Bridging Theory and Practice: Lessons from Clinical Teacher Education programs in the U.S. Jesse Solomon Executive Director BPE

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1 Bridging Theory and Practice: Lessons from Clinical Teacher Education programs in the U.S. Jesse Solomon Executive Director BPE

2 United States Context Teacher Education facing significant criticism Teach for America first large-scale alternative certification program began 20+ years ago Top-tier college grads 5 weeks of summer training Opening of different routes to teaching profession Move toward clinical preparation adopted by national accrediting body Emphasis on outcomes: teacher education institutions to be judged on student learning in their graduates classrooms

3 Boston Teacher Residency Started by Boston Public Schools in 2003 to address three issues 1. Shortage of teachers in high-needs areas (math, science, special education students with disabilities, English language learners, teachers of color) 2. Half of all new teachers leave within three years 3. New teachers unprepared to carry out the school district s instructional agenda

4 BTR Program Structure Competitive selection process: 8 applicants for 1 admit 13-month residency 2 summers of courses 9 months: 4 days a week teaching days of classes Residents clustered in partnering schools Consistent with NCATE move toward Clinical Preparation License + MA BTR is licensing body. Controls all program elements: hires instructors, controls curriculum University of Massachusetts/Boston grants Masters degree Job placement of grads in clusters 3 years of induction support Years 2-4 Year 1

5 Program Staffing Mentors: Classroom teachers who open classrooms to Resident for full-year guided residency. Boston Teacher Residency trains, compensates, supervises mentors, but they work for school district. Clinical Teacher Educators: Blend theory & practice: teach courses, coach in schools, work with graduates. Directors: oversee coherence and implementation in partner schools

6 Results High-needs areas 40% of graduates are teaching English as a Second Language or Special Education Half are teachers of color 60% of newly hired Boston math & science teachers Retention (75% in Boston in program s 11 th year compared to 50% leaving within 3 years) Principal satisfaction (95% would recommend hiring a BTR graduate to a colleague) Early tenure rates double district average

7 BTR 2.0 Results only good enough We wanted impact on students Change in mission: to drive student learning gains through recruitment/preparation of great teachers Exploration of ways to track student growth, including value-added Led to program changes

8 Our Goal Reliably prepare novice teachers to engage in Ambitious Instruction What do we mean by ambitious instruction: 1. High rigor 2. High engagement

9 Student Learning Focus The measure of good teaching is student learning. A student achievement focus changes every conversation and informs every practice and structure

10 Changes to attend to student learning: an effort at tighter coupling 1. Clinical Teacher Educator (CTE) New teacher educator role that bridges course-work and field-work 2. Common Instructional System and Gateways Common language, theories of learning, pedagogies Performance based assessments Drives what CTEs actually do with Residents 3. Concentrate Residents in fewer schools Control for variability in experience & quality of mentor Flood schools with Residents & staff - a school-based enterprise

11 Blended Clinical Positions Clinical Teacher Educators who cross curricular components Combine three positions align messages and expectations: 1. Course Instructors: class work 2. Site Directors: practicum 3. Induction Coaches: support for graduates

12 Role combines academic & clinical The job description of a content-focused Clinical Teacher Educator: Develop the skills of Residents and mentors Teach year-long content-methods class to include range of clinical experiences: advance technical & content-knowledge needed for teaching Communicate regularly with principals/school faculty Facilitate school-based professional learning among Residents, mentors and their colleagues Establish and maintain trusting and professional relationships with Residents and mentors.

13 Explicit Instructional System Common Instructional Vision and Language (this is not the norm in U.S. education system) Common Instructional Activities Gateways Common Set of Assessments

14 Pedagogies of Clinical Teacher Education: Key design elements 1. Instructional activities that serve as containers that carry principles, practices, and knowledge (of students, content, curriculum) into practice and support both student learning and teacher learning

15 Pedagogies of Clinical Teacher Education: Key design elements 2. Cycles of enactment and investigation that provide for deliberate and collective preparative practice, enactment in the context in which novices need to be able to use what they are learning, and strong feedback

16 Cycles of enactment & investigation for Ambitious Teaching 4. Analyzing Enactment and Moving Forward 3. Enacting the Instructional Activity with Students INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITY Core Practices Content Knowledge for Teaching Principles of Ambitious Teaching 1. Introducing and Learning About Instructional Activity 2. Preparing and Rehearsing an Instructional Activity

17 Concentrated Training Sites -> Teaching Hospital schools Former Model Interim step End vision BPE BPE BTR School w/ residents BPE Residency Schools (9, down from 13)) Residency Schools (3) with concentrated residency model p Teacher training academies Placement Placement Placement

18 Teaching academy characteristics Our academies will be sites of deep teaching, learning, and improvement for both students and adults Rigor and engagement for ALL learners (not just some) Collaborative practices that make learning and teaching PUBLIC (as opposed to isolated) DIFFERENTIATED staffing model (compared to a flat career path) Constant REFLECTION on and REFINEMENT of practice (as opposed to fixed approaches) This is exceedingly rare in K-12 schools We believe our Teaching Academies will provide a model that counters the current system in order to increase lasting outcomes for students 18

19 Jesse Solomon, Executive Director BPE Wormwood Street, Suite 110 Boston, MA

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