University of Minnesota
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October 2011 Archives

News from the Bush Foundation

NExT newsletter
The Bush Foundation publishes an on-line newsletter for the Network for Excellence in Teacher Education (NExT). We will forward the newsletter to LSP members on a regular basis. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please contact:

Bush Foundation teacher recruitment commercials nominated for an Emmy®
NExT's "Make Your Mark" commercials have been nominated for a regional Emmy® award from the Upper Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the commercial campaign category. We are excited to be joined in the category by Minnesota State Mankato, whose "Minnesota State Mankato-Big Ideas, Real World Thinking" ad by WCCO-TV was also nominated.

Teacher recruitment ads return to the air and Internet
The "Make Your Mark" campaign returns this fall. Ads will appear now through October 9 during shows like Glee, The Daily Show, and within several other programs watched by our target audiences. An online campaign, running through October 23, accompanies the television spots.

Cooperating teacher criteria

Representatives from six stakeholders in preservice and inservice teacher development met in May and June of 2011 to review current selection criteria for cooperating teachers serving as mentors to teacher candidates (student teachers) in Minneapolis and Saint Paul school districts. The six stakeholders invested in the collaborative effort are Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT), Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT), Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS), Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), the Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative (TC2)-representing Augsburg, Bethel, Concordia-St. Paul, Hamline, Saint Catherine, and St. Thomas universities-and TERI at UMN-TC. All stakeholders reached consensus on the following Common Criteria for Cooperating Teachers as a starting point in guiding district administrators, school principals, teachers, university faculty, and placement coordinators in the selection of high quality teachers to mentor teacher candidates through co-teaching:

Common Criteria for Cooperating Teachers
Three years of teaching experiences and/or tenured in District
Licensed in assigned field
Willingness to complete co-teaching training and co-teach with teacher candidate
Principal/Building leadership team recommendation based on:
a. Evidence of effective teaching:

  • Assessing student learning-formative and summative assessments demonstrate student achievement and inform instruction

  • Managing learning in the classroom environment

  • Integrating research-based/best practices

  • Teaching with the lens of equity

b. Evidence of Professionalism

  • Collaborating (PDP/PLC/co-teaching)

  • Deepening content knowledge

  • Communicating skillfully

  • Becoming a teacher leader (either interested or involved)

  • Reflecting on practice

  • Articulating practice

  • Adapting expertise

  • Modeling passion and enthusiasm for teaching. Motivational.

School Partnerships

Elementary launches new program design with enhanced clinical work
All elementary education candidates are engaged in their first full year placement in schools. Most began work in schools in late summer and look forward to being co-teachers working with students and collaborating with school faculty across a whole academic year.

Teacher candidates are placed in geographically clustered sites. The new supervision model is based on content-specific pedagogical coaching.


Several small research studies are underway by graduate students. Their projects are aligned with the TERI Research framework developed in Spring 2011 and serve both a research and development purpose. They are meeting together as a TERI Research Roundtable on Thursdays from 10:30 - 12:00. Summaries of their projects are described below. Currently, TERI funds are not being used for these graduate student projects. But if you have an interest, have a course assignment, or would like to learn more about the research possibilities in TERI, please contact Misty Sato at if you are interested in joining the research roundtable.

Professional development school portraits
Shannon McManimon, Campbell Chair Research Fellow, is conducting interviews with principals and teachers in our newly formed Professional Development Schools (PDSs).

Research questions:
Immediate: What does the professional culture in a TERI Partner Network school look like at the beginning of the partnership?

Longitudinal: What is the impact of the Partnership Network on the University? What is the impact of the Partnership Network on the school partner?

Theoretical frameworks: organizational culture, professional collaboration, school change, professional networks

TERI Purpose:

  • Ascertain school expectations of Partnership Network

  • Document professional culture and profession collaboration opportunities at beginning of Partnership


  • Document organizational culture change (if any) in schools over time

  • Document organizational culture change (if any) in University over time

Co-Teaching in a high school context
Jehanne Beaton, Teacher on Special Assignment at PDS site Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis and CEHD doctoral student, is conducting a self-study of her new hybrid position as both UMN teacher educator and TOSA for professional learning. She is also engaged in a collaborative study of the co-teaching process with 4 high school social studies teachers at Roosevelt.

Research Questions:
Immediate: How do high school teachers negotiate the co-teaching experience with teacher candidates? What do they learn about teaching and about mentoring through this process? What are the hybrid or "third" spaces that co-teaching creates in the preparation of teachers?

Longitudinal: How does the co-teaching experience of high school teachers influence the professional learning culture of a high school? How do universities and schools manage hybrid or "third" spaces when sharing resources for the purposes of teacher development?

Theoretical frameworks: teacher collaboration, teacher learning, feminist research methods, hybrid or "third" spaces

TERI Purpose:
Immediate: To document the co-teaching process in a high school environment by engaging school partners (in this case, teachers) in the research process.

Longitudinal: To build trusting relationships between the university and schools around research endeavors that are valued by both institutions.

Elementary teacher candidates' experience in redesigned program
Hallie Wunsch and Jessica Winkelaar, Elementary Education supervisors, will be conducting focus groups with Elementary Education Teacher Candidates to document their experiences with the new program model. Details of this study are still being worked out.

