California and the field of teacher education need to know which preparation pathways best prepare teachers to succeed in the classroom. More importantly, we need to know how and why. Across the nation, states are trying to strengthen the quality of their teaching force to meet the needs of diverse learners while simultaneously easing a significant teacher shortage. In the past, the shortage has meant more underprepared teachers in classrooms—the bulk of whom work in schools serving economically disadvantaged, often racially diverse, and multi-lingual students. The diverse assets and needs of California’s students call for more highly skilled teachers, not less.

The California Teacher Education Research and Improvement Network (CTERIN—pronounced “See-Terin”) was established with seed funding from the University of California Office of the President. It involves over 100 researchers and teacher educators from all nine of the UC schools and departments of education, as well as from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) departments involved in the CalTeach pipeline to STEM teaching. CTERIN’s primary effort is to facilitate research in service to the State through networks with P-12 teachers and administrators, the California State University System (CSU), private/independent colleges, state agencies, and key stakeholders in California’s teacher preparation field. These networks will serve to understand teacher preparation statewide, as well as inform the improvement efforts each of us take as a result of our research.

What is different about CTERIN’s approach?

  • Questions that Matter: In a departure from research agendas that are framed around an individual faculty’s interest, the CTERIN agenda is co-constructed with stakeholders and policy makers. This ensures our work responds to essential questions and goals for the most important stakeholders: teachers and students. This is especially relevant for CTERIN’s priority to devote research resources to questions that serve historically underserved and marginalized communities as this network approach seeks to invite many voices and viewpoints in the construction of a research agenda.
  • Research-Practice Collaborations: Meeting critical calls from the field, the CTERIN network is creating meaningful collaboration between researchers, teachers, and teacher educators in the design, implementation, and analysis of research. We also do the work we study. On UC campuses, teacher preparation is a professional program in a research setting.
  • A Learning and Improvement Agenda: CTERIN researcher-practitioners are simultaneously engaged in research and improvement. We study how we learn and how our organizations change in order to inform new members of the network and the field.
  • A Systems Approach to System Change: CTERINs four interrelated Aims offer a comprehensive approach to understanding and improving multiple levels of California’s learning to teach system.
  • Scaled for Impact: CTERIN brings together nationally prominent and influential scholars to form an enterprise larger than any other in this field, in the nation. Because UC campuses and the CTERIN network span the State, work is grounded in the diversity of contexts in which California’s teachers teach and California’s students go to school.