Teacher Preparation for Quality Teaching

Oct. 01, 2011

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, 62(4), 395- 407, September/October, 2011. 
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

In this article, the author presents a holistic practice-based approach to preparing candidates for quality teaching.
This holistic practice-based approach integrates academic knowledge of theory, pedagogy, and curriculum across experiences in authentic contexts that are embedded in focused inquiry, directed observation, and guided practice.

In this approach, candidates learn to use academic knowledge to interpret and translate knowledge from their observations in classrooms and communities into pedagogical practices that meet the standards of integrity and trustworthiness for accomplishing the desired outcomes for particular learners.

The discussion of the proposed practice-based approach to learning to teach is presented in two parts.

Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Understanding

The first part includes the organizing ideas and discursive practices for teaching referred to as essential knowledge, skills, and understandings for quality teaching.

The essential knowledge, skills, and understanding for quality teaching include
(a) knowledge of human growth and development and individual and group differences.

( b) deep understanding of the learning process.

(c) deep understanding of the organizing ideas for a discipline; domain-specific reasoning and practices; and the processes for participating in a disciplinary-based discourse community.

(d) an understanding of pedagogy as a clearly designed and interrelated pattern of learning experiences embedded within a particular theoretical perspective.

(e) an understanding of how to identify and develop appropriate classroom assessment approaches for evaluating learners’ progress in relationship to discipline-specific knowledge and practice and how to manage the demands of standards-based curriculum and assessment; and

(f) an ability to maintain a strong professional identity, engage in self-directed professional growth and development, recognize characteristics and qualities of professional communities in different contexts, and work collaboratively with colleagues within a professional community to improve learning outcomes.

The Design of Practice-Based Teacher Preparation

The second part includes the epistemic practices and program qualities that support learning to teach.

Epistemic Practices
Practice-based teacher preparation in this discussion refers to the discursive processes, reasoning, and actions taken in interpreting and translating the experiences and responses of learners in authentic situations within and outside of classrooms.
The epistemic practices include focused inquiry, directed observation, and guided practice.

Practice-Based Program Qualities
The program qualities that support learning to teach include collaboration, coherence, continuity, consistency, integrity, and trustworthiness.


In summary, the proposed holistic practice-based approach to teacher preparation for quality teaching is based on research and theory in teacher education; theory and research in disciplinary teaching; recent research from the learning sciences and theories of learning; research on reform in PK-12 schools; and observations and conversations with teachers, administrators, and faculty in exemplary schools and teacher preparation.

The result is a proposal for a program that features clearly articulated organizing ideas for teaching; epistemic practices that frame opportunities for learning to teach; and program qualities that include collaboration, coherence, continuity and consistency, and integrity and trustworthiness in the preparation of candidates for quality teaching.

Updated: Apr. 02, 2013