Teacher Preparation What the Research Says

Preservice Feedback and Practice Boost Teacher Effectiveness

By Sarah D. Sparks — October 08, 2019 1 min read

New teachers face a steep learning curve, but preservice training that includes observation, feedback, and practice may give them a boost, finds a new study by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.

Researchers surveyed nearly 3,300 4th-6th grade teachers in 242 districts serving mostly high-poverty and high-minority children in 18 states. Teachers reported on their preservice preparation, including their exposure to coursework, class observation, practice, and feedback on their teaching. Researchers identified two general focuses of their training: “creating a productive learning environment,” such as developing a positive class climate and managing student behavior, and “promoting analytic thinking skills,” including managing class discussions and using assessments.

The study finds that increasing preservice teachers’ opportunities in the first focus area—productive learning environments—was linked to significantly better teacher effectiveness, particularly in English/language arts. The gain was equivalent to about half the difference in effectiveness between a first- and second-year teacher.

A version of this article appeared in the October 09, 2019 edition of Education Week as Preservice Feedback and Practice Boost Teacher Effectiveness

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