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Revolutionary Teacher Training Programs You Should Know About
posted by: Melissa | March 21, 2016, 04:27 PM   


The format of teacher training programs as we know them today first solidified in the early 20th century.  Designed by academics who placed a high value on the theoretical and psychological aspects of the teaching craft, they emphasized teachers discovering their “philosophy of education” and spent very little time on the practical aspects of teaching.  This practice lasted several decades.  However, as teaching has moved into the 21st century, there have been attempts to modernize the way teachers are taught and trained.  Several new programs are taking the lead with surprising results.


New York University:  NYU is piloting a new program for their master’s degree in their school of education.  This program is combining embedded teacher practice, online learning, and video observations to provide potential educators with a technologically relevant and research-based experience.  Having the classes conducted online is what allows the potential teachers to be based in schools for the entirety of the program where they will work both independently and alongside experienced educators.


Relay Graduate School of Education:  Relay was started by leaders in the public charter school community who noticed that the new teachers they were hiring lacked the skills necessary to run a classroom.  Like the program at NYU, Relay emphasis in-class skills. They also have teacher trainees videotape their lessons for review with a mentor.  Relay is quickly earning praise from the education world for their practical techniques.


The Boston Teacher Residency Program:  The Boston Teacher Residency combines strong traditional classes with a lengthy in-school residency program that aims to be both practical and knowledge building.  Teachers are placed in Boston Public Schools as they complete coursework.  The program can either be a one-year long residency or a full three-year master’s program.


Bank Street College of Education: What sets the Bank Street program apart are their facilities.  Bank Street College owns its own P-8 school, the School for Children.  Unlike the other programs mentioned, the school has been around since 1916 and continues to promote the tradition of progressive education it was founded on by integrating direct experience and coursework.


While all of these programs differ and have variations in their philosophy of education, all of them rely heavily on actual experience with children.  Together, they point toward a future where teacher preparation will be both philosophical and practical.


AAE members are very much in agreement that teacher preparation should be strengthened. According to our 2016 National Member Survey, 77% agreed with the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) report that recommends rigorous teacher preparation requirements, including a 3.0 GPA and passing of subject-matter tests to gain entry into teaching programs. Scholars also recommends teacher residency programs similar to those described above.


What variables do you think account for a strong teacher preparation program?
Comment below.


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