"A recent New York Times column positioned the Teacher Performance Assessment as motivated or inspired by the commercial interests of one of the major test publishers. TPAC partner organizations American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and Stanford regard the TPA quite differently, viewing it as the result of hard collaborative work to create an essential tool using professional consensus." For more perspective, please review another TPA related article, entitled "Getting a teaching license may soon include a new test - can hopefuls handle a classroom?" appeared yesterday in the Hechinger Report, and was also posted on MinnPost.
May 2012 Archives
The first group of teacher candidates to spend a year co-teaching in classrooms is transforming teacher education
IN A FIRST-GRADE CLASSROOM at Earle Brown Elementary School in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Michelle Hauser and Caitlin Halsey have finished up an early-morning prep. Their 23 students begin to wander in, stowing little backpacks, scanning an assortment of rocks spread over the countertop, and checking the leprechaun traps in the back of the room.
With St. Patrick's Day coming up, the class is on a campaign to catch the culprit sure to mess up the room over the holiday. Four students have finished and brought their homemade traps. One contains a lure of enticing green paper. "Free money!" says another. But so far none has captured the leprechaun.
Hauser and Halsey have reviewed the day's lesson plan: after breakfast, they will resume work on the Earth materials unit, which started yesterday. Then writing. Then reading before lunch. They know who will do what for the next few hours, and they know how to adapt when things don't go as planned.
Hauser walks around the room, checking in with the kids as they get organized. Halsey sits at a table where kids come to her with questions.
While Hauser leads the unit on properties of rocks, tallying sizes, colors, shapes, and textures in lists on the board, Halsey keeps working on the periphery of the classroom with individual students.
A half hour later, Halsey takes the lead with the group, reviewing the writing assignment. Each student is making a simple instruction book to tell someone else how to make a leprechaun trap like theirs. Hauser puts away rock-unit materials and gets ready for reading.
The morning proceeds seamlessly as the students group and regroup, with Hauser and Halsey teaching side by side, moving through subjects, exercises, and activities uninterrupted. They advance at a clip that still never seems rushed....
On April 26, a TERI Work Day was dedicated to creating a shared culture of evidence in teaching and ongoing program improvement. This requires understanding and using education data, which our higher-education partners are discovering is a powerful tool for developing informed approaches to improving student achievement and teacher effectiveness. Over 90 people were in attendance, including university faculty and staff and representatives from our school partners. We heard from a team of University researchers about four ongoing research projects in TERI related to teacher identity development, developing partnerships between universities and schools, the design of feedback in supervisory relationships, and capturing the professional cultures of schools. We also saw data related to the CEHD teacher candidate admission and enrollment over the past three years and engaged in conversations about how this data will help drive ongoing recruitment efforts within the TERI Partnership Network.
Special guests in the room were a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who, as part of the Bush Foundation's Educational Achievement Initiative, have been working with school districts from across North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota to tie student performance to teachers, and to our higher-education partner universities where they received their training. They are experts in working with value-added methods, which are a way to use student assessment data and other factors to measure the contributions teachers and schools make toward student achievement.
To read more about this event, please see this article on the Bush Foundation website:
During fall 2012, 100% of teacher candidates in the elementary education program, a total of 75 pre-service teachers, will have student-teaching placements in TERI Partner Network schools. While the majority of elementary education candidates were in partner schools this school year, a few still needed to be placed outside the network as we built our relationships with partner schools' principals and staff. But starting in 2012-2013, all elementary candidates will be experiencing their clinical placements 'in network'! Such placements ensure more cohesion between the candidates' coursework and clinical experiences and allows supportive, enriching cohorts to form within buildings and districts as candidates spend their full year placements clustered with fellow U of M teacher candidates.
TERI Partner Network districts include: Brooklyn Center, Burnsville, Columbia Heights, East Metro Integration District, Edina, Forest Lake, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and White Bear Lake.
We'd like to extend a tremendous THANK YOU to all of you who completed our recent survey about your first year experience with co-teaching. This information is so valuable as we move forward with this student-teaching model and work to tweak and improve our trainings and process for 2012-2013.
This survey, sent to teacher candidates, cooperating teachers, and to university supervisors and faculty, has two purposes:
- To evaluate how co-teaching is being experienced; and
- To contribute to the field of teacher preparation by sharing our first year implementation process with co-teaching pilots in post-baccalaureate and undergraduate initial licensure programs
Thank you again for participating. We are reviewing the survey data now and throughout the summer, and we plan to create 1-2 publications to share with all co-teaching and TERI stakeholders.
"I had a great day yesterday. Stacy Ernst (TERI) drove Gayla Marty and me over to Earle Brown Elementary School where we were met by Superintendent Keith Lester and Principal Randy Koch. Earle Brown is a Partnership School that has 44 of our students placed there this semester!
