Most recently we are reviewing the data from a study that explores graduates’ impressions of their teacher preparation from one teacher education program. The participants are graduates from 1999-2014 and we have well over 200 respondents. A survey was conducted that included qualitative responses. So far, the responses have been incredibly interesting. As we work through the data I gain more and more excitement for the possibilities of understanding teaching education and improving not only my personal practice as a teacher educator but also the potential for improving the structure and programming of teacher education.
As we review the current data I keep in mind the many findings and recommendations of past research. For example, in 2009 Clive Beck and Clare Kosnik along with a strong team of graduate researchers published their findings from a qualitative study on classroom teachers’ understandings, perceptions, and explanations of their practice and teacher education experience. Their book, Priorities in Teacher Education: The 7 Key Elements of Pre-Service Preparation, is the first of several from what has become longitudinal study (13 years and counting) of teachers work and development. In Priorities of Teacher Education Beck and Kosnik identify seven priority areas for teacher areas:
- program planning
- pupil assessment
- classroom organization and community
- inclusive education
- subject content and pedagogy
- professional identity
- a vision for teaching
These priorities are coming up in several interesting ways in our current research and I look forward to analyzing and writing up the findings in the months ahead. More so, I am excited to be thinking about research-based considerations for improving our teacher education program and my personal practice.