September 8, 2016
A new brief explores independent, alternative routes into teaching
These new routes sometimes emphasize technical skills over deep, professional understanding
EAST LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 8, 2016) – Teacher education, typically provided by colleges and universities across the U.S., has been criticized for some time for its uneven quality. In response, there has been a policy push to deregulate the preparation of teachers in the U.S. and expand independent, alternative routes into teaching. The proliferation of independent, private programs raises the real possibility of dismantling the university system of teacher education.
A new brief from the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) reviews five prominent independent teacher education programs in the U.S. The brief was funded in part by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
The brief, Independent Teacher Education Programs: Apocryphal Claims, Illusionary Evidence, examines how these independent teacher education programs impact teacher quality and student learning.
Ken Zeichner, University of Washington, examines the following independent teacher preparation programs: (1) The Relay Graduate School of Education; (2) Match Teacher Residency; (3) High Tech High's Internship; (4) iTeach; and (5) TEACH-NOW.
He found the claims regarding the success of these programs are not substantiated by peer-reviewed research or program evaluations.
Zeichner says, "The lack of credible evidence supporting claims of success is particularly problematic given the current emphasis on evidence-based policy and practice in federal policy and professional standards."
He concludes that the current shift way from preparing teachers with deep professional knowledge may negatively impact teacher quality and student learning.
Based on his review of the evidence, Zeichner makes the following recommendations:
Find the brief on the Great Lakes Center website:
The brief can also be found on the NEPC website:
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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education, Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develp reasearch-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.
Visit the Great Lakes Center website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/