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Lessons Learned from FIPSE Projects II - September 1993

Teacher Education

Responding to a wave of national attention to teacher training sparked by the Holmes Group and the National Center on Education and the Economy (formerly the Carnegie Forum), FIPSE provided funding in the late 1980's for some 45 projects in teacher education. These projects had such purposes as recruiting minorities and new populations to the field, recruiting more academically able and broadly prepared people to teaching, and strengthening the subject content of pre-service preparation.

While many of FIPSE's projects have been well implemented, demonstration of their success in preparing teachers more effectively has proven elusive. Given the fact that by the end of a three-year funding period the first graduates of an improved program are just entering the first year of teaching, this inconclusiveness is to be expected. The Union College program described below is in this respect no exception, but it is an unusually innovative and flexible program whose progress is exceptionally well documented. The Northern Virginia Community College program to train single mothers as certified child care providers demonstrates the effectiveness of education in alleviating problems of poverty in the community.

On the other hand, some innovations funded by FIPSE simply did not work, though not for lack of care and effort by the institutions that undertook them. For example, a set of projects that attempted to address the projected teacher shortage by recruiting early retirees (e.g., from the military services) and career changers to teaching were unable to find the numbers of interested people they thought they could. A large percentage of those recruited did not finish the program.

Other kinds of projects were more susceptible to early demonstrations of success. The "PreTeacher Assessment Program" developed at Indiana University of Pennsylvania has shown a high level of correlation between assessor ratings of pre-service teachers in simulated situations and expert judgments of these student teachers' pedagogical skills demonstrated in actual classroom settings.

[State University of New York at Buffalo] [Table of Contents] [Indiana University of Pennsylvania]

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Last Modified: 02/22/2006