Teacher Preparation

Teacher Preparation

The Challenge

Teaching is the number one in-school factor affecting student learning outcomes. Unfortunately, too many teachers report that their teacher preparation experiences didn’t sufficiently prepare them for the job of teaching. And, what’s more, current pathways into teaching are inaccessible to many diverse and qualified candidates—resulting in severe shortages in teachers of color, teachers working rurally, and teachers in key licensure areas such as special education and science.

Additionally, teacher preparation programs are often oriented more around the way school has looked in the past, rather than presenting recent, evidence-based approaches to student learning and the job of teaching. Teachers of the 21st century can and should play larger roles in coaching and facilitating learning that is driven more by students; understanding their own cultures and identities, as well as those of the students they serve; and collaboratively designing and running schools with their colleagues.

New pathways and programs to enter teaching are also needed. In particular, onramps must be more accessible to people with career, racial, ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds that are underrepresented in teaching but that are more representative of the students they are teaching.

Our Work to Address It

We’re working to improve the teacher preparation experience for new teachers. This includes advocating for changes to the laws and rules that govern the programs and pathways into teaching, as well as the content and experiences that teachers have in preparation programs.