New Collaborations, New Approaches: Research for Improvement in Teacher Preparation

Jenny DeMonte
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Although there is a growing body of evidence designed to facilitate understanding of teacher preparation, the studies are not always useful to preparation providers because the outcomes emerge long after teacher candidates have left preparation programs. But many providers seek answers to questions about the arrangement of activities within their programs or the kinds of training their teacher candidates actually receive, and they want to learn about the impact of these activities on candidates before they finish training.

In April 2017, AIR brought together 35 researchers, teacher preparation providers, and school leaders to discuss what kind of research designs would help teacher preparation providers improve their programs.

In October 2017, the participants reconvened to present interdisciplinary research study designs that would break ground on new ways to better prepare teachers. The innovative designs and the conversations they sparked represent the cutting edge of teacher preparation research. They also foreshadow what this new research-for-improvement approach can look like given appropriate resources, attention, and collaborative support.

The resulting report, New Collaborations, New Approaches: Research for Improvement in Teacher Preparation, based on this meeting, shares the projects that participants believe could help improve teacher preparation, describing each of the research designs presented as well as the challenges that might arise when conducting research in dynamic contexts.