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Odd Bedfellows and the Five C's Toward Successful Regional Alliances
Unformatted Document Text:  2006 AACTE Annual Meeting Proposal “Odd Bedfellows-- and the Five C’s Toward Successful Regional Alliances” Section I: Content A. Statement of the Issue. Strong partnerships among PK- 12 and university stakeholders are essential for ensuring high quality teacher preparation programs (Darling-Hammond, 1998; 1999; 2005;). Regional, reciprocal partnerships are particularly difficult to initiate and maintain since they involve a number of different constituencies working in different capacities. How can alliances among private and public institutions and several school divisions and individual schools be developed and sustained? How can such alliances ensure that these relationships are reciprocal, with the goals of teacher development and student achievement and well-being at the center of their work? Members in this consortium are finding that alliances must be built over time, and involve formal and informal strategies designed to enhance commitment, collaboration, cooperation, communication, and coordination across constituencies. Such partner relationships require increased transparency and accountability on the part of teacher preparation programs, schools, and school divisions in order to sustain the alliance and to ensure that the work of the alliance leads to improved practices in teacher education and in schools. B. Literature Review. A panel of the National Academy of Education that is preparing to release a guide calling on federal and state policymakers to “embrace regulations aimed at raising teacher education standards” states that “many existing teacher-preparation programs are bound to fall short of its standard” (Keller, 2005). Partnerships between schools and universities which provide extensive clinical practice “in a school set up to foster professional development under the eyes of skilled veterans” (Keller, 2005) have long been recognized as a critical feature of model preparation programs (McIntyre and Byrd, 2000; Darling-Hammond, 1998; The Teaching Commission, 2004; Carnegie Corporation, 2004). Yet preparation programs often fall short of: providing such experiences for their candidates, often because schools and school divisions have not been sufficiently involved. A survey of teacher education graduates at 45 institutions revealed that only 10% of the candidates completed clinical experiences in partner school models (EBI, 2004). A comprehensive review of the research on teacher preparation found that “there are often differences in views [about field experiences] across schools and universities that are difficult to resolve,” indicating a need for models of discourse and engagement that help bridge these differences. The study also found that though “cooperating teachers have a powerful influence on the nature of the student teaching experiences,” cooperating teachers approach their roles very differently, ranging from “offering little by way of advice or support” to roles of “socializing the intern into the status quo of the school” while others see they should enable interns’ innovation and independence (Wilson, et al, 2001). The quality of field experiences thus varies greatly from classroom to classroom. Teacher preparation that is based upon the concept of “teaching as a clinical practice profession” requires that preparation programs “develop close functional relationships with a number of practicing schools. Superintendents, principals, and experienced teachers will have an appropriate role in advising and shaping the education of teacher candidates. Faculty from the university or college will be actively involved in arranging, supervising, and teaching teacher candidates in the clinical setting” (Teachers for a New Era, 2004). Such relationships involve

Authors: Shoemaker, Patricia., Reynolds, Timothy., Magliaro, Susan., Fowler, Kristi. and Earp, Lisa.
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2006 AACTE Annual Meeting Proposal
“Odd Bedfellows-- and the Five C’s Toward Successful Regional Alliances”

Section I: Content
A. Statement of the Issue. Strong partnerships among PK- 12 and university stakeholders are
essential for ensuring high quality teacher preparation programs (Darling-Hammond, 1998;
1999; 2005;). Regional, reciprocal partnerships are particularly difficult to initiate and maintain
since they involve a number of different constituencies working in different capacities. How can
alliances among private and public institutions and several school divisions and individual
schools be developed and sustained? How can such alliances ensure that these relationships are
reciprocal, with the goals of teacher development and student achievement and well-being at the
center of their work? Members in this consortium are finding that alliances must be built over
time, and involve formal and informal strategies designed to enhance commitment, collaboration,
cooperation, communication, and coordination across constituencies. Such partner relationships
require increased transparency and accountability on the part of teacher preparation programs,
schools, and school divisions in order to sustain the alliance and to ensure that the work of the
alliance leads to improved practices in teacher education and in schools.

B. Literature Review. A panel of the National Academy of Education that is preparing to release
a guide calling on federal and state policymakers to “embrace regulations aimed at raising
teacher education standards” states that “many existing teacher-preparation programs are bound
to fall short of its standard” (Keller, 2005). Partnerships between schools and universities which
provide extensive clinical practice “in a school set up to foster professional development under
the eyes of skilled veterans” (Keller, 2005) have long been recognized as a critical feature of
model preparation programs (McIntyre and Byrd, 2000; Darling-Hammond, 1998; The Teaching
Commission, 2004; Carnegie Corporation, 2004). Yet preparation programs often fall short of:
providing such experiences for their candidates, often because schools and school divisions have
not been sufficiently involved. A survey of teacher education graduates at 45 institutions
revealed that only 10% of the candidates completed clinical experiences in partner school models
(EBI, 2004). A comprehensive review of the research on teacher preparation found that “there
are often differences in views [about field experiences] across schools and universities that are
difficult to resolve,” indicating a need for models of discourse and engagement that help bridge
these differences. The study also found that though “cooperating teachers have a powerful
influence on the nature of the student teaching experiences,” cooperating teachers approach their
roles very differently, ranging from “offering little by way of advice or support” to roles of
“socializing the intern into the status quo of the school” while others see they should enable
interns’ innovation and independence (Wilson, et al, 2001). The quality of field experiences thus
varies greatly from classroom to classroom.

Teacher preparation that is based upon the concept of “teaching as a clinical practice profession”
requires that preparation programs “develop close functional relationships with a number of
practicing schools. Superintendents, principals, and experienced teachers will have an
appropriate role in advising and shaping the education of teacher candidates. Faculty from the
university or college will be actively involved in arranging, supervising, and teaching teacher
candidates in the clinical setting” (Teachers for a New Era, 2004). Such relationships involve


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