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Building Strong Teacher Preparation Programs Through Collaboration
Unformatted Document Text:  Anthony (2003) propose that people who enter alternative programs are brighter and have greater academic potential than do people entering traditional teacher education programs. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future 2003 Report, No Dream Denied: A Pledge to America’s Children recommends six dimensions to be considered in the development of quality teachers, whether the program is alternative or traditional. The six dimensions include: 1. The careful recruitment and selection of teacher candidates.2. An emphasis on strong academic preparation that includes knowledge of the subject and how students learn. 3. Provide extensive clinical practice for the development of effective teaching skills for the content area, grade level, and the diversity of students. 4. Support for entry-level teachers from mentors and supervisors.5. Implementation of learning technologies embedded in the program from the beginning stages to professional development opportunities. 6. On-going assessment of the training program effectiveness.A program structured around the above dimensions moves beyond the effectiveness debate to a focus on quality preparation for all. Runyan and Sparks (2002) found that traditionally trained first and second year teachers move through developmental stages in a different order than do alternatively trained first and second year teachers. Runyan and Sparks have studied the differences in an effort to provide the necessary structure and support for early career teachers, regardless of the type of training program completed. If the goal of education is to ensure all students access to teachers ready to facilitate positive learning experiences, then all training programs must adopt the six dimensions identified in the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future 2003 Report, and move away from the debate focused on individual preferences. C. Contribution: This proposal relates to Strand II because it describes the expanded alliance of a regional state university, an urban school district, and community foundation. Further, the alliance is extended to the Board of Regents that governs the university and the State Department of Education that approves all teacher preparation programs. The alliance was so successful in its first full year of operation that it received the attention of the state legislature and a special allocation directed at funding the cost of the program. It addresses Strand V in that the partnership builds on an established quality teacher education program that also provides immediate access to the classroom for alternative program teachers. Combining a traditional program with an innovative program provides a wealth of data related to factors such as the level of basic skills and subject area knowledge individuals bring to the training program. Additional data collected and analyzed include those that compare differences or similarities according to training effects, professional mentoring activities, licensing tests results, and ultimately, the impact teachers have on the learning outcomes of students in their classrooms. The findings illustrate that quality training leads to successful teachers who impact student learning. D. Relevance: This presentation is relevant to using qualitative and quantitative evidence to inform policy and practice. The results shared support the importance of providing training programs that are based on high standards and that are a product of collaboration among all educational stakeholders. Secondly, the presentation will serve as a model for other school districts and

Authors: Scott, Steve., Sparks, Rozanne., Runyon, Kent., Cegelis, Lindsey. and Kirkegaard, Barbara.
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Anthony (2003) propose that people who enter alternative programs are brighter and have greater
academic potential than do people entering traditional teacher education programs.
The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future 2003 Report, No Dream
Denied: A Pledge to America’s Children recommends six dimensions to be considered in the
development of quality teachers, whether the program is alternative or traditional. The six
dimensions include:
1. The careful recruitment and selection of teacher candidates.
2. An emphasis on strong academic preparation that includes knowledge of the subject
and how students learn.
3. Provide extensive clinical practice for the development of effective teaching skills for
the content area, grade level, and the diversity of students.
4. Support for entry-level teachers from mentors and supervisors.
5. Implementation of learning technologies embedded in the program from the beginning
stages to professional development opportunities.
6. On-going assessment of the training program effectiveness.
A program structured around the above dimensions moves beyond the effectiveness
debate to a focus on quality preparation for all. Runyan and Sparks (2002) found that
traditionally trained first and second year teachers move through developmental stages in a
different order than do alternatively trained first and second year teachers. Runyan and Sparks
have studied the differences in an effort to provide the necessary structure and support for early
career teachers, regardless of the type of training program completed.
If the goal of education is to ensure all students access to teachers ready to facilitate
positive learning experiences, then all training programs must adopt the six dimensions identified
in the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future 2003 Report, and move away
from the debate focused on individual preferences.
C. Contribution:
This proposal relates to Strand II because it describes the expanded alliance of a regional
state university, an urban school district, and community foundation. Further, the alliance is
extended to the Board of Regents that governs the university and the State Department of
Education that approves all teacher preparation programs. The alliance was so successful in its
first full year of operation that it received the attention of the state legislature and a special
allocation directed at funding the cost of the program.
It addresses Strand V in that the partnership builds on an established quality teacher
education program that also provides immediate access to the classroom for alternative program
teachers. Combining a traditional program with an innovative program provides a wealth of data
related to factors such as the level of basic skills and subject area knowledge individuals bring to
the training program. Additional data collected and analyzed include those that compare
differences or similarities according to training effects, professional mentoring activities,
licensing tests results, and ultimately, the impact teachers have on the learning outcomes of
students in their classrooms. The findings illustrate that quality training leads to successful
teachers who impact student learning.
D. Relevance:
This presentation is relevant to using qualitative and quantitative evidence to inform
policy and practice. The results shared support the importance of providing training programs
that are based on high standards and that are a product of collaboration among all educational
stakeholders. Secondly, the presentation will serve as a model for other school districts and


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