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Working in common to build the Common Indicators System Network

By: Tracey Weinstein

For the last two years, more than 50 faculty and program leaders from 12 educator-preparation programs have worked in partnership with Deans for Impact to collectively investigate how to better prepare aspiring teachers through what we’re calling the Common Indicators System (CIS) Network. Participants in the CIS Network are now gearing up for our first-ever Inquiry Institute, where they’ll engage in cross-institutional inquiry into data on more than 3,500 teacher candidates, 500 program graduates, and 100 employers across four common indicators, and develop plans to inform improvement when they return to their institutions.

Making visible the hidden complexity of teaching

By: David

Years ago, as a relatively new mentor teacher, I planned and implemented a Think-Pair-Share activity as part of a second-grade science lesson. Because two teacher-candidates were observing me, I was extra intentional about how I implemented this strategy. I carefully paired students; I chose an open-ended question to push thinking; and I gave students time to think and try out their ideas in a low-stakes way before participating in a whole-class discussion. The activity went well, and I felt pretty good about my demonstration of effective teaching.

Seeing the bigger picture

By: Valerie Sakimura

Ask any teacher-educator about the class she’s teaching tomorrow, and you’re likely to get a detailed rundown of her lesson — but not necessarily how that class fits into the broader picture of a candidate’s learning trajectory. This makes total sense, because teacher-educators are asked to focus on their own piece of the puzzle. Yet learning science tells us that we learn new ideas by reference to ideas we already know. Teacher-educators need to understand a candidate’s macro learning trajectory in order to maximize teacher-candidate learning within their portion of that trajectory. In other words, it’s important to help stakeholders see the bigger picture.

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