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Topic: [ncsm-members] Time for New Ideas in Teacher Training
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
[ncsm-members] Time for New Ideas in Teacher Training
Posted: Feb 15, 2012 3:19 PM
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From Education Week [American Education's Newspaper of Record],
Wednesday, February 8, 2012, Volume 31, Issue 20, p. 24. See

It's Time for New Ideas in Teacher Training

By Doug Lynch

There's been a lot of buzz lately about ventures such as High Tech
High's Graduate School of Education in San Diego and Relay Graduate
School of Education in New York City.

These private schools of education, associated with charter schools
and other reform efforts, are issuing master's degrees and promoting
a clinical model of teacher education in which most learning occurs
in the same place where teachers do their jobs-a classroom full of
kids-rather than through traditional college coursework.

Some of the talk about these schools has been positive, and a lot of
it-particularly from academics who teach in traditional schools of
education-has been negative. But just about everyone agrees that, for
good or for ill, these schools represent something new and
innovative, a radical departure from traditional graduate education.

That conventional wisdom is wrong.

Higher education embedded in the workplace may be new to the field of
teacher training, but otherwise it's nothing new at all. It's been
going on for decades.

Corporate America has known for a long time that when it invests in
educating its workers, they not only perform better, they are happier
in their jobs and stay in them longer. And corporate America has
gotten quite sophisticated at doing this. There are now thousands of
"corporate universities," and many have faculty and budgets that
rival those of traditional schools.
SIDEBAR: "When it comes to employer-sponsored clinical education
embedded in the workplace, the world of teacher training has simply
come to the party late."
Although the spectrum of corporate education includes entities such
as Hamburger University (run by McDonald's), many corporate
universities could put a top business school to shame-for example,
GE's management-development campus in Crotonville, N.Y., which in
1989 lured former dean Steve Kerr from the University of Southern
California's Marshall School of Business to become the nation's first
chief learning officer. At least a couple dozen corporate
universities are accredited by regional authorities to award degrees.

Moreover, the clinical model of teacher training at High Tech High
and Relay follows the model of professions like medicine or
dentistry-a strong liberal arts education is followed by a
professional school program that focuses heavily on clinical training
in the presence of experienced mentors.

So High Tech High GSE and Relay GSE aren't untried innovations. When
it comes to employer-sponsored clinical education embedded in the
workplace, the world of teacher training has simply come to the party

I find it troubling and myopic, then, that so many people who work in
teacher education see these programs as something radically new and
seem threatened by them. Here in education, we always seem to be
about a generation behind other sectors of the economy when it comes
to trying new things and instituting new practices.

Some might argue that this reluctance to adopt innovation is
reasonable because we need to be conservative when we're deciding how
to educate our most precious resource, our children. On the contrary,
the American reality of failing schools, stagnant test scores, and
fading international competitiveness ought to instill in us a sense
of urgency.
Doug Lynch is the vice dean at the University of Pennsylvania
Graduate School of Education, in Philadelphia.

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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