Lessons from abroad: linking teacher prep to classroom realities

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In order for new teachers to be ready for the realities of the teaching profession, it only makes sense for there to be strong ties between the standards on which teachers will be evaluated and the preparation they receive. In fact, AFT's "Raising the Bar" report called for school districts and higher education institutions to work together to support the alignment of best teaching practices.

In a survey of twenty-four countries, the OECD found teacher concern in many of them, that initial preparation was poorly aligned to the standards teachers were supposed to meet in their professional evaluations.

The report presented details on two nations, however, which tackled the issue of preparation and professional alignment in creative ways:

  • Portfolios comprise just one portion of measuring a teacher's effectiveness in Chile. Teacher portfolio "correction centers," are located within universities providing initial teacher training. According to the Centre for Training, Experimentation and Pedagogical Research (CPEIP)--the group in charge of technical coordination of teacher evaluations--this process "builds capacity and generates institutional learning within the universities themselves, which may align initial teacher training with the objectives of the teacher evaluation process."
  • Portugal's peer-driven evaluation system builds capacity at the school level by contracting with a higher education institution to provide a training system for teachers on evaluations. Upon the completion of this specialized teacher evaluation training, these teachers are then able to train other teachers at their schools to run evaluations.

We hope to provide profiles of working relationships between districts and higher ed following the launch of our own Teacher Prep Review.