The teaching profession changes so fast (data, technology, culture, etc.) while many teacher preparation/credential programs remain behind-the-times, not adequately preparing teachers for current or future classrooms. Just 1 example:
- All levels of educators indicate data use as being important (Marsh et al., 2005), yet
- training programs for teachers have generally not addressed data skills & data-informed decision-making (U.S. Department of Education Office of PEPD, 2011), &
- 70% of teachers & administrators have never even taken a college or post-graduate course in educational measurement (Zwick et al., 2008).
On a daily basis, current teachers & administrators are aware of their jobs’ biggest demands, & they need a voice in the preparation of their future colleagues. I propose:
- Current teachers & administrators should be surveyed annually on a national level to indicate key areas needed in teacher preparation, based on on-the-job needs (districts can be charged with obtaining a certain % of completion, though individual participation can be voluntary).
- Higher Ed. teacher preparation programs can account for how their programs adhere to teachers’ expressed needs.
- If done online, schools & districts should be able to view an aggregated account of their own staff’s needs (anonymous, of course) to improve PD & other supports they offer their own teachers.
- Other groups – like Beginning Teacher Support & Assessment (BTSA) – can use results, too.