Teacher candidates are more likely to be effective and to stay in the profession when their preparation experiences are connected to classroom practice (Boyd, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2009; Ronfeldt, 2012). Therefore, there has been considerable pressure and effort to strengthen candidate clinical experiences so that they happen early and often within candidates’ preparation.
A new framework published by the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, titled “Learning To Teach: Practice-Based Preparation in Teacher Education” is designed to guide teacher educators in integrating practice-based opportunities—inclusive of the essential features—into existing coursework and field experiences.
The framework outlines essential features for providing high-quality, structured, and sequenced opportunities to practice within teacher preparation programs. Information is provided to support states, districts, and programs that are striving to prepare and support excellent teachers by:
- Showcasing several teacher preparation programs wherein faculty have enacted innovative strategies to embed practice-based opportunities into existing coursework and field experiences that more closely connect with the realistic demands of today’s classrooms.
- Strengthening understanding of several practice-based approaches, informed by the science of learning, which have been found to increase beginning teacher candidates’ capacity for teaching.
- Identifying potential action steps that programs, districts, and states can take to improve candidates’ opportunities to practice.
The information is intended for use by educator preparation program providers, districts, and state education agencies. The information and considerations presented will be especially useful for faculty engaged in transforming programs and for state policymakers in rethinking program approval requirements.
For the full report and framework, see http://www.gtlcenter.org/sites/default/files/Learning_To_Teach.pdf
For a useful implementation rubric geared to educator preparation program or professional development providers, see http://www.gtlcenter.org/sites/default/files/Rubric.pdf