Leveraging P-12/University Partnerships to Better Prepare Pre-Service Teachers: The Value of Strong Partnerships in Both Traditional and Provisional Teacher Training Programs

Leveraging P-12/University Partnerships to Better Prepare Pre-Service Teachers: The Value of Strong Partnerships in Both Traditional and Provisional Teacher Training Programs

James Falco (Middletown School District, USA), Meredith Riddle (Monmouth University, USA), Gregory Duffy (Lafayette Mills School, USA), Tracy Mulvaney (Monmouth University, USA) and Lauren Niecz (Monmouth University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9242-6.ch011

Abstract

The primary responsibility for training pre-service teachers previously fell solely on the shoulders of university teacher-preparation programs, with a short field experience component in partner P-12 districts. As research continues to support the value of increased clinical practice in P-12 schools when training pre-service teachers, the responsibility is becoming shared equally between university teacher education programs and P-12 school districts. This chapter describes three innovative programs implemented by P-12 schools through strong partnerships with Monmouth University's teacher education and Provisional Teacher Preparation program. These strong partnerships afford students the opportunity to receive direct instruction in P-12 settings with the support of curriculum, mentors and professional development. The partnership with Lafayette Mills School (the last of three initiatives discussed) was also awarded, along with the university's other PDSs, the National Association of Professional Development Schools Distinguished Partnership award in 2017.
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The Design And Implementation Of A Preservice Mentoring Culture

Introduction

While preservice teacher mentoring is acknowledged as a beneficial professional development activity, the limited research available does not articulate the ways in which schools and districts can design and implement a comprehensive mentoring culture. This transformative leadership project explores one district’s initial design and implementation of a preservice teacher mentoring culture that aims to attract, recruit, and retain mentor teachers capable of supporting the future of the profession. Based on the work of Beam et al (2018), they articulate the development of a mentoring culture that (1) provides a clear articulation of expectations and outcomes for teacher candidates, (2) provides clear expectations for mentor teachers and an array of tools to support their work in meetings those expectations, (3) devises a plan to coordinate existing resources into the most effect means of communication for all stakeholders and (4) generates a willingness to advocate for and obtain new resources to make this a sustainable part of the teacher preparation program. By examining how the careful design and implementation of a preservice teacher mentoring culture can be used to impact the development of preservice teachers, value can be given to the role that it plays in both teacher preparation and new teacher retention.

Statement of the Problem

With teacher effectiveness as a top priority of the education reform movement, concerns regarding teacher recruitment and retention mount with each year. A Carver-Thomas (2016) report, analyzed evidence of teacher shortages, as well as national and regional trends in teacher supply and demand. In it, the authors included projections that estimated a large increase in 2017–18 and a projected plateau bringing annual hires demanded to approximately 300,000 teachers a year (Carver-Thomas et al, 2016). As the authors explain, this increased demand poses significant concerns due to both the lack of qualified teachers entering the classroom and the subsequent number of teachers leaving the classroom. In further support of this finding, Ingersoll & Perda (2014) estimate that between 40% and 50% of new teachers leave within the first five years of entry into teaching. The same report suggests that the attrition rate of first-year teachers has increased by about one-third in the past two decades. These results indicate that the instability of novice teachers has been increasing in recent years and makes clear the need to rethink the way we support preservice teacher preparation and teacher induction thereafter.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Clinical Practice: Teacher candidates’ work in authentic educational settings and engagement in the pedagogical work of the profession of teaching, closely integrated with educator preparation course work and supported by a formal school-university partnership. Clinical practice is a specific form of what is traditionally known as fieldwork.

Alternate Route: The alternate route program is a non-traditional teacher preparation program designed for those individuals who have not completed a formal teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university but wish to obtain the necessary training to become an NJ certified teacher.

Mentor Teacher: A tenured teacher that has embraced an apprentice model of future teacher training.

Standard Teaching Certificate: Once the PTP program has been successfully completed, a Standard teaching certificate can then be issued by the Department of Education. The Standard certificate is a permanent certificate issued to candidates who have met all requirements for State certification. Means a permanent certificate issued to a person who has met all certificate requirements.

Clinical Teacher Candidate: A student teacher assigned to work with a mentor in a yearlong co-teaching experience. The term clinical defines the experience as working directly with students and a mentor teacher.

Clinically-Based Teacher Education: Also referred to as clinically-rich, clinically-intensive, or clinical model of teacher education. The term clinically based was used because the terms implies the primary learning of teacher candidates should be based in school settings and supplemented by college coursework.

Provisional Teacher Program (PTP): Instruction for PTP students takes place in an active, workaday school classroom; therefore, the setting itself provides unique opportunities for the candidates. Teacher-candidates often interact with experienced teachers, some of whom might assist the main instructor. Courses are taught by specialty professors and are held in the evening. These courses known as phases provide a uniquely rich opportunity for the provisional teachers, as well as for their students, to collaborate on and learn the principles of education.

Approved Program: Means a department-approved educator preparation program designed to lead to an instructional, administrative, or educational services certificate.

Certificate of Eligibility (CE): A certificate with lifetime validity issued to persons who have completed a degree, academic study, and applicable test requirements for certification. The CE permits the applicant to seek and accept employment in corresponding positions requiring certification.

Response to Intervention: An intervention program focused on remediating reading weaknesses as they occur.

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