Teacher preparation programs are a hot topic in education policy today, as principals, prospective teachers, and policy experts alike look for ways to re-examine and reinvent the training pipeline.
Opinions on the subject spread far and wide, with some hoping to rank and rate them and others questioning the data that critics are using to question them.
The Woodrow Wilson Foundation is taking a more walk, less talk approach by creating the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning. Their hope is to create an exemplar program focused on teaching time and competency as opposed to textbooks and credit hours. Based in the Boston area, this program will be a breeding ground for what works in teacher prep, with the hope that proven practices will spread to other programs across the country.
While I learned many valuable lessons during my time in teacher prep, when I started my first teaching job I wished I’d had more time in the classroom and more practice with differentiation strategies. Now, that wish has grown to encompass more training in data analysis, as this has become the driving force behind all things teaching and learning. There may be some stellar programs already in existence, but finding new ways to prepare new teachers for the classroom is never a bad idea.
Teachers, I’d love to hear thoughts about your teacher prep programs and what you’d like to see in future models. Policy people, I’d love to hear what you think is most needed in preparation programs. Questions or comments? Leave them here!