filename: T. Ed design memo #5
date: April 2, 2001
Redesigning Teacher Education
M. D. Gall
University of Oregon
[I]n too many instances there is seemingly no rigorous
conceptual framework at all to guide the activities of teachers and
supervisors who are trying to create something worthwhile together: I
feel stressed by the seemingly random motions of so many hardworking
[I]t is hard not to have one's blood curdled
by the general absence of unity and coordination and efficiency and
communication that characterizes contemporary efforts at constructive
change. -- Robert Goldhammer.
In: Goldhammer, R. (1969). Clinical supervision: Special methods
for the supervision of teachers. NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston,
PERSISTENT PROBLEMS IN K-12 TEACHING
- Beginning teachers struggle with classroom management and
motivating students to learn (Veenman).
- Instruction emphasizes lower-cognitive outcomes rather than
higher-cognitive outcomes (Sirotnik).
- There is little variety in teaching methods (Sirotnik).
- Teachers think in terms of activities rather than learning
- Innovations in instruction are poorly implemented (cooperative
learning study; new math/science curriculum studies; technology
- Individual differences among students are poorly accommodated
PERSISTENT PROBLEMS IN TEACHER EDUCATION
- Program designs do not correspond to the instructional models
that they expect teachers to use in the classroom.
- At the university, there is nearly exclusive reliance on a
course model for instructional delivery. Courses are predicated on
the notion of technical rationality (Argyris & Schon's term),
which assumes that teachers will be able to convert theory and
research directly into practice.
- Field experiences are poorly coordinated with university
coursework; and university courses are poorly coordinated with
- Instructors&emdash;rather than curriculum
design&emdash;dictate the curriculum.
- Program design is presented as a series of courses and
experiences rather than as a conceptual map that displays the core
understandings and skills that teachers will learn in the
- The relationship between general teacher education and
curriculum-specific teacher education is not well-articulated.
- Institutional memory is weak, making it is difficult to
sustain and improve program design across time.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES FOR TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM
- The program core will emphasize training teachers in a model
that maximizes curriculum-instruction-assessment alignment.
- The program core will emphasize training teachers to maximize
use of data on student learning to drive instructional
- The program core will in emphasize training teachers to
maximize accommodation of individual student differences.
- The program's design will follow the above three principles.
In other words, the program will practice what it preaches: It
will maximize curriculum-instruction-assessment alignment; use of
data to continuously improve the program; and accommodation of
individual teacher differences.
SKETCH OF TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM
- Skill in curriculum analysis (ability to analyze the
curriculum into facts, concepts, principles, attitudes,
- Skill in designing assessments based on curriculum
- Skill in aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment
- Skill in aligning classroom curriculum with state and national
- Skill in creating and selecting curriculum materials
- Skill in motivating students to learn
- Skill in classroom management and discipline
- Skill in instructional methods
- Skill in accommodating individual differences among
PROGRAM INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY
To be based on principles drawn from:
- Situated learning theory
- Action science
- Cognitive psychology
- Project-based learning
- Adult learning theory
- Critical pedagogy
TSPC mandates certain forms of assessment: tests (CBEST, Praxis,
MSAT), field-experience checklist, and work sample.
In addition, there will be performance assessment having these
- alignment with curriculum analysis of the program
- assessment of teachers' ability to both design and perform
- use of scoring guides to grade teacher performance
- use of assessment results within a mastery learning model
(i.e., teachers can retake assessments until mastery is
- incorporation of relevant features of the NBPTS assessment
CONTEXTS OF INSTRUCTION AND SCHOOLING
Teachers will learn about:
- alternative models of schooling and the principles of
curriculum, instruction, and assessment that they embody.
- theory, approaches to inquiry, and knowledge generated by
foundational disciplines (e.g., history, philosophy, psychology)
and how they can inform educational practice
The program will use action science to make continuous
improvements. The key features of action science are:
- developing explicit statements of "espoused theory" about
- collecting and analyzing data about program delivery and
performance-assessment results to determine whether
"theory-in-practice" corresponds to "espoused theory"
- conducting experiments to determine the effectiveness of
program innovations and modifications
- making continuous scans of schools and the research literature
to identify problems and promising developments