Program Objectives

Partnerships, Practices and Policies to Support Clinically Based, Research Driven Teacher Preparation

To reinforce the importance of maximizing clinical experiences and to assure consistency in training objectives among all School faculty, the School of Urban Education adopts the 10 guiding principles of the 2010 Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) of the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

These principles were established by a group of 30 experts in education research, policy, teaching and learning in higher education and P-12 schools from across the nation.

  1. Student learning is the focus: P-12 student learning must serve as the focal point for the design and implementation of clinically based teacher preparation, and for the assessment of newly minted teachers and the programs that have prepared them. Candidates need to develop practice that advances student knowledge as defined by the Common Core State Standards, in those subjects for which they have been developed.
  2. Clinical preparation is integrated throughout every facet of teacher education in a dynamic way: The core experience in teacher preparation is clinical practice. Content and pedagogy are woven around clinical experiences throughout preparation, in course work, in laboratory-based experiences, and in school embedded practice. 
  3. A candidate’s progress and the elements of a preparation program are continuously judged on the basis of data: Candidates’ practice must be directly linked to the interstate standards for teachers (InTASC) and Common Core Standards, and evaluation of candidates must be based on students’ outcome data, including student artifacts, summative and formative assessments; data from structured observations of candidates’ classroom skills by supervising teachers and faculty; and data about the preparation program and consequences of revising it. 
  4. Programs that prepare teachers who are expert in content and how to teach it and are also innovators, collaborators and problem solvers: Candidates must develop a base of knowledge, a broad range of effective teaching practices, and the ability to integrate the two to support professional decision-making. To be successful teachers in challenging and changing environments, candidates must learn to use multiple assessment processes to advance learning and inform their practice with data, to differentiate their teaching to match their students’ progress. Further, effective teachers are innovators and problem solvers, working with colleagues constantly seeking new and different ways of teaching students who are struggling. 
  5. Candidates learn in an interactive professional community: Candidates need lots of opportunities for feedback. They must practice in a collaborative culture, expecting rigorous peer review of their practice and their impact on student learning.
  6. Clinical educators and coaches are rigorously selected and prepared and drawn from both higher education and the P-12 sector: Those who lead the next generation of teachers throughout their preparation and induction must themselves be effective practitioners, skilled in differentiating instruction, proficient in using assessment to monitor learning and provide feedback, persistent searchers for data to guide and adjust practice, and exhibitors of the skills of clinical educators. They should be specially certified, accountable for their candidates’ performance and student outcomes, and commensurately rewarded to serve in this crucial role. 
  7. Specific sites are designated and funded to support embedded clinical preparation: All candidates should have intensive embedded clinical school experiences that are structured, staffed, and financed to support candidate learning and student achievement.
  8. Technology applications foster high-impact preparation: State-of-the-art technologies should be employed by preparation programs to promote enhanced productivity, greater efficiencies, and collaboration through learning communities. Technology should also be an important tool to share best practices across partnerships, and to facilitate on-going professional learning.
  9. A powerful Research & Development agenda and systematic gathering and use of data supports continuous improvement in teacher preparation: Effective teacher education requires more robust evidence on teaching effectiveness, best practices, and preparation program performance. A powerful research and development infrastructure – jointly defined by preparation programs, school districts, and practitioners – supports knowledge development, innovation, and continuous improvement. While not every clinically based preparation program will contribute new research knowledge or expand development, each must systematically gather and use data, and become part of a national data network on teacher preparation that can increase understanding of what is occurring and evidence of progress in the field. 
  10. Strategic partnerships are imperative for powerful clinical preparation: School districts, preparation programs, teacher unions, and state policy makers must form strategic partnerships based on the recognition that none can fully do the job alone, and that each partner’s needs can be met better by defining clinically based teacher preparation as common work for which they share responsibility, authority, and accountability covering all aspects of program development and implementation.