Teacher education should be “turned upside down” to prioritize teaching internships over academic coursework concludes “Transforming Teacher Education Through Clinical Practice,” a report by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This is a seismic moment for teacher education,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, a co-chair of the blue ribbon panel that wrote the report.
Eight states – California, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Tennessee – have agreed to implement the panel’s recommendations.
The earth did not move for Rick Hess. He likes the shift to practice teaching “interwoven with academic content and professional courses.” But he doesn’t see radical new thinking.
If the training is happening in K-12 schools, do we need colleges of education? Should every teacher be a jack of all trades? Do internships work for online teachers or tutors? What about emerging school models?
Instead, I see a call for a new “one best” approach to teacher preparation, one ill-suited for serving educators in new kinds of roles or for supporting more agile, cost-effective staffing models.
Past “seismic” edu-reforms proved to be little more than fads, Hess writes.
As someone who spent five years supervising student teachers, I’ve seen a whole lot of pretty awful practice-oriented teacher preparation. It’s not clear to me from this report how preparation programs can be counted on to guard against that or keep their “clinical” training from simply meaning that their students are wasting time in K-12 schools instead of on the college campus.
Teacher internships will cost more, but the report mentions no offsetting savings — or proof that clinically trained teachers will “enter the field ready to teach.” Hess follows up here.
Teacher Beat, who’s seen many reports and little change, has more on the recommendations.