LESSONS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES Whereas the decentralized U.S. education system tends to produce both exciting innovations and enormous inequalities, some other nations have taken a more systemic approach to the development of teacher knowledge and skill, which makes well-trained teachers more widely available. For example, many European and Asian nations that we might consider peers or competitors routinely prepare teachers more extensively, pay them more in relation to competing occupations, and provide them with more time for joint planning and professional development.
PRESERVICE EDUCATION In the last two decades, many countries -- including Australia, France, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, and Taiwan -- have moved most teachereducation to the graduate level, adding in-depth pedagogical study and an intensive internship or practicum in schools to a base of strong undergraduate preparation in the disciplines.(FN5)
In Germany, for example, prospective teachers get degrees in two subjects and pass a series of essay and oral exams before they undertake two years of pedagogical training that features teaching seminars combined with mentored classroom experience. Over the two years of internship, supervisors from both the colleges and the schools observe and grade at least 25 of an intern's lessons. At the end of this period, candidates prepare, teach, and evaluate a series of lessons; prepare a curriculum analysis; and undergo another set of exams before they are ready to teach. As one report noted of the system's rigorous standards and training, "In Germany, those who can, teach."(FN6)
In 1989, France undertook a sweeping overhaul of teachereducation, motivated by the belief that elementary and secondary teachers needed to understand both subject matter and pedagogy more fully if their students were to succeed at more challenging learning. Now, after completing an undergraduate degree, prospective teachers apply for a highly selective two-year graduate program in a university institute for the preparation of teachers. There, students learn about teaching methods, curriculum design, learning theory, and child development, while they conduct research and take part in practice teaching in affiliated schools. Candidates are supported by government stipends, and they receive a salary in their final year of training, during which they take on a teaching position under supervision, much as a doctor does in a residency.(FN7)
In 1989, Japan also launched major reforms of teachereducation, and Taiwan followed suit not long after. In both countries, the changes place more emphasis on graduate-level teachereducation and add an intensive one-year internship to university training in education. After passing a highly competitive examination, beginning teachers are assigned to a school where they work with a master teacher. In these countries and others, teachereducation is subsidized, and candidates pay little or nothing for this extensive training.(FN8)
Furthermore, teaching shortages are rare in countries where teacher salaries are competitive with those in other professional occupations. In Taiwan, the pay scale for teachers is pegged above that for civil service employees. Teachers receive a research allowance and 13.5 monthly payments, even though they don't work in summer and winter sessions. Primary and junior high school teachers earn tax-free income for working in the compulsory education system. In Japan, teacher salaries are comparable to those of engineers. The national government eliminates local disparities by providing 50% of teachers salaries to ensure that all are paid at the national level. Thus shortages are rare, and places in teachereducation programs are highly competitive.(FN9)
The practicum year in Japan is also supported by the government. By Japanese law, beginning teachers receive at least 20 days of inservice training during their first year, in addition to 60 days of professional development on topics like classroom management, computer use, teaching strategies, and counseling methods. Beginning teachers 1) have a reduced teaching load, 2) attend in-school training with "designated guidance teachers" twice a week, and 3) receive out-of-school training weekly, including seminars and visitations to other schools. Master teachers are given released time to counsel novices. The local government designates one full-time teacher for every two beginning teachers in a school to support their induction activities. In addition, the national government covers half of all related personnel and out-of-school training costs.(FN10)
Similar first-year internships are available in Taiwan and in the People's Republic of China, where beginning teachers start out after their teacher preparation as apprentices, working with a reduced teaching load, observing other teachers, and preparing under the supervision of master teachers. They work in teaching teams for planning lessons and peer observation.(FN11)
New Zealand offers an "Advice and Guidance Program" for all beginning teachers during their initial two years in the classroom. Although the program may vary from school to school, it must include the following elements in order to receive approval from the New Zealand Teachers Registration Board:
* resources and personal support from colleagues in the same curriculum area, school, or educational center;
* classroom visitations and written appraisals regarding the beginning teacher's progress toward meeting registration criteria;
