue as a form of teaching, action research to nurture reflective practice, and writing as a tool to encourage connections between content and practical experiences (thus enhancing reflective abilities). (SM)
In this article, the authors focus on the disciplinary divides between multicultural, bilingual, and special education. Existing issues that inhibit closer integration of these areas are highlighted, and a focus on the issue of culture is examined. Problematic ways that this key area has been treated in the past are described, and a proposal for a cultural focus on all students is described.
Madam/Mr. President, I urge you to think broadly and systemically about improving education in the United States. Use your authority to create a plan that provides all children and adolescents with access to well-funded, desirable schools that orient their learning toward the future. Enable them to flourish because they are healthy, they have a balanced and engaging curriculum, and they are working with good teachers—who themselves are encouraged to continue their education. Make it possible for all education professionals to have access to the latest research on teaching and learning and the time to think through how the research can and should inform practice. Encourage schools, colleges, and universities to establish cross-institutional cultures wherein professors, teachers, and administrators work in partnership to review the latest research and to contribute to the knowledge base through collaborative research and through practitioner research and other forms of research in their own classrooms, schools, and districts.
The locus of control in teacher education has been outside the hands of those who educate our nation’s teachers for more than a century. Essentialists have long controlled the agenda for public schooling in America, and it is evident as well that their influence has prevailed in both the form and function of teacher education. The authors suggest that the contest between progressives and essentialists regarding teacher education has been repeatedly decided in favor of the essentialists. The current attempt to recast teacher education to focus singularly on effectiveness of classroom teachers in raising the test scores of their students is a not-unanticipated result of this enduring contest.
Investigated preservice teachers' understandings of their own and their students' cultural backgrounds, examining how they integrated those understandings into literacy instruction. The ABC model (autobiographies, biographies of students, cross-cultural analysis, analysis of cultural differences, and classroom practices) helped stimulate students to continue examining their lives, their cultural/linguistic backgrounds, and the impact of those factors on teaching diverse students. (SM)
This study investigates the impact of an observation framework on preservice teachers’ abilities to engage in productive video-based reflections on mathematics teaching. The Lesson Analysis Framework draws from research on expert—novice teacher differences. Its central element is the analysis of the impact of teachers’ instructional decisions on students’ learning of mathematics. Through an experimental design, the effects of this framework on preservice teachers’ abilities to reflect on teaching are compared to the effects of an alternative framework focused on the evaluation of separate elements of instruction. Findings suggest that the Lesson Analysis Framework facilitates preservice teachers’ learning to elaborate on what they observe and to propose alternative teaching strategies. In addition, the framework provides a structure for evidence-based evaluation of observed instruction.
Seeking to deepen our understandings of the ways international study abroad programs may enhance efforts to prepare culturally responsive teachers, the purpose of this case study was to explore a preservice teacher’s intercultural development during a semester-long teacher education program in London, England. Such study abroad teacher education programs are offered as an innovative means to promote preservice teachers’ intercultural development, providing unique opportunities for these students to confront their ethnocentric worldviews and begin to consider the ways culture influences teaching and learning. Findings from this study reveal that participation in the program positively influenced intercultural development. Themes that illuminate aspects of the participant’s study abroad experience that both challenged and supported intercultural development included immersion within both a culture and school along with the essential role of an intercultural guide who promoted reflective practices around issues of culture and self. Implications for preservice teacher education program design are addressed.
Teachers must be informed about the signs or indicators of child abuse and neglect, as well as the reporting procedures, to become more effective in reporting suspected cases. Teacher educators can provide this information in a variety of ways; three ways are suggested. (JMK)
A scale assessing teacher beliefs concerning the responsibility for student academic success was developed and validated. The results show a striking difference in male/female teacher responses. Female teachers consistently assumed greater responsibility for the learning outcomes of their students. (JN)
A study investigated: (1) academic qualifications of female education majors; (2) how they compare with females in other academic programs; (3) career-choice shifts during college; and (4) whether females unsuccessful in other programs choose education as a last resort. Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, grade-point averages, and other measures of achievement are analyzed. (PP)
In order to determine if successful academic performance assures good teaching, four measures of academic achievement of teacher education graduates of Georgia State University from 1981 through 1984 were correlated with on-the-job performance assessments. Results are presented and implications for education policies are discussed. (Author/MT)
Thoughtful mentoring can shape and challenge a beginning teacher’s practice in educative ways, especially when the novice is well prepared and adopts the stance of a learner. What responsibility does a mentor have when the novice performs at the edge of acceptable practice? Drawing on interview and observation data collected for a national study of new teacher induction, this article explores how a well-supported mentor routinely missed opportunities to address difficulties faced by three novices. Through the construct of professional accountability, the authors argue for a more sophisticated approach to mentoring that blends assistance with standards-based assessment, as found in recent reform proposals. As the pool of new teachers shrinks, the phenomenon of teaching at the boundary of acceptable practice is likely to be exacerbated. This analysis raises timely questions about mentors’ professional obligations to new teachers and the public they serve.
This article describes one school of education’s efforts to navigate a state-level mandate requiring that candidates for teacher certification demonstrate “positive impact on student learning.” It explains ongoing efforts to make sense of the requirement, to measure its congruence with program philosophy, and to develop a response. The article reports on informal fact finding we did to determine how other institutions in our state were responding to the mandate, and it describes our attempts to demonstrate “positive impact” for accreditation purposes. In addition, the article raises dilemmas we face in the process. How do we negotiate conflicting definitions of impact and of student learning? What is adequate growth for diverse preservice teachers in terms of teaching for understanding? How do we position ourselves and our program in relation to powerful, controversial state demands?
In this article, the authors consider what can be learned from limited forms of evidence, for purposes of accountability and improvement of teacher education programs. They begin with a review of recent research on how evidence has been used to examine the effectiveness of teacher preparation and development. Using empirical evidence from a state with limited data capacity, they illustrate what can be learned from value-added measures as one form of evidence. As a case in point, the value-added scores for fifth-grade teachers are used to answer the question: To what extent are teachers’ years of experience and the institutions from which they obtained their teacher training related to student achievement? The authors conclude with a discussion of the use of evidence by shifting the focus of accountability from simply responding to external requirements to developing internal practices that generate knowledge for improvement, and argue for collective responsibility among multiple stakeholders.
A new interinstitutional instrument for cooperative teacher preparation and curriculum development is needed, preferably to "emerge from a partnership of the old institutions with universities taking leadership under the encouraging sponsorship of state departments of education." A "cooperative clinical teaching center" would focus on both staff development (including teacher preparation and curricular and instructional innovation) and operational research. While school and college supervisory personnel can direct the center's program, classroom teachers from cooperating schools can become the chief agents to carry it out inasmuch as they can contribute ideas and skills derived from practical experience in a way that university people cannot. Cooperative clinical teaching centers are particularly well suited for achieving interinstitutional cooperation to facilitate teacher preparation and instructional improvement in the cities. Although certain essentials are basic to effecting school-university collaboration, the potentialities of collaborative effort "will make possible Dewey's dream of a laboratory approach to the education of teachers." (Included is an outline of a possible structure for a cooperative clinical teaching center.) (SG)
A model of teaching qualities is presented to provide teachers with a self-check aimed at improving their effectiveness. The activities and suggestions offered are designed to increase awareness of skills and characteristics of effective teachers. (JMF)