Monday, June 15, 2009

Top systems and pre-service teacher training

Worldwide, some of the systems with the strongest results are pushing hands-on, practice oriented approaches to preparing teacher-candidates for their careers. How the world's best-performing school systems come out on top offers examples:
On the one-year Teacher Residency program in Boston, for example, trainees spend four days each week in a school. IN England, two thirds of the time on one-year training courses is devoted to teaching practice. In Japan, teachers spend up to two days a week in one-on-one coaching in their classrooms, during their first year of training.
Especially noteworthy is the aggressive approach taken in England:
England has placed all funding for teacher training under the control of a new agency, the Training and Development agency for schools (TDA). The TDA set strict standards for teacher training institution, including a minimum of 24 weeks of practical experience on most courses (two thirds of the total course time on one year programs) with the requirement that this classroom experience provide a good learning environment for trainee teachers. Providers are inspected by an independent inspectorate; the TDA reduces funding or closes down providers which do not meet the standards. England has also introduced an induction year, during which new teachers are given increased support and supervision, a reduced teaching load that allows extra time for planning and training, and a regular performance review to highlight areas requiring improvement.
Kentucky's Education Professional Standards Board has struggled with limited results to change how Kentucky's teacher programs equip their students, though our internship for first-year teachers is an important plus.

Senate Bill 1 demands that EPSB do more, with special emphasis on "use of the academic standards in the pre-service education programs and ... experience planning classroom instruction based on the revised standards."

To my mind, that's the second most-vulnerable, least-resourced element of the new legislation. It's not as worrisome as the required professional development for current educators, but it's close. But it's not at all clear that EPSB has the leverage to create meaningful change at the pace our students need.

Perhaps it's worth a closer look at the scale of power granted to England's TDA?

How the world's best-performing school systems come out on top
is available here, and earlier PrichBlog posts on the report are here, here, and

1 comment:

  1. To me there's nothing that can replace hands-on environment training for aspiring educators.


Updates and data on Kentucky education!