Teacher Preparation

Foundation To Study Preparation Of Teachers

By Julie Blair — March 21, 2001 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching unveiled a 5-year, $3- million initiative this month that will bring together some of the nation’s top scholars to examine how teacher education classes are taught, how prospective teachers learn, and how their learning is evaluated.

The initiative is one element of a 10-year, $10 million effort to study the ways in which professionals are trained, said Lee S. Shulman, the president of the nonprofit research organization, based in Menlo Park, Calif. The foundation began the project two years ago and is examining the professions of law, engineering, medicine, social work, and the clergy, in addition to teaching.

Leo S. Shulman

“This is the first time that the education of teachers has been examined systematically as part of a larger effort to understand the preparation for professions,” Mr. Shulman said. “In the preparation of lawyers and engineers, for example, there are some of the very same problems we thought were unique nightmares to education—they are universal.”

Because each profession uses different strategies to address similar problems, the foundation hopes to identify the best practices used in one vocation and apply them to others, he said.

The first task of the scholars investigating teacher preparation will be to look at the ways in which future K-12 educators are assessed, Mr. Shulman said. At least a dozen teacher-preparation programs will be examined, he added.

“Our challenge is to pull together the very best approaches developed and tried out in an attempt to assess how well teachers are learning their craft,” he said. “Then you can begin asking the other questions like ‘What are the most promising practices for teaching methods of teaching?’”

‘A Big Missing Piece’

Some education experts say that the project could generate information essential to improving teacher education and, as yet, unreported in a comprehensive manner anywhere else.

“The whole issue of documenting what it is that teachers should know and be able to do and how they’re taught these things is a big, big, big missing piece in policymaking,” said C. Emily Feistritzer, the president of the National Center for Education Information, a private research group based in Washington. “Without that data, it is very hard to make sound decisions about what should be done.”

Under its late president, Ernest L. Boyer, the Carnegie Foundation produced landmark studies on elementary education, high schools, school choice, colleges, and early childhood education.

The new initiative comes as several groups of researchers are posing similar questions about teacher preparation. “We’re going to take some responsibility for bringing them together and helping them sort out the information,” Mr. Shulman said. “We want this to be a collaborative effort.”

Among the researchers working on the project is Frank B. Murray, a professor of education and psychology at the University of Delaware in Newark and the president of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, which accredits teacher-preparation programs in about 65 colleges and universities.

Other participants are: Pamela L.Grossman, a professor of education at Stanford University; Carol D. Lee, an associate professor of education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.; Gary Sykes, a professor of education at Michigan State University in East Lansing; and Kenneth M.Zeichner, the assistant dean for the school of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Carnegie Senior Scholar Rose Asera will co-direct the initiative along with Mr. Shulman.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York is financing the project.

A version of this article appeared in the March 21, 2001 edition of Education Week as Foundation To Study Preparation Of Teachers

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Creating Confident Readers: Why Differentiated Instruction is Equitable Instruction
Join us as we break down how differentiated instruction can advance your school’s literacy and equity goals.
Content provided by Lexia Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teacher Preparation These Preparation Programs Are Creating a 'Tutor to Teacher' Pipeline
A new pipeline offering an authentic glimpse of the profession is growing, despite patchy financial cover.
8 min read
Photograph of an adult Black woman helping a female student with an assignment.
iStock/Getty
Teacher Preparation Opinion 3 Ways to Give Preservice Teachers Meaningful Classroom Experiences
A veteran teacher offers guidance on how to support teacher-candidates.
Allison Kilgore Thompson
3 min read
A novice teacher shadow is cast across an empty classroom.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week + DigitalVision vectors + Getty Images
Teacher Preparation AI Is Coming to Teacher Prep. Here's What That Looks Like
One preparation program is banking on AI to transform new teacher training.
4 min read
Collage illustration of computer display and classroom image.
F. Sheehan for Education Week / Getty
Teacher Preparation Few Teachers Learn About 'Science of Reading' in Their Prep Programs. Some Colleges Are Working on That
As states and districts mandate evidence-based literacy practices, the burden of training in this approach falls primarily on teachers.
6 min read
A female teacher of Asian ethnicity is helping her multi ethnic group of students with a book to read. They are all dressed casually and are at their school library.
E+/Getty