******************************************************** You should have received parts I, II, III, and IV earlier. This is Part V. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- Information about the report is available on the American Council of Education's website: http://www.acenet.edu/
Title: To Touch the Future - Transforming the Way Teachers Are Taught Year: 1999 Published by: American Council on Education One Dupont Circle NW Washington, D.C. 20036-1193 Ordering: $15.00 [10 or more copies are $10 each, 100 or more copies are $5 each.] Orders must be prepaid by money order or check (made out to the ACE) and sent to:
ACE Fulfillment Service Department 191 Washington, D.C. 20055-0191
or call (301) 604-9073 The whole report can be downloaded from the website at http://www.acenet.edu/ . If you go to the website, you can see how to do this. --------------------------------- Happy holidays and all good wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful year 2000. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
NUMBER 4: The academic capacity of graduates who enter teaching is comparable to that of college graduates overall for prospective secondary school teachers, but below average for prospective elementary school teachers.
In 1992-93, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) inventoried the college entrance examination scores and college transcripts of more than 10,000 college graduates nationwide whose career progress is being followed for 12 years. An analysis of these data indicates that students who became secondary school teachers had academic records comparable to the group as a whole. Those who became elementary school teachers, however, enrolled in more remedial classes in college than other students, scored less well on standardized aptitude tests, and took less challenging courses (Henke et al., 1996). The Educational Testing Service found a similar pattern of lower test scores among elementary school teachers when it compared the SAT scores of all college graduates to the scores of those passing the state licensure subject assessments test called Praxis II (Educational Testing Service, 1999a). The 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey, however, showed that literacy skills of teachers were indistinguishable from those of other college-educated adults (Educational Testing Service, 1999b).
The research data reveal that entrance requirements for prospective elementary school teachers are generally lower than for other future teachers. Recent international test results showed, however, that American fourth graders performed better than their peers in other nations in mathematics and science, while American secondary school students demonstrated substantial deficiencies in relation to their peers from other countries (NCES, 1999c). How or whether the achievement scores of students in the earlier grades relate to the academic performance of the students' teachers is unclear. It would be useful to have evidence on the importance of attributes such as motivation, dedication, and a passion for children and learning as we assess the qualities that teachers need in the primary grades. However, it is clear that colleges and universities need to intensify their efforts to recruit into the teaching profession the ablest of America's college students and to set high standards for admission into teacher education programs.
NUMBER 5: Teachers are inadequately prepared to understand and apply technology to teaching.
In 1994, the U.S. government set a goal of connecting every school in the country to the Internet. At last count, 89 percent of public schools and 51 percent of public school classrooms had Internet connections. In 1998, the nation's public schools owned one instructional computer for every six students (NCES, 1999d). A recent survey, however, found that only one-quarter of the teachers responding reported using current technology in a substantial way in their classrooms (NCES, 1999b); only one in five said he or she felt very well-prepared to integrate technology into teaching (NCES, 1999a).
Continuing education and inservice training often are used by school systems to help teachers who are not computer literate gain the skills and comfort level they need to teach with and about technology. When asked what knowledge they need most, teachers placed the highest priority on information about using innovative technologies (NCES, 1999b). Most said that they had received some inservice training, but that it was too brief to be very helpful. Even among those who had spent more than eight hours in training, only a third said it improved their use of technology "a lot." (NCES, 1999a).
Almost all students in teacher education programs take at least one course that integrates computer use into the syllabus, but a full one-third of teacher education program leaders reported that their computer facilities were inadequate to the task of teaching prospective teachers how to use computers for learning (CEO Forum on Education and Technology, 1999). As of 1998, only two states had developed standards for teacher technology preparation and required candidates for teaching positions to complete a portfolio to demonstrate their technology skills (CEO Forum on Education and Technology, 1999). ----------------------- PART VI will follow in the near future. ***************************************************************
Jerry P. Becker Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA Fax: (618) 453-4244 Phone: (618) 453-4241 (office) (618) 457-8903 (home) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org