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AAE Signs on to College of Education Reform Coalition
posted by: Alix | August 02, 2012, 08:22 PM   

With the teaching profession growing and evolving, one theme that remains constant is the fact that effective teachers are the key to student success. Studies have shown that education schools are deeply in need of reform. From attracting top high school graduates, to improving the quality of instruction, institutions that prepare future teachers must be able to produce results. In order to bring our colleges of education into a new era of success, AAE is pleased to be joining the list of endorsers of the National Council on Teacher Quality's (NCTQ) project to rank colleges of education in an effort to better prepare future educators.

We know that effective teachers make a fundamental difference in the lives of our nation's students. Yet for decades, little attention has been paid to how teachers are prepared to succeed in the classroom. While education reform often highlights the need for policy changes inside the classroom, it's time to focus on building better teachers from the very beginning.

Higher education teacher preparation programs prepare nearly 90% of the 240,000 new teachers who are hired each year. However, unlike other professional schools, teacher prep programs are held to inconsistent and often weak standards, enabling ineffective programs to receive state approval and national accreditation. The results produce too few teachers receiving the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the classroom.

AAE members agree that our teacher preparation system needs to be reformed. In addition to supporting alternative certification programs for degreed professionals and intense training programs like Teach For America, AAE members are eager to see changes in how our new teachers are trained. Ninety-four percent agree with a report by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education that recommends improving teacher education via mentorships programs akin to those at medical schools. Survey respondents overwhelmingly agree with focusing less on in-classroom lessons and more on training in the field, much like a medical residency.

NCTQ's goal is to rate higher education programs by focusing on accountability and performance. These rankings will better serve students interested in careers in teaching, principals searching for quality candidates, and programs that should be either recognized for excellence or are in need of improvement.

Using well-honed methodology, NCTQ is working to find the programs that are doing the best job in preparing tomorrow's educators as compared with those that need to improve and those that need to be radically restructured. Ultimately, all stakeholders are interested in ensuring all teachers are student-ready before they enter the classroom.

Click here to read more about the program.

What do you think about reforming teacher education? Do you believe your training adequately prepared you for the classroom?
Comment below.

Comments (1)Add Comment
Theory vs. Practice - An Exercise in Disconnection
written by Scott Wheeler - Fort Collins, CO, August 04, 2012

Teacher education reform can potentially be a significantly impacting movement to improvement in education. No, my training didn't come close to preparing me for the classroom (all those years ago). My training in music, coupled with my student teaching experience and professional performance, gave me some foundations.

However, the educational theory classes and education methodology classes were asinine at best. I apologize if it sounds blunt, but there were a goodly number of educational professors, researchers, and theorists who were poor teachers themselves in my college classroom. Couple that with the fact that few of them had more than a handful of years actually teaching children/young adults, I found their musings had very little to do with becoming a good teacher. The best teachers should become the best teacher educators through in-the-field training and apprenticeships/mentorships.

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