Utilizing an Improvement Science approach to understand and address teacher education practice that leads to effective teaching.

CTERIN is working across the research-practice spectrum, utilizing an improvement science approach to better understand and address teacher preparation practice that leads to effective teaching. The goal of Aim Three is to investigate variations in teacher preparation across different models to understand the affordances and constraints for preparing teachers to enter the profession. We are drawing on the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's improvement science approach to study the efficacy of various models for teacher preparation and investigate how systems of teacher preparation improve. There is not a one-size fits all approach to teacher preparation; the question is not whether a certain model best prepares candidates, but how the different models meet the needs of teacher candidates to teach in various contexts in California and how programs can learn from each other to improve their efforts to prepare teachers.

Towards this aim, a collaboration of researchers, teacher educators, and mentor K-12 teachers have begun cross-campus Networked Improvement Communities (NIC). The diversity of programs in the UC will allow members to test improvements within different preparation pathways as well as a wide range of geographical, social, and schooling contexts. A NIC determines a common problem to work on together. The first CTERIN NIC has decided to work on how we prepare teachers to work with multi-lingual students. This is a particularly salient issue in California with an incredible linguistic diversity, and the need for teachers who understand and are prepared to help students in multi-lingual families and communities succeed.

General questions for Aim Three research include the following. For the current NIC, we include the focus of multilingual learners in green text. Other NICs will have different foci, but will be framed by these general questions that guides Aim Three work.

  • How and when do pre-service teachers develop core knowledge and competencies for teaching multi-lingual learners?
  • What is the substantive focus of various program models? And how does preparation to teach multi-lingual learners fit?
  • What is the underlying theory of learning that guides the design of learning experiences for pre-service teachers to teach multi-lingual learners?
  • How do teacher preparation programs recruit and prepare teachers who are committed to teaching in diverse, underserved communities, as well as with multi-lingual learners?

The improvement science approach offers tools and frameworks for designing cycles of investigation, using common assessments to understand and share practice, collaboratively analyze data, and plan continuous improvement. Aim Three researchers are also studying participants’ learning and organizational change processes to better inform future NICs in teacher education programs.

Aim Three Committee Members

Thomas Philip (UC Berkeley)

Elisa Salasin (UC Berkeley)

Virginia Panish (UC Irvine)

 Emma Hipolito (UC Los Angeles)

 Irenee Beattie (UC Merced)

JerMara Welch (UC Riverside) 

Cheryl Forbes (UC San Diego)

Amber Moran (UC Santa Barbara)

Soleste Hilberg (UC Santa Cruz)