Eric.ed.gov – TEDS-M and the Study of Teacher Preparation in Early Reading Instruction: Implications for Teacher Education Policy and Practice. Working Paper #25

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The 2010 report from the National Research Council on teacher education programs in the United States, “Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy,” reported that “the empirical evidence on effective teacher preparation [is] nearly nonexistent” (p. 99). The publication later that year of two major studies, one on the preparation of mathematics teachers and the other on teacher preparation in early literacy, marked the first use of nationally representative data to begin to answer important questions concerning teacher preparation in the U.S. In June 2011, the Education Policy Center (EPC) at Michigan State University convened an audience of scholars and policymakers from across the country to discuss the results of the two studies, “Breaking the Cycle: An International Comparison of U.S. Mathematics Teacher Preparation, Initial Findings from the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics in the United States (U.S. TEDS-M)”, and the “Study of Teacher Preparation in Early Reading Instruction” prepared for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) by the National Center of Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Findings from a third study, the National Council on Teacher Quality’s (NCTQ) report, “No Common Denominators: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America’s Education Schools,” were also presented and discussed. Key points from the presentations and discussion: (1) Future teachers in the U.S. have weak training in mathematics and are not prepared to teach the demanding math curriculum we need as a nation, particularly in light of the widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. Elementary and middle school teachers scored in the middle of the pack among their international peers on measures of mathematical content and mathematics pedagogy; (2) Early childhood pre-service teacher candidates report little to moderate emphasis on the essential components of reading during their preparation coursework, with somewhat more emphasis during their field experiences. A majority of the candidates feel prepared to teach the essential components of reading, even though on average they answered correctly only 57 percent of the questions on a knowledge test of the reading components; (3) The composition and quality of mathematics education programs varies significantly from institution to institution, both within and across states and governance models; and (4) These reports begin to answer fundamental questions about teacher preparation. They also highlight the need for additional analysis of these data sets and further research with nationally representative samples to guide policy decisions at every level–university faculty and boards, state departments of education and legislatures, professional organizations, philanthropic foundations and federal agencies.

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som lektor hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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