NCTQ Teacher Prep Review
June 18, 2013
As a result, the burden of training has shifted from the teacher preparation program to the novice teacher—or more accurately, the new teacher’s employer.
The consequences of this shift have not been good for the profession or for public schools. (p. 6)
Because of its remarkable record of educational success, Finland has often been cited as a source of wisdom about everything from the supposed “dangers” of standardized testing to the proper aesthetics of school architecture.
What is not so well known is what it took for Finland to become a paragon of educational virtues: the radical restruct uring of its teacher preparation system.
Raising the standards of teacher preparation in Finland ultimately raised the status of the teaching profession. Now Finland’s best and brightest !ercely compete to get into its prestigious teacher training programs. And, as the renowned educational analyst Pasi Sahlberg notes, only medicine is perceived by Finns to be a more desirable occupation for a potential spouse than teaching. (p. 9)
High-performing nations, such as Finland, South Korea and Singapore, are all notable for their top-notch teacher training systems. All three draw candidates from at least the top-third of the college-going population, …
Undoubtedly, new teachers will always learn a lot in their 1rst year on the job, as anyone does when starting a new profession.
However, the expectations for novice teachers’ competencies are far too low given the impact on student learning and the fact that students who are already far behind their peers are much more likely to be assigned such teachers.
Lesson Planning: plan instruction for their future students who will need special consideration: students with special needs, English language learners and students who know the material before the lesson even begins. (p. 47)
one element of consistency does emerge: the direction to teacher candidates to plan for instruction that considers students’ “learning styles.”
Unfortunately, this recommendation has been thoroughly discredited by research as ineffectual  and distracts the candidate from more productive planning considerations. Nonetheless, the “pseudo science” that learning styles be considered in planning lessons is advocated by threefourths (74 percent) of programs. (p. 48)
The fact that 866 different reading textbooks—the majority of which are partly or wholly unscientific—are used to teach the seminal skill needs by elementary and special education teachers is a testament to this abdication of responsibility, an abdication that has very real consequences for our nation’s children. (p. 94)