• Teacher Education

    Developing students into quality teachers requires a university-based teacher preparation program, grounded in disciplinary knowledge and research, that is committed to the following principles: students must know the subject matter they wish to teach; students must understand the context in which teaching and learning take place; students must understand and effectively use good teaching practices; and students must have sustained opportunities to teach children in classroom settings. Teacher preparation must be embraced as an institution-wide responsibility, with appropriate resources including high caliber faculty in the arts and sciences as well as in education.

    Quality teacher preparation programs prepare students to teach by providing a thorough foundation in the disciplines they wish to teach. Quality teaching, however, requires more than subject knowledge. Teachers must be able to help children learn subject matter. This requires that students preparing to teach are sensitive to cultural and linguistic diversity, understand how children learn, are educated on the subject of child and adolescent development, and are knowledgeable about classroom management techniques. To this end, providing students with teaching experiences in actual classroom settings is essential. A graduated sequence of clinical experiences, developed through robust partnerships with P-12 schools, should begin early and extend throughout the preparation program. Faculty with experience in P-12 schools should guide and supervise students in clinical experiences, and should evaluate student performance relative to teaching standards.

    Quality teacher preparation programs reflect an understanding that novice teachers need mentoring and support through professional development that is sustained, intensive, classroom-based and directly related to helping a wide range of diverse learners meet achievement standards. Quality programs also create local partnerships with P-12 schools to offer ongoing professional development that assists individual teachers to improve their practice, and supports district and state content and achievement standards while being responsive to community needs.

    Quality teacher preparation programs evaluate their graduates’ teaching proficiency and effectiveness in promotion of P-12 student learning, and use results to improve local programs and the profession. Graduates and their employers are contacted regularly to gather information for program improvement. They utilize best practices developed locally and nationally to provide students with the most current and credible professional preparation possible.