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Increase Teaching Experiences in Preparation Programs

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Principle Recommendation

Teacher preparation programs should focus on clinical practices so that novice educators can be effective in their first classrooms. Connecticut statutes should be revised to require educator preparation programs to provide prospective educators with 500 hours (14 weeks) of consistent, robust, and meaningful student teaching experiences.

Current Connecticut Statute

Beginning in 2015, Connecticut will expect student educators to have four semesters of clinical experience.[i] Additionally, state regulations require prospective educators to spend a minimum of 10 weeks on student teaching.[ii]

Supporting Research

Research indicates that teacher preparation that is directly linked to educator practice produces more effective 1st year teachers.[iii]

A national survey of educator preparation programs found, on average, that student teaching experiences were in the range of 500-562 hours (13-16 weeks).[iv] In contrast, student teacher hours vary significantly in CT–where candidates spend an average of from 300 to 560 hours student teaching.[v]

California State University’s partnership with Fresno, CA schools requires teacher candidates to spend a year on student teaching.[vi]  The results of this 8-year partnership have been striking; student performance has jumped from the bottom to the top tier of school districts and teacher attrition has plummeted from 40% to around 4%.[vii]

Sources


[i] C.G.S. 10-145a
[ii] Connecticut Regulations, Section 10-145d, retrieved from: http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/lib/sots/regulations/title_10/145d.pdf
[iii] Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement, Donald J. Boyd, Pamela L. Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, James Wyckoff, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, December 2009, Vol. 31, No. 4, retrieved from: http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Preparation%20and%20Achievement.pdf
[iv] Ibid.
[v] Federal Department of Education Title 2 data from FY 2013, retrieved from https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Report/PrintSection.aspx?Year=2013&StateID=09&Section=130150
[vi] The Clinical Preparation of Teachers: A Policy Brief from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, 2010, retrieved from: http://www.uni.edu/coe/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/AACTE_-_Clinical_Prep_Paper.pdf
[vii] Ibid.