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

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 Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
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
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls

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 Opinion An Unconventional Approach to Teacher Training
Teacher educators at one university are rethinking the concept of teaching and how to best prepare candidates for the classroom.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Teacher Preparation Opinion Make Teacher Prep Practical, Not Theoretical
Ready teachers for the rigors of the classroom—how to plan lessons, differentiate instruction, and all the elements of educating students.
18 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Teacher Preparation Opinion Teacher Prep Should Include Classroom-Culture Training
Great teachers foster environments where students want to be.
12 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Teacher Preparation Opinion Are Teacher-Prep Programs Out of Touch?
Teacher-prep courses are frequently taught by instructors who have been away from the K-12 classroom a long time.
15 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty