Many organizations offer technical assistance (TA) to teacher preparation programs seeking to improve their programming. But until recently, there was no common way to assess the impact of that technical assistance or even define what high-quality technical assistance looks like. How can TA providers better understand the impact their technical assistance actually has on teacher preparation and continuously improve their support?
In the third brief of the Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers Learning Series, a working group of three teacher preparation experts-Sarah Beal of US PREP, Liam Honigsberg of TeacherSquared and Sudipti Kumar of the National Center for Teacher Residencies-attempted to answer this question. Together, they developed a framework with outcomes and indicators that describes what high quality technical assistance looks like in the context of teacher preparation and defines what evidence to collect so it can be used to continuously improve and differentiate support.
The framework is comprised of four domains:
Quality: What are we trying to achieve, by when and with whom?
Sustainability: How will we maintain engagement and high-quality programming over time?
Reach: How will we work to diffuse innovation and change?
Impact: How will we measure our own effectiveness?
The brief also describes how work group members collaborated to create the framework, and offers ideas for how and why it can be used to strengthen technical assistance for teacher preparation programs. Four benefits of using the framework include:
- Focus on impact
- Orient partnerships towards change
- Get clear on evidence
- Foster collaboration