Are education colleges getting teachers ready for school? Accrediting agency says ...
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has released new standards saying that colleges must do more to give teachers classroom skills that focus on student learning.
"The new focus will help close the gap between theory and practice, and assure that teacher education program candidates are able to help diverse students be successful learners," NCATE president James G. Cibulka said in a news release. "In the past, accreditation wrapped clinical experience around coursework. This approach reverses the priority, encouraging institutions to place teacher candidates in year-long training programs and wrap coursework around clinical practice."
The impetus? The Obama money. Through the federal stimulus package, millions have come available to improve teacher quality. So why not take some of that cash and put it toward teacher education?
Is this an implicit acknowledgment that our colleges of education have done a poor job preparing teachers for today's classroom, though?
We've seen school districts rewriting job descriptions lately (also as part of the effort to snag Obama money) that refocus the skills needed for the work. It's no longer good enough to know literature to be a Pasco reading coach, for instance. Now you must know how to teach reading, using the literature as content.
We've also heard teachers, particularly more veteran ones, acknowledge that college didn't really ever prepare them for what goes on in a classroom.
So does the NCATE have the right idea in mind? Many of you have been through it all. What do you say?