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(January 17, 2018, Washington, D.C.) – Clinical practice and partnership are central to high-quality teacher preparation, and although a variety of delivery models can coexist, they all must incorporate key principles to be effective, according to a report released today by a commission of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).
In the report, A Pivot Toward Clinical Practice, Its Lexicon, and the Renewal of Educator Preparation, the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission describes a “cacophony of perspectives” across today’s teacher preparation programs regarding what constitutes clinical practice. The commission calls on the field to pivot from its “divergent understandings of terms, structures and quality” to embrace a shared direction going forward.
“In recent years, teacher preparation programs have been expanding candidates’ experiences in the schools in a variety of ways and labeling them all ‘clinical practice,’” said Rodrick Lucero, vice president of AACTE, who chairs the commission. “Many of these efforts have resulted in thriving, mutually beneficial partnerships between preparation programs and local schools that serve as laboratories of practice and innovation – but others have not. The commission has worked to identify what makes programs successful in order to assist others in strengthening their own.”
The commission’s recommendations come in the form of 10 essential proclamations for effective clinical preparation, each supported by multiple tenets and a narrative explanation. The proclamations address topics from pedagogy to partnership infrastructure to valuing expertise, citing a combination of professional moral imperatives and research-derived evidence. The report also recommends a common lexicon to define the concepts and entities engaged in clinical preparation, and a summary brief is available highlighting the proclamations and tenets.
Nearly 40 individuals serve on the commission, representing PK-12 schools, universities and education organizations from California to Connecticut, Iowa to Alabama. A full roster is available at https://aacte.org/cpc.
“AACTE is grateful to the commissioners for carrying out this much-needed consensus work on behalf of the field,” said Lynn M. Gangone, president and CEO of AACTE. “The report is a product of their exemplary commitment to professional collaboration as well as of AACTE’s ongoing support of high quality and continuous improvement in educator preparation.”
AACTE convened the commission in 2015 to help define and advance clinical practice in teacher preparation. A wide spectrum of models had sprung up following the 2010 report of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Blue Ribbon Panel that called for clinical practice to form the foundation of teacher preparation. In addition to clarifying the parameters of high-quality clinical practice, the commission sought to identify model protocols, solutions to common roadblocks and relevant research to aid partners in crafting stronger programs. These resources will be rolled out later this year.
“This report represents the culmination of the commission’s first stages of work,” Lucero said. “Next comes the really exciting part: Putting it into action.” Already, a new task force is working to apply the commission’s frameworks to special education teacher development. The commission has also outlined an ambitious agenda for future attention that could include offering on-site coaching for programs, establishing a national center for clinical practice, studying principal preparation and international practices, induction supports and more.
The commission’s report is being released today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. To download the report and its summary brief, view a webcast of today’s press briefing, and learn more about the commission’s work, visit https://aacte.org/cpc.
AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession ready as they enter the classroom. The 800 member institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam. AACTE leads the field in advocacy and capacity building by promoting innovation and effective practices as critical to reforming educator preparation. For more information, visit www.aacte.org.