* a program of visiting and observing experienced teachers;
* meetings with senior staff members and beginning teachers to "clarify the wider aspects of the beginning teacher's work and responsibilities"; and
* a written record of the induction program, documenting the advice and guidance received and the extent of participation in planning the corporate life of the school or early childhood center.(FN12)
In addition, primary schools that employ beginning teachers receive an additional 0.2 teaching entitlement per week for each new teacher's first year, to help them make released time available for the beginning teachers and for the senior staff members who work with them. At the secondary level, released time is made available for the beginning teacher only, whose workload is 0.8 of a fully registered teacher.(FN13)
ONGOING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT In these and other countries, teachers typically spend between 15 and 20 hours per week with their classrooms of students. They spend the remaining time working with colleagues on developing and refining their practice. In Japan and China, teachers routinely work with their colleagues on designing curriculum, polishing lessons, observing one another's teaching, participating in study groups, and conducting research on teaching. Japanese schools provide teachers with 20 or more hours each week for collegial work and planning, visitations to other classrooms and schools, and demonstrations of teaching strategies.(FN14)
By contrast, U.S. teachers have almost no in-school time for professional learning or collegial work. Nearly all professional development occurs in workshops or courses held after school, on weekends, or during a small number of professional development days.
In their study of mathematics teaching and learning in Japan, Taiwan, and the U.S., James Stigler and Harold Stevenson note: "[One of the] reasons Asian class lessons are so well crafted is that there is a very systematic effort to pass on the accumulated wisdom of teaching practice to each new generation of teachers and to keep perfecting that practice by providing teachers the opportunities to continually learn from each other.(FN15)
These activities are often organized around a state or national curriculum framework, which is typically a lean instrument outlining a relatively small number of major concepts to be treated, leaving to teachers the job of figuring out strategies that will work for their own students. Thus teachers share both a curriculum context and regular time to compare notes about particular lessons and problems, conduct demonstration lessons for one another, discuss how their students respond to specific tasks, and develop plans together.(FN16)U.S. texts and curriculum guides, by contrast, frequently require the coverage of many more topics in much more superficial ways, and teachers march through them largely on their own.(FN17)
Other nations are able to provide this kind of support for teachers because they allocate more of their organizational resources to teaching. In the United States, only 52% of education dollars reach the classrooom, and only about 43% of education staff members are classroom teachers. In other industrialized nations, about three-fourths of education resources are spent directly on instruction, and classroom teachers represent from 60% to 80% of all staff members.(FN18) These countries invest more of their resources in supporting the work of teachers, making it possible for teachers to spend more time polishing their craft with colleagues. Some restructured schools in the U.S. are beginning to reallocate staff and other resources more directly to the classroom, thereby providing more time for teachers to plan and learn together. When these opportunities are available, teacher expertise and commitment grow, as does student achievement.(FN19)
U.S. efforts to reform teaching have resulted in the creation of high-quality learning opportunities for some teachers and innovative school designs for some students. However, systemic reforms that make these opportunities available to all have been more elusive. One of the things that the U.S. can learn from other countries is how to build a policy infrastructure that will support reform on a wide scale. Resources are available in U.S. school systems to focus more effectively on improving the quality of teaching, but they need to be redirected toward this end if America is to achieve its education goals.
LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., where she has launched the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and the School Redesign Network. She was the founding executive director of the National Commission for Teaching and Americas Future and is a member of the Kappan Board of Editorial Consultants.
FOOTNOTES 1. What Matters Most: Teaching for Americas Future (New York: National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 1996).
2. Linda Darling-Hammond, Professional Development Schools: Schools for Developing a Profession, 2nd ed. (New York: Teachers College Press, 2005).
3. The Secretary's Report on Teacher Quality (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, 2002).
4. Linda Darling-Hammond and Gary Sykes, "A TeacherSupply Policy for Education: How to Meet the 'Highly Qualified Teacher' Challenge," in Noel Epstein, ed., Whos in Charge Here? The Tangled Web of School Governance and Policy (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004), pp. 164-227.
5. Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators (Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1995); and What Matters Most.
6. Teresa Waldrop, "Before You Lead a German Class, You Really Must Know Your Stuff," Newsweek, December 1991, pp. 62-63.
7. John Holyoake, "Initial Teacher Training: The French View," Journal of Education for Teaching, vol. 19, 1993, pp. 215-26.
8. Nobuo K. Shimahara and Akira Sakai, Learning to Teach in Two Cultures: Japan and the United States (New York: Garland Publishing, 1995); and Velma Cobb, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Kavemuii Murangi, "Teacher Preparation and Professional Development in APEC Members: An Overview of Policy and Practice," in APEC Education Forum: Teacher Preparation and Professional Development in APEC Members (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, May 1995), pp. 1-16.
9. Cobb, Darling-Hammond, and Murangi, op. cit.
11. Lynne W Paine, "The Teacher as Virtuoso: A Chinese Model for Teaching," Teachers College Record, vol. 92, 1990, pp. 49-81.
12. New Zealand Ministry of Education, "Teacher Training and Professional Development Practices in New Zealand," in APEC Education Forum, p. 172.
13. Cobb, Darling-Hammond, and Murangi, op. cit.
14. Nancy Sato and Milbrey W McLaughlin, "Context Matters: Teaching in Japan and in the United States," Phi Delta Kappan, January 1992, pp. 359-66; and James W Stigler and Harold W Stevenson, "How Asian Teachers Polish Each Lesson to Perfection," American Educator, Spring 1991, pp. 12-47.
15. Stigler and Stevenson, p. 46.
16. Lynne Paine and Liping Ma, "Teachers Working Together: A Dialogue on Organizational and Cultural Perspectives of Chinese Teachers," International Journal of Educational Research, vol. 19, 1993, pp. 675-97.
17. William Schmidt, Curtis McKnight, and Senta Raizen, A Splintered Vision (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996).
18. Education at a Glance, pp. 176-77.
19. Linda Darling-Hammond, The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools That Work (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997); and Karen Hawley Miles and Linda Darling-Hammond, "Rethinking the Allocation of Teaching Resources: Some Lessons from High-Performing Schools," Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 20, 1998, pp. 9-29.
Does One Size Fit All? The Induction Experience of Beginning Science Teachers from Different Teacher-Preparation Programs
Roehrig, Gillian H.; Luft, Julie A.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching
Journal of Research in Science Teaching v. 43 no. 9 (November 2006) p. 963-85
The number of induction programs available to teachers is increasing rapidly, and by necessity these programs are designed to meet the needs of all teachers regardless of their preparation and academic background. This study examines the impact of a science-focused induction program on secondary science teachers from different preparation programs. The 16 teachers were first-year secondary science teachers who graduated the previous year from one of four different teacher-preparation programs. All teachers were monitored during their first year of teaching, as they participated in the induction program, to understand their teaching beliefs, instructional practices, and experiences in the classroom.
The analysis of data revealed that the preservice training of a science teacher influenced the type of support the teacher derived from the science-focused induction program. Teachers from a preservice program with an extended student-teaching experience and two science methods courses held beliefs aligned with student-centered practices and implemented more reform-based lessons than did other teachers during the year. This study reinforces the importance of induction programs for teachers and suggests that there is a need for specialized support programs for beginning science teachers. The study also provides specific suggestions for improving the preparation of secondary science teachers. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Sonya C. Carr, Ph.D. Elizabeth D. Evans, Ed.D.
