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‘World-class’ teacher preparation

‘World-class’ teacher preparation

When I work with educators, I get asked on a regular basis, “What about the universities? What are they doing to prepare educators who can facilitate technology-infused learning environments that emphasize deeper cognitive complexity and greater student agency?” Unfortunately, I don’t have much to offer them.
I’m not up on all of the thousands of preparation programs that are out there but, as I think about the shifts that we need to see in schools (and the new building blocks that we need to put in place), at a minimum any teacher preparation program that wanted to label itself ‘world-class’ would be able to affirmatively say the following…
Our graduates know…
Project- and inquiry-based learning
how to operate in student-driven, not just teacher-created, project-oriented learning environments
how to facilitate inquiry-based activities like ‘passion projects’ or ‘FedEx days’ or ’20% time’ or ‘genius hour’
how to facilitate students’ development as creators, designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs
how to integrate communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills into these types of environments
Authentic, real-world work
how to organize student work around the big, important concepts central to their discipline
how real work gets done by real professionals in that discipline (practices, processes, tools, and technologies)
how to find, create, and implement robust, authentic simulations for their subject area
how to facilitate and assess authentic performances by students
Standards-based grading and competency-based education
how to write and implement a ‘competency’
how to help students thrive in a standards-based grading environment
how to facilitate learning-teaching systems that focus on mastery rather than seat time (or other dumb criteria)
1:1 computing
how to manage and support ubiquitous technology-infused learning spaces
how to facilitate student success with digital tools, online systems, and social networks
how to help students create appropriate AND empowered ‘digital footprints’
Digital, online, and open access
how to leverage digital and online open educational resources to full advantage
how to meaningfully curate digital materials in their subject area
how to helpfully contribute to our online global information commons (and have students do the same)
Online communities of interest
how to utilize online networks and communities of practice to further their professional learning and growth
how to meaningfully connect students to relevant online communities of interest for academic and personal development
Adaptive learning systems
how to integrate adaptive learning software into students’ learning and assessment
how to utilize blended learning environments to individualize and personalize students’ learning experiences (time, place, path, pace)
I think most teacher preparation programs probably fall short of the mark on these, but a program that could say these things about its preservice teachers would be INCREDIBLE.
What do you think? What would you add to this list? More importantly, does anyone know of a teacher preparation program that’s doing well in some / many / most of these areas?

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