A new report documents growth in “practice-based” teacher education programs in Massachusetts and makes recommendations on next steps to support them.
In practice-based teacher education, candidates spend a year as student-teachers, supplemented by courses or seminars. In Massachusetts, the report found, such programs are designed to fit school districts’ needs, focus on the practical aspects of teaching, and either give participating teachers stipends or reduce the cost of coursework. They also focus on the quality of their graduates. Few have been rigorously evaluated, though, and they typically do not track or solicit feedback from program completers.
The report recommends that policymakers and other stakeholders expand the state data system to make it easier to follow graduates, brand such programs as “field-based” or “practice-based,” strengthen the marketing of the programs, and adopt research practices that more clearly consider the structure of practice-based teacher education.
A version of this article appeared in the December 02, 2009 edition of Education Week as Teacher Education