Helping Beginning Teachers Remain in the Profession: A Successful Induction Program
TeacherEducation and Special Education 29 no2 113-15 Spr 2006
The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Further reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited. To contact the publisher: http://www.cec.sped.org/
Quality teachers are needed if all students are to perform to high standards, yet teacher shortages in both general and special education remain a national concern. According to the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, "... teacher turnover is now undermining teaching quality and it is driving teacher shortages" (2003, p. 8). Too many teachers, both veterans and novices, are leaving the profession (Ingersoll, 2001), and the national attrition rate for new teachers is highest among the most "academically talented" (Ferriter & Norton, 2004, p. 18). Induction programs have been proposed as one solution to beginning teacher retention; however, as Huling-Austin (1990) explained, they "... must contain some degree of systematic and sustained assistance and not merely be a series of orientation meetings or a formal evaluation process used for teachers new to the profession ..." (p. 536).
Like many other states, Louisiana has difficulty retaining beginning teachers and faces significant shortages in special education, math, and science (EducationCommission of the States, 2003). In response to these issues, faculty members at Southeastern Louisiana University developed the Teacher Scholars Program (TSP). Southeastern is a regional state university with nationally accredited initial and advanced teacher preparation programs. The TSP, an innovative induction program for beginning general and special educationteachers, was modeled after a successful induction program at Texas State University, San Marcos (Resta & Huling, 1996).
Program Features Admission criteria include: initial teacher certification, graduate school admission, outstanding faculty recommendations, documented excellence in student teaching, and success in personal interviews. Individuals selected display a commitment to teaching and a desire to earn a master's degree. Leadership qualities are also sought because teachers need to assume new roles as school leaders in today's efforts at educational reform.
A new cohort of Teacher Scholars (TSs) begins the program each summer. The TSs work as full-time teachers in general or special education settings. They are employed by the university using a 12-month stipend available through a contract with each participating school district. They receive daily assistance, classroom supplies, and free tuition and books throughout their participation in the program. The TSs are evaluated by the school principals and district liaisons in collaboration with the university program director and coordinator.
The program has two major goals
Goal 1: To develop and implement a specialized "just-in-time" master's degree program Over a 15-18 month period, each TS completes a specially-designed 36-hour program in Special Education-Mild/Moderate Disabilities or in Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary Education or Reading. The six required cohort-only courses are: Constructive Classroom Management, Humanistic Approaches to Behavior Management, Alternative Assessment, Leadership for Change, Infusion of Technology, and Action Research. Courses reflect best practices and specifically address the needs of beginning teachers (e.g., classroom management, accommodating individual differences). The first three courses are taught by a special education faculty member to ensure that all TSs develop the knowledge and skills needed to support inclusive practices.
Goal 2: To provide systematic, sustained support to ensure that beginning teachers remain in the teaching profession
Intensive support is provided by Link Teachers (mentors) and university faculty members. Link Teachers (LTs) are employed by participating school districts and meet the following selection criteria: minimum 8 years teaching experience, master's degree, supervision of student teachers, and completion of both a state mentoring program and a state program for beginning teacher evaluation. Each LT provides full-time support for 2 to 4 TSs and spends 6 to 8 hours weekly in each classroom. S/he offers feedback, models teaching methods, offers essential information about school culture and policies, and is always on call for professional/personal assistance. LTs are released from all teaching responsibilities as a TS assumes responsibility for each LT's classroom. This exchange is included in the contract between the university and each participating school district.
Two special education university faculty members receive fall and spring course releases to provide program support. The director administers the program and collaborates with university faculty, school district administrators, and consultants to ensure that TSs receive the assistance they need. The coordinator meets one day a week with the LTs to monitor TS performance, provide professional development, and address problems. During visits to each TS's classroom in the fall, she observes the TS interacting with pupils, identifies needs, and addresses many of these needs in the behavior management course. In the spring, she focuses on standards-based instruction and assessment and provides ongoing feedback as the TSs learn to use various alternative assessment techniques. Additional support is provided through professional development activities. TSs attend at least one professional conference, observe experienced teachers, and participate in local workshops. Various course delivery options provide another type of support. They include on-campus summer mini-sessions, traditional weekly evening courses, and non-traditional courses (one Saturday a month) with online support through the Blackboard course management system.