Teacher Preparation
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Selection Versus Program Effects In Teacher Prep Value-Added

Selection Versus Program Effects In Teacher Prep Value-Added | Teacher Preparation | Scoop.it
When rating teacher prep programs based on their graduates' value-added, it is difficult to separate the actual quality of programs from who applies to them.
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

An interesting way of looking at the effectiveness of teacher preparation was pointed out in this article. Like this article points out we can't exactly decide how effective a teacher prep program is based on test scores because that doesn't have much to do with the actual effectiveness they will have in a classroom. So what we then wonder is if the difference is in who even applies to the programs in the first place. 

He points out that while it may seem like one program is better because it attracts better students, it may or may not be effectively teaching them in the long run and so it was all a facade. But on the other hand, it may attract the best because it is the best. 

Essentially what I took from this blog post is how difficult it is to truly analyze the effectiveness of a teacher training program when test scores don't show the type of teacher they will be and neither does the scores that the students go into the program with. While it is clear that teacher prep needs to be modified to modify education and the changing society, we also need to figure out a way to analyze whether the teachers that are being produced will be good educators. So like Finland I think this leads to being more selective and rigorous and professional in order to get the best. 

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Why Students Do Better Overseas

Why Students Do Better Overseas | Teacher Preparation | Scoop.it
The United States has much to learn from other countries, especially in preparing teachers and paying for schools.
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

The first thing that caught my eye in this article is the mention that Finland created a system that would give the same quality of education to students despite their families income or anything of that matter. While the U.S. may have started in that fashion, it in no way is still ther. Teachers are given less resources in areas that are of lower socioeconomic status and they are also given less resources to improve themselves as teachers already in the field.

Finland also professionalized the teaching preparation and made it more of a rigorous system that will in turn produce higher caliber teachers to then teach students in a better fashion. The crazy statistic is this, "6,600 applicants competed for 660 available primary school preparation slots in the eight Finnish universities that educate teachers." That is an intense difference, it is crazy serious and well respected given that very few are actually accepted into the training programs. Most programs in the U.S. are said to have low or no academic standards for entry which continues to feed into the deprofessionalization of teachers. If anyone can do it then it isn't valued as much nor is it held to as high a standard. 

Finland was honestly the country that stood out the most to me in this article because of how selective they are and it's obvious that their teacher are much more respected. Regarding teacher prep, I believe the U.S. needs to take a page from their book in order to step up the game and help the future generations of students and schools. 

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Bill Gates: Teachers need real feedback

Until recently, many teachers only got one word of feedback a year: "satisfactory." And with no feedback, no coaching, there's just no way to improve. Bill G...
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

I thought this was a very well explained critique by Bill Gates, he understands the importance of teachers and that they need help even when they've already gone through whatever prep they received prior to teaching. Like I've put in an earlier insight, teachers like everyone else never stop learning and if they're not given the opporutnities to continue improving then they're going to flatline in their teaching abilities insead of growing and adjusting with the changing world. The world around us is constantly changing and that is also reflected in the classroom and so feedback is important in bettering the instruction of a teacher.
It surprised me when he brought up how some teachers get barely any type of feedback each year besides that they are getting along "good enough" which is essentially what "satisfactory" means to me. Why would a teacher be okay with just being okay, just passing without any feedback, either in how they've been excelling or how they could potentially better themselves. The camera idea is something that I believe would be very helpful if a teacher is comfortable with it. Seeing yourself do anything and watching it to critique yourself always helps. This is a practice people do with speeches and dance and all types of things that could also help a teacher. Standing in the front of a classroom or sittting at a desk,  a teacher can't catch everything and so with a camera they can really see how the students respond to certain activities or lessons. Not only could they critique themselves but if any other teacher saw a way that they could improve, it would only benefit everyone involved. Feedback is an important part of teacher prep once you're already in the work field because like I've said, it never stops and teachers continuously should be adjusting given that every year new students also change the way things need to be taught. 

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Conference panelists urge stronger teacher prep | EdNewsColorado

Conference panelists urge stronger teacher prep | EdNewsColorado | Teacher Preparation | Scoop.it
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

Teacher preparation all goes back to the way teachers are viewed and valued in society. The only way for teacher preparation to really change is if people begin to realize how important it is that teachers be of good quality, they are after all educating the next generation of citizens. Other counties like Finland appreciate their teachers more, provide better preparation that is also held to a higher standard and so have better test scores that reflect all that they put into their teachers.