Common Metrics Framework

The 14 higher education institutions in the Network for Excellence in Teaching (NExT) partnership with the Bush Foundation have agreed on a common metrics framework. We have piloted the entry and exit survey with our candidates and have begun full implementation of this framework with candidates admitted in spring 2011.
To view the Common Metrics, please open this pdf file:
Common Metrics.pdf

Curriculum & Assessment Development

Common Content Task Group

Elizabeth Finsness chaired the Common Content Task Group through the summer toward the goal of redesigning the current foundations of education courses to more strongly link to program-specific course work and assignments, to re-think the curricular experiences of our candidates within these courses, and to propose some structural / scheduling suggestions for delivering common content courses / modules / clinical experiences.

Eight course development teams worked over the summer to draft syllabi for new and revised courses.

  1. Susan Ranney, Connie Walker, Martha Bigelow, and Jill Pearson (Brooklyn Center Schools) developed Teaching English Learners in Content Classes.
  2. Dee Tedick, Kathleen Mitchell, and Amy Young created a new course for Elementary Education on teaching English learners.
  3. Kathy Seifert, Jennifer Wilson, Mary Beth Kelly, Barb Hodne (Edina Public Schools) revised the course for teaching special education students in inclusive classrooms.
  4. Sashank Varma, Russel Swinborne Romine, Tiffany Moore (Minneapolis Public Schools) revised the Leraning, Cognition, and Assessment course.
  5. Keisha Varma, Michael Rodriguez. Anica Bowe, and Tiffany Moore (Minneapolis Public Schools) created new approaches to teaching about assessment.
  6. Vichet Chhoun, Tanner Wallace (Univ of Pittsburgh), and Martha James (St. Paul Public Schools) developed a child and adolescent development course.
  7. David O'Brien, Brad Biggs, Chris Kolb, and Andrew Rummel (Minneapolis Public Schools) revised the reading in the content areas course.
  8. Michael Goh, Peter Demerath, and Amy Corrigan (East Metro Integration District) created a new approach to teaching School and Society and Human Relations.

Program areas were briefed on the content of these courses at the August LSP kick-off meeting and submitted feedback on the core assignments within the new courses. Revised syllabi have all been resubmitted to Elizabeth. We are now poised to move 3 new course proposals and one revised course proposal through a formal curriculum review process (see flow chart at end of this update).

Licensure program summer engagement
Four program areas (social studies, English, music, and agriculture) met over the summer to work out details of the new course expectations, co-teaching, and embedding the Teacher Performance Assessment. Our two undergraduate initial licensure programs, music education and agriculture education, met to organize TERI redesign of common content courses with their undergraduate schedule.

Teacher Identity Self Study (TISS) and Professional Rotations
Annie Mason drafted the prompts for the new Teacher Identity Self Study (TISS) as part of her work in supporting the TERI Leadership Team in 2011-12. She is now doing a pilot study of the new prompts, examining their face and content validity and developing scoring rubrics. Jehanne Beaton drafted the Professional Rotation common assessment as part of an independent study course in summer 2011. Both the TISS and the Professional Rotations will be embedded in the new course EDHD 5000: Culture, Schools, and Communities.

Beginning with the 2012 cohort of applicants for teacher licensure, applicants will respond to two new open-ended questions that ask them to reflect on their experiences with difference and diversity, their understanding of educational disparities as well as their perceived role in addressing these disparities, and their decision to pursue teaching as a career. The responses will provide insight into the applicants' experiences prior to entering a teacher licensure program, their awareness of current educational issues related to the achievement gap, and their ability to articulate an understanding of concepts concerning diversity and educational disparities.

Along with using the new questions to evaluate student responses for admission purposes, these questions will also be used as a recruitment tool. The new questions will signal to prospective students that diversity and impacting educational disparities are central to the mission of the University of Minnesota teacher licensing programs. These questions will also communicate the institution's desire to recruit, admit, and graduate students who value diversity and are driven to impact educational disparities.

Recruitment & Retention

Welcome Arien Telles as Recruitment and Retention Coordinator
In spring 2011, we hired Arien Telles as our new Recruitment and Retention Coordinator in Student Services. Arien will work with the Bush Foundation on their large scale recruitment into teaching efforts. She will also work with groups across the university and our communities on efforts focused on diversifying our teacher candidate pool. In these efforts, we are seeking teacher candidates who bring with them an array of lived experiences in a variety of cultural settings, a variety of world views, and who have lived in multi-lingual settings. Our goal in diversifying our teacher candidate pool is to identify potential teachers who will work successfully in classrooms with learners who bring a diverse set of cultural, linguistic, and ethnic world experiences. We will recruit teachers who will strengthen the learning of students by being able to relate to their diverse lived experiences and ways of learning. We increasingly recognize that we live in a global society and we think the teaching profession should represent global perspectives in the classrooms in which they teach.

Welcome Jontue Austin as a recruitment specialist in Student Services

In spring 2011, Jontue Austin was hired to recruit and advise students interested in teacher education programs at the University of Minnesota. Although he works with all students, one of his priorities is to recruit diverse students into the field of teaching.

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