What teachers think about teacher prep

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A few months back, we decided we'd ask the people most directly affected by teacher preparation — teachers themselves — what they thought of the training they received and whether they thought more information about teacher prep should be made available to the public.

We spread the word about our survey through our network of policy makers and wonks, union leaders and classroom teachers. And we broadcast the link to the survey on Twitter, where it was retweeted many times over. All told, we heard from over 4,200 teachers. To all of you who responded and who encouraged others to respond, we offer our thanks.

Today we're releasing a summary of what we heard from teachers. Here are a few of the main findings:
  • 81 percent of respondents think there should be a national review of teacher preparation.
  • 59 percent of all teachers felt "very prepared" or "prepared" in their first year in the classroom.
  • Respondents gave teacher prep good marks for teaching them how to manage classrooms, but felt they weren't as well equipped to use student data to differentiate instruction.
  • While the main reason teachers chose their teacher preparation program was location or convenience, they would have liked to have known more ahead of time about the coursework and practical experience the program provided.

Now, we make no claims that the survey is drawn from a representative sample of teachers. We won't be using the findings as part of the national review that we'll be publishing next year. But we do think it's a good way to start the conversation with teachers about what teacher preparation should focus on and what the public should know about it.

Here's the link to the survey results:


Share the link with others and let us know what you think about it. You can comment here on our blog or on our Facebook page. Or tweet at us @NCTQ.

Thanks again for your help!