Not only are teachers underminded by the way that society views them but also by the way that the goverment treats them like it isn't a big deal. Teacher shortages have been addressed with lessening the teacher preparation that will get them out into the classroom quicker. However, that in no way means that they will be prepared when they set foot in front of the class to teach. It is more important that they know how to educate properly but the government doesn't show this. Darling-Hammond is quoted in this article saying, "In the U.S., teacher education is today where medical education was in 1910." and that show just how behind we are as a country, evolving in every aspect without making changes to the education system and the way educators are prepared. The last point made is that not only does teacher prep before going into a class need to be adjusted, but while teaching, one never stops learning and constantly will need help. No one stops learning and that needs to be reflected with coaching, mentoring, support, and programs to continue improving teaching skills. 

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Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley | Video on TED.com

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them.
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

Ken Robinson is a GRADE A speaker first off, he is funny and inviting and really knows how to get points across without being montonous and boring. He like the other articles brings up the way other countries are in comparison to the U.S. but also touches on the way teachers are not as valued. A great quote bringing up how the United States needs to begin to view its teachers is this, "There is no system in the world or any school in the country that is better than its teachers." The students will not thrive more than their teachers are helping them to because that is just not the way the world and education works. 

Another thing that I believe is imporant to begin to include in the teacher preparation is creativity. While I do have to take a few course at the university in some type of creative art and I get to talk about a variety of artistic components in a classroom later on I'm assuming I don't think thats enough. Like Sir Ken says, teaching is not only about giving the students information which will later be tested (unfortunately) but more so on being a mentor, stimulation, provoking them, and engaging them in the learning that can natually take place with a bit of guidance. These things can be more heavily valued in our teacher prep now I think and while it's not so much things that can be taught but have to be done, instilling them as values would hep in the long run. 

My favorite quote he says is, "Education is about learning, if there's no learning going on, there's no education going on." This is important to me becaue I think it encompasses the fact that education is often just talked about in teachers throwing information at students that they then memorize. That is in no way helping them learn, memorization is memorization, not understanding, or learning. That also needs to be emphasized in the way we are prepared to go off into our field and teach children the fundamentals. Clearly, teacher preparation people need to simply listen to this man Sir Ken Robinson because he really knows and understands what is important and what should be emphasized earlier on. 

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Study: Teacher Prep Programs Get Failing Marks

Study: Teacher Prep Programs Get Failing Marks | Teacher Preparation | Scoop.it
Out of more than 1,100 schools of education, 163 provide "substandard training," a new study says.
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

7 billion dollars is spent yearly on teacher preparation. CRAZY. 

Kate Walsh, president of the National Council of Teacher Quality has great ideas about the way that higher education can attempt to be fixed and changed by the individual programs. There is a list of the 163 so called worst teacher preparation programs that could help change things she believes. It not so much about changing them and telling them how to improve but rather them figuring that out on their own when they begin to lose students and money. She believes that if you simply inform the consumers on the worst and then the best, they will gravitate toward the best and the worst will be forced to change or go out of business losing their money and students. This is something that could backfire as well however as Levine says and show, "whether it can be repaired or whether it's so broken that it needs to be replaced"

This NPR really opened my eyes to how broken the teacher training may be and how unaware we are. Number one on the list of worst programs, East Tennesse State University was completely surprised. They never got complaints from those hiring their graduates or anything like that and so, there is clearly a disconnect somewhere that no one has yet caught. It's not fair that the school districts have to fix and make up for the things that these teacher training programs are not doing, not really teaching how to teach reading, classroom management and organization, and the basic fundamentals of actually teaching subjects. UMD's preparation seems good to me so far and I feel as though I am being prepared as only a sophomore so far, but now I'm also worried that in the end I may not be completely ready. Although I also think it's impossible to be completely ready because every classroom is totally different and a new experience. Here's hoping we'll all end up just fine, although changes can always and clearly should be made. 

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Research suggests poor quality of teacher training programs in U.S. compared to other countries | HechingerEd Blog

Research suggests poor quality of teacher training programs in U.S. compared to other countries | HechingerEd Blog | Teacher Preparation | Scoop.it
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

In order to improve America's competitiveness one of the things that we need to do is improve the qualities of teachers that are coming out of the universities and teaching programs. However, like it's been said before, they are criticized for being too easy to get into and too easy to complete. Schmidt also found in this article that some of the worst teachers are going to teach in the low income areas that need the most help and best teachers to improve things. 

He seems harsh when looking at and comparing the math teachers of the United States to others where they have to take more higher level courses to be well versed in what they plan on teaching. He says, "Our very worst programs produce over half of middle school teachers... Where they’re going is where the good teachers are mostly needed." While this seems like a bold statement, I think it is true and evident in the lack of improvement in lower income areas. More of the teachers need to be more well rounded and of a higher caliber so that no matter where they go they will be helpful in improving the quality of education. We can't be a competitive nation if our education system isn't where it should be in comparison to other countires. The education system and its teachers are representative of the future of a nation, and that is only one reason things need to be improved.

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