CEHD is deeply invested in this school. As I moved from room to room, I met many of our alumni who have been hired as teachers. Over and over again, I heard how our students are "the best" and that even teachers who did not want to be cooperating teachers changed their minds once they experienced our students as co-teachers."
-Dean Quam, April 2012
An in depth article about co-teaching will appear in the upcoming Spring/Summer issue of CONNECT, a publication of the College of Education and Human Development. Watch for it here: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/Connect/
On March 20-21, 2012, representatives from the Bush Foundation visited to review TERI benchmarks through 2014. These benchmarks and the meeting's agenda are outlined in the documents posted here. In addition to meeting with university faculty and staff working on TERI, the representatives also visited two of our Professional Development Schools: Pillsbury Elementary (Minneapolis Public Schools) and Earle Brown Elementary (Brooklyn Center Schools).
Learn more from these documents:
On March 20th, 2012, CEHD and its Alumni Society showcased several innovative collaborations between CEHD, Minneapolis Public Schools, and local corporate and philanthropic partners at one of our college's partner sites - Pillsbury Elementary School in Minneapolis. Key projects include literacy instructional support from the Minnesota Center for Reading Research.
Pictured here (left to right) are Rick Mills (Minneapolis Public Schools), Lori Helman (Minnesota Center for Reading Research), CEHD Dean Jean Quam, Misty Sato (TERI Faculty Director), CEHD Associate Dean Kenneth Bartlett, Pillsbury Elementary Principal Laura Cavender, and Doobie Kurus (CEHD Alumni Society Board).
Currently, we are looking toward August 2012 'back to school' workshops in our partner schools as a way to continue spreading the word about co-teaching as a student-teaching model throughout the many buildings that host U of M pre-service teacher candidates. Knowledge of co-teaching is important for more than just cooperating teachers who host teacher candidates. Co-teaching and our move to full-year placements in schools means that our teacher candidates are deeply involved in their placement sites and interact with the entire staff throughout the year as they become part of the school's community. The more school staff members are aware of co-teaching and its benefits, the better!
Have you considered adding a Co-Teaching Foundations workshop for your school staff this fall? Let us know your plans and what we can do to support these efforts!
As part of the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI), co-teaching is replacing the traditional student teaching model for our pre-service teacher candidates. During this first year of implementing co-teaching, the Educator Development and Research Center has provided training about the model to the U's teacher candidates, their cooperating teachers and administrators in our TERI Partner Network schools, and to university supervisors and faculty.
Training begins with a "Foundations of Co-Teaching" workshop where this new model of student teaching is introduced, its strategies modeled, and the research and rationale behind co-teaching is shared. Later, on site in our partner schools, teacher candidates and their cooperating teachers take part in a "Pairs" workshop that gives each co-teaching pair an opportunity to strengthen their professional relationship, improve communication, and increase time and efficiency in co-planning for co-teaching. Workshops are conducted by the 40+ co-teaching specialists throughout the TERI Partner Network, as well as EDRC staff.
In 2011-2012, 22 co-teaching workshops have been held as we implement co-teaching throughout the network!
The purpose of these small-group workshops is to help school leaders and teachers in grades K-6 learn how to use scientifically-based reading instruction to improve reading achievement. The sessions will focus on organizational change and the development of shared leadership and school-wide collaboration, and may be tailored to meet the specific needs of your school.
The workshops are intended for a team of elementary school staff (administrators, classroom teachers, reading resource teachers, ELL teachers, and special education teachers).
There are four different workshop series, each meeting four times during the academic year:
- Providing Effective Reading Instruction
- Developing Effective Professional Learning Communities
- Use of School-Wide Data at the Student, Teacher, and School Level
- Tested Techniques for Coaching
Learn more about the Bridging Research to Practice workshop series for 2012-13. Priority registration for school teams is due June 1st:
MCRR Summer Literacy Workshop, August 8, 2012
Using Reading Research to Create Communities of Learners
Wednesday, August 8, 2012, 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Continuing Education & Conference Center, U of M St. Paul Campus
University of Minnesota faculty and staff come together for this one-day workshop to offer a unique opportunity for school staff and colleagues to learn about current reading research and its practical applications in the classroom directly from the experts, and get feedback on how to meet the needs of K-12 readers and apply research in the critical area of effective reading instruction.
The workshop will feature a keynote address by Kristen McMaster, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, along with breakout sessions led by other U of M faculty and staff from the College of Education and Human Development. The day will conclude with a Q&A panel discussion with the presenters.
Learn more about this annual workshop focused on translating reading research into practice: