Report: Time to Test New Forms of Teacher Prep
- By Dian Schaffhauser
organization advocating for personalized learning and
competency-based education has issued a brief intended to help
federal decisionmakers improve professional development for teachers.
Among the ideas put forward by iNACOL
a Modern Teacher Workforce"
is to diversify pathways into the profession and redesign teacher
preparation programs and systems of assessment and evaluation.
suggested that teacher shortages that have beset many states could
serve as an opportunity to "increase access and affordability to
diversify educator talent pools." Among the suggestions:
the cost of teacher training programs and increasing availability to
loans and loan forgiveness for the "highest-need students";
competency-based models in higher education by pegging loans not to
credits based on seat-time hours but on other outcomes, such as
demonstration of competency in program and state standards; and
out "mid-career professionals [and] veterans" as possible
teacher training, advised the report, needs to start with a pilot
program that could:
new approaches in building teacher knowledge and skill in areas that
mesh with the precepts of student-centered learning and 21st-century
proven innovations in adult learning, such as clinical practice,
problem- and project-based learning, mentorship and induction
up with professional pathways that emphasize microcredentials and
alternative forms of recognition in professional development.
the area of assessments, the report promoted the removal of barriers
preventing states from participating in the Innovative
Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA).
This is a U.S. Department of Education program set up in the latest
version of the Every Student Succeeds Act that allows up to seven
state education agencies to run innovative assessment systems in its
schools. iNACOL would like to see the possible number of
participating agencies increased, greater funding and more time given
to states for scaling up their new assessment programs. The hope is
that these assessment systems will be designed in a way that help
teachers become more data-literate and useful in informing their
students for success in an increasingly complex future demands that
we support educators to develop contemporary learning theory with
deeper knowledge, strategies and skill sets than that required of
educators in the industrial age, which is a model that still
dominates our current school system," said iNACOL President and
CEO Susan Patrick, in a statement. "Moving to a future state of
teaching requires supporting educators, modernizing teacher and
leader preparation and focusing on inquiry, research and practice.
And it means using the policy levers we have under our control today
to create change."
new policy brief builds on a larger report, Moving
Toward Mastery: Growing, Developing and Sustaining Educators for
published last year.
reports are openly available on
the iNACOL website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.