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What to Look for in a Teacher Preparation Program
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28th Jul, 2009 | Source : NCATE - The Standard of Excellence in Teacher Preparation

There are special questions future teachers should ask when choosing a school of education. We have compiled a list of questions for prospective students which are based on the recommendations of professional organizations and the latest movements in education reform.

  • Does the institution offer a firm foundation in the liberal arts and teaching disciplines?

  • Are programs designed using subject matter-specific standards developed by specialized professional associations (e.g., the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics, etc.)?

  • Does the institution have the resources necessary to support each of the programs it offers?

  • Does the institution prepare candidates to integrate technology into instruction? How well is technology integrated into the coursework at the institution? One course in ‘technology’ is not sufficient.

  • Does the institution provide many opportunities for candidates to learn how to teach under the supervision of a variety of veteran teachers? At what point does the candidate gain experience in P–12 schools? Many institutions now offer this experience as soon as possible so that prospective candidates better understand schools from a teacher’s point of view.

  • Does the institution prepare candidates to work with the growing diversity of America’s school population?

  • Do teacher candidates acquire knowledge of the most effective teaching strategies? How are teacher candidates evaluated on their performance by the institution? By whom are the prospective teachers evaluated? How is it accomplished?

  • What percent of the graduates pass the state licensing exam?

  • How does the institution seek feedback from graduates, and how is it incorporated into the program? What has been the feedback from graduates?

  • What has been the feedback from principals, department chairs, schools hiring graduates?

The answer to all of these questions should be yes. An easy way to ensure that you will be attending a school of education that meets these requirements is to see if it is on our list of NCATE accredited institutions



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