Reimagining Teacher Preparation: An Invitation to Create New Programs for Changing Teacher Roles

Report · October 2015 · By Alex Vitrella, Lars Esdal, Eura Chang

Teaching is the number one in-school factor affecting student outcomes. And a central part of the strategy for improving teaching involves better teacher preparation. There is a great need for more relevant and innovative teacher preparation programs, and we believe creating a new program—potentially within a non-conventional institutional host—is the best way to keep the program truly independent and innovative. Possible non-conventional hosts include out-of-school programs, museums, teachers unions, school-university partnerships, and other entities which are passionate about student learning.

Such a program could be open to prospective teachers entering at multiple points in their education pathways and careers. Wherever candidates enter, the application process should be competitive even if that means the new program must start small. Once enrolled, teacher candidates should immediately engage the core elements of the program: exposure to diverse school and learning models, quality mentorship from experienced teachers, and coursework in core content. Teachers should complete their transition into the profession with a one-year residency program designed to ramp up the skills they learned in the program component, and demonstrate their competency before being fully licensed.