. "A Vision for Improving Teacher Education and the Teaching Profession." Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millennium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.
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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
in the partnership, teachers’ opinions and expertise would be sought for the most important policy decisions in schools and districts. The school workplace would encourage teachers to become leaders and mentors for their colleagues and reward them for doing so.
CHANGING ROLES FOR SCHOOLS, DISTRICTS, AND HIGHER EDUCATION IN TEACHER EDUCATION
The type of close-knit K-16 partnership proposed here offers new opportunities for districts and institutions of higher education to work together in ways that both extend and transcend their traditional roles in the education of science and mathematics teachers. The most common pattern of interaction has been for colleges and universities to take primary responsibility for preservice education and overseeing student teachers. Although classroom teachers may have more direct contact with student teachers or teacher interns, final responsibility for assigning grades and awarding certification usually has rested with institutions of higher education. Once students are graduated and certified, schools and districts then assume responsibility for induction programs and professional development. While colleges and universities may be better equipped to offer practicing teachers better opportunities to learn their subject matter more deeply and to engage in a more intellectual focus on education issues, few have formal agreements with school districts to do so.
Under the proposed partnership, this segregation of responsibilities could disappear, for the most part. Because scientists and mathematicians, teacher educators in these disciplines, and master/mentor teachers would work so closely together, all of them could be much more involved with every phase of teacher education and career development. Master classroom teachers could work together with college faculty in providing high-quality undergraduate courses that integrate content, pedagogy, and educational theory. At the same time, these courses could be more grounded in actual classroom practice and be offered at the sites where preservice students undertake their practicums and other student teaching experiences. Master teachers also could work with scientists and mathematicians who teach primarily content-based courses to help these college-level faculty members focus on appropriate content and better model effective classroom teaching. Improvement of pedagogy in undergraduate courses would benefit all students, majors and non-majors.