Teacher Preparation: A New Direction

Many teacher preparation programs do not fully prepare teacher candidates to be effective in the classroom. A new model of teacher training is now emerging: the teacher residency. This system borrows from the system long used to train doctors. It significantly extends the time that teacher candidates spend in the classroom with experienced mentor teachers. The Boston Teacher Residency, a collaborative initiative of the Boston Plan for Excellence, Boston Public Schools and the University of Massachusetts-Boston, pioneered the residency model. Its graduates are retained at a significantly higher rate than teachers trained in other programs. They are more successful over the long term in helping students reach high levels of achievement than teachers from other types of preparation programs. Arizona State University, which operates the largest teacher training program at a public university, is also making experience in the classroom the central tenet of its program. Georgia State University recently launched a teacher residency program to attract and prepare highly qualified candidates to teach math, science and special education. The different approaches of these three institutions provide insight into ways university-based teacher preparation programs can make reforms to better prepare future teachers. People who attend this session will leave with a new understanding of innovative approaches to improving student achievement.


  • Mari Koerner, Dean, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University
  • Jesse Solomon, Executive Director, Boston Teacher Residency
  • Gwen Benson, Associate Dean, College of Education, Georgia State University

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