Promoting Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education
Adult Basic and Literacy Education Fact Sheet
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The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the key role educators play in efforts to improve student outcomes. The Department has published a vision statement that recognizes that the nation "must do more to ensure that teaching is highly respected and supported as a profession, that accomplished, effective teachers are guiding students' learning in every classroom, and that schools are dynamic and innovative workplaces in which all employees strive to improve student outcomes and close achievement gaps."


To achieve this vision for adult education, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), through a contract with American Institutes for Research (AIR), will promote teacher quality and effectiveness through several major activities. In its first year, the project conducted an environmental scan to identify the research base, in both K-12 and adult education, on teacher effectiveness, teacher competency, and teacher induction. The implications from the environmental scan will inform the development of future products such as a set of teacher competencies, a toolkit of technical assistance resources, and a teacher induction model. These tools are designed to assist States and local programs improve their efforts to recruit, retain, support and develop highly effective adult educators.

In addition, the project will analyze data from several States and the National Reporting System (NRS) to investigate the relationship between teacher and learner characteristics and student achievement in adult education. The briefs will articulate the analysis and modeling procedures undertaken with the existing national and State data. The project period is June 2011 to July 2014.

Project Milestones

  • Create and validate a model of teacher competencies.
  • Analyze and produce four research briefs.
  • Design and field test an induction model with pilot States.
  • Deliver final models, competencies and Toolkit resources.

Outcomes and Products

  • An environmental scan that describes the best available evidence base on teacher competencies, effectiveness, and induction models.
  • Instructor competencies that identify the knowledge and abilities adult education instructors need to be effective in the 21st century.
  • A field-tested teacher induction model, supported with a toolkit of interactive online courses and print resources.
  • Research briefs investigating the relationship between teacher characteristics and student achievement in adult education.


Patricia Bennett:

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Last Modified: 04/25/2013