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Grant To Fund Video Repository of Teaching Excellence in Math and Science

A consortium of education organizations will be developing an online repository of classroom videos to help new teachers learn from master instructors how to teach math and science topics in third through sixth grades. The video repository is part of a project funded by a $3 million grant from the United States Department of Education and includes participants from Stanford University and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), as well as the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC), which AACTE helps to operate.

Those entities have already worked together to create an assessment tool to evaluate student teachers' readiness for the classroom. That tool, edTPA, is based on standards developed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The newest initiative, ATLAS, or Accomplished Teaching, Learning, and Schools, will focus on teachers in seven school districts and faculty from six universities in New York, Tennessee, and Washington. The goal is to build a "pipeline of teaching excellence," the participants said in a statement.

Experienced teachers who have earned National Board certification must prepare a portfolio that includes video recordings of them at work in the classroom. The best among them will have their videos featured in the repository.

Faculty from Stanford will manage development of guidelines for integrating ATLAS into teacher preparation programs. The videos will be used to "inform and enhance" the practices followed by new teachers. "Importantly, creation of this online repository will provide a tremendous resource for student teachers to watch and read and understand what makes good teachers great," said Ray Pecheone, executive director of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity.

"This is cutting-edge work at the nexus of the nation's two most important educational challenges: promoting educator effectiveness and strengthening science and math teaching and learning," added Stanford's Linda Darling-Hammond, a co-principal investigator of the grant. "The integration of the National Board's repository of master teacher certifications into teacher preparatory programs will be extraordinarily beneficial."

Sharon Robinson, president of the AACTE, noted that the use of the videos by education students will allow them to "start their careers with a shared understanding of what accomplished teaching looks like and a clear expectation of where they are headed."

The grant money is also funding a five-year research project that examines the impact the use of the repository will have on the skills of early-career teachers.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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