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ILP-TERI Brainstorming

LSP Meeting: Bush Initiative Discussion – summary of group responses
February 2, 2009

Please designate a note-taker who will write as clearly as possible since we will be collecting these at the end of the discussion.


1. Spend 5 minutes sharing what you think an effective teacher look like in practice.

Words in bold italics were emphasized most heavily by the largest number of people:

• Able to relate to and connect with and engage students, communities and families (this was probably said most frequently)
• Content area knowledge plus ability to integrate with many others (also described as “multidisciplinary and contextual interactive teaching and learning”), making content transparent and understandable esp. for struggling students
• Pedagogical knowledge
• Knowledge of working with various student developmental levels
• Use of assessment data, including formative assessments, to improve student achievement
• Ability to differentiate instruction
• Reflective thinking and practice
• Recognize, honor, feel comfortable working with diversity/culturally responsive
• Effective use of technology in instruction
• Ethic of caring
• Collegial
• Dispositions and beliefs, attitudes about pupils’ ability to learn
• Adaptable, open to new ideas, trying something else, creative, flexible, problem-solvers
• Good role model, professional
• Content pedagogy
• Joy in learning
• Observation skills
• Close the achievement gap
• Preparing students for success as critical thinkers and adults


Note: Ben J., Susan R., and Barb M. had such a great answer (one that sums most of the ideas above) for this question that I am going to try to depict it separately here. With columns and arrows they pointed out the difference between innate and taught/developed qualities in effective teachers and how those interact with teacher candidates (particularly in their first years of teaching). This group determined innate characteristics to be: passion, enthusiasm, caring, management, creativity, courage, open to new things, cooperative, community-minded, resourceful, and collaborative. Developed/learned qualities include: patience, knowledge (content, pedagogy), respect, good communication, good observation, ability to differentiate instruction, reflection and self-awareness, flexibility, cultural sensitivity. These “born and bred” qualities are then expected to “get results” meaning students demonstrate that they have learned. All of these are expected to intertwine with more time for preparation, continued professional development through induction, and experience).


2. Spend 15 minutes discussing what teacher candidates would need from their preparation experience to begin their teaching careers as an effective teacher if you could start with a clean slate and the needed resources for preparing teachers.

This question had the most number of “same answers”:
• A wider variety and larger number of classroom/clinical experiences (this was said most often)
• Mentoring/role models + feedback; relationships with effective teachers, preparing those mentor teachers
• Create dynamic, collaborative interchanges between students, schools, and university
• Create charter or lab/professional development schools that model effective teaching
• Site-based teachers become clinical university faculty
• Flexible, changing, adaptable (particularly able to adapt to different learners’ needs)
• Reflection: individual, with coordinator/instructors, and with other students
• More interdisciplinary approaches to preparation/stronger connections to families and communities
• Coursework addressing content and pedagogy
• Cultural competence curriculum
• Enroll fewer students for more intense training
• Infuse greater physical activity into pupils’ experiences
• “Team Up” initiative – collaboration with university mentorship, but with teacher-driven professional development over an extensive period of time; teachers are given time and resources to explore their ideas
• Emphasis on teaching diverse students
• “Tech Links” – remote but intimate interactions between school and university for teachers
• University must listen be responsive to schools’ needs
• Make values/dispositions of preparation program explicit in all recruiting materials
• Understanding of development and learning
• Opportunities to think critically


3. Spend 5 minutes discussing recommendations for next steps in carrying the Bush initiative forward.

This question had the least number of “same answers”:
• Determine most frequently-cited key ideas, make a plan, move forward
• Communication
• Openness across licensure areas (related to this point was this question: “how do we bring individual programs to a consensus? Could some programs opt out?”)
• Infusing parent education through all K-12 preparation (multiple reasons offered)
• Question bureaucracy, remove unnecessary red tape (makes us “more nimble”)
• Real partnerships with schools, interactive sharing between practitioners and faculty
• Better understanding and accountability across the system
• Stronger role for the university re: teacher induction
• Faculty time model: research/clinical/shared time
• Foundations: Human relations < -- special needs -- > cultural competence, Learning & Cognition, Reading/Literacy, Relationships in Schools, Technology, School & Society (school as a contributor to the public good), Basic School Law (student rights, teacher ethics)
• Assessment of teacher candidates, better and more innovative screening
• Collect data/research
• Bring together available expertise


4. Please list the names of anyone in your group who would like to join in these regular LSP sub-committee conversations about this initiative.

• Brad Greiman
• Heather Cline
• Tom Stertz
• Richard Rodgerson
• Peggy DeLapp
• Lisa Dembouski is happy to continue lending GA support for this sub-committee

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