Research & Improvement

One central tenet of CTERIN includes understanding how teacher preparation programs are designed to prepare future teachers for working in the multidimensional complex settings of classroom spaces where we are focused on improving the quality of teacher education to transform teaching and learning for PK-12 students. We do this by taking an improvement science approach to our work. That is, we generate knowledge to understand how teacher education programs improve through research. We also organize and lead Networked Improvement Communities (NICs) to study how collaboration among teacher educators across sites can lead to improving teacher preparation. In doing so, we gain insight into tensions that reside inside systems of teacher preparation that make it difficult to transform these systems. Simultaneously, we generate new knowledge about teacher preparation and improvement science. This work also leads to the generation of tools, frameworks, and protocols for teacher educators to use to engage in improvement efforts.

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Understanding How Teacher Education Programs Improve

CTERIN funds a variety of research projects to deepen the knowledge base on teacher preparation that can inform both teacher preparation and state policy related to teacher preparation. We aim to support research in a range of areas that are generalizable to broad areas of concern for teacher preparation, practice, and policy in California. The areas of research relate to: teacher retention and recruitment; clinical practice (e.g., student teaching) in teacher preparation; understanding teacher preparation pathways in California; preparing future teachers to teacher students with particular assets and needs (e.g., students with disabilities, English Learners, students learning within diverse communities); qualifications and work of teacher educators in higher education and P-12 education; and preparation for K-12 pedagogy in a subject matter discipline. 

Building a Knowledge Base for Improving Teacher Preparation

CTERIN recognizes that teacher preparation programs often operate in isolation from each other. We seek to disrupt the siloed nature of teacher education by supporting cross-site collaboration around shared problems of practice. Another contribution of CTERIN is advancing research on partnership and collaboration between teacher preparation programs, between organizations that collectively support teacher preparation (e.g. schools, community organizations, and university programs), and between teacher preparation programs and policy makers. 

Doing the Improvement Work

CTERIN aims to cultivate partnerships that can lead to developing tools and resources for improving teacher preparation and for engaging in improvement work. Various projects have developed protocols and resources that are available for others to experiment with and modify for their programmatic aims.