In order to disrupt the inequitable process of education that, for example, produces only a third of our students who read on grade level by third grade, we need ideas that improve teacher training. Currently teachers are trained at university and apply their learning through practicums in classrooms. One solution to improving teacher practice is to make teacher training more collaborative, where beginning teachers learn and practice in schools as full members of their school community who are learning the practice of their profession on site in residencies.
Much like the medical practice, new teachers would join a school for the year in residence and learn from practicing teachers and visiting professors in education schools. New teachers would be able to feel how teaching works, rather than study it from afar. New teachers would be able to see how schools work, in classrooms, faculty meetings, and in the halls informally. Students would respect their regular presence in their school.
Professors and Teachers
Most people in this country think they know how teaching works based on their own experience while sitting in a classroom and observing teaching. The validity of this observation is only superficial, however, as the deeper levels of how to teach are not visible. Teacher training requires that we help new teachers see more deeply how teaching is enacted and not just how it looks to outsiders. The insights of teacher training professors and the practical knowledge of regular classroom teachers should be combined for the benefit of new teacher learning.
Promoting Deeper Learning
If we are determined to make classrooms more equitable, we must promote deeper learning for beginning teachers by promoting collaborative teacher training.