Ready2Teach teacher candidates will gain knowledge from the residencies and school partnerships, but will also gain valuable experience from Master Clinicians and Mentor Teachers that will help our candidates with research-based best practices, effective teaching strategies, and lessons in effective classroom/time management. Teacher candidates will have time, in their residencies, to adjust to particular school culture in terms of students, classes, and faculty. Ready2Teach will produce strong, confident, knowledgeable, and effective candidates that will truly be the ideal 21st Century Teacher.
Ready2Teach's experiential learning begins with the pre-residency, the initiation of preparation that begins prior to the residency year. The pre-residency experiences will vary by institutional and P-12 contexts, but may, in some cases, be a series of 1-hour courses designed to recruit, select, expose, and evaluate potential candidates. Promising students, particularly in high-demand areas such as special education and STEM subjects, are invited to explore teaching through applied classroom experiences presented through observations and problem cases.
- In this way, they are able to see the application of their content preparation to helping children learn while exploring the idea and value of being a quality teacher.
- Participation in PBL experiences provides faculty with important information about cognitions, attitudes, and prerequisite teaching skills that allows for efficient and accurate identification of promising candidates for further recruitment and preparation.
- Reflective observation and PBL participation expose potential candidates to real-life teaching, which we believe attract candidates seeking to make a contribution to social concerns.
- Finally, evaluation of candidate performance in these activities provides important information concerning strengths and weaknesses of candidates to guide selection of competency-based modules in more advanced preparation.
Learning by Experience is an essential part of the Ready2Teach program. Relevant field experiences are a requisite of NCATE accredited programs and a requisite of teacher education programs under Tennessee licensure standards. Item three for program implementation standards under the Tennessee licensure standards states:
- Candidates in teacher preparation programs participate in ongoing, well-structured field experiences in varied school settings with diverse learners prior to the internship or student teaching. Field experiences and student teaching or the internship assist teacher candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn and are consistent with NCATE standards.
NCATE defines relevant field experience in that:
- Field experiences and clinical practice are characterized by collaboration, accountability, and an environment and practices associated with professional learning. Field experiences represent a variety of early and ongoing school-based opportunities in which candidates may observer, assist, tutor, instruct, and participate in service learning projects, or conduct applied research. Clinical practice includes student teaching and internships that provide candidates with experiences that allow for full immersion in the learning community so that candidates are able to demonstrate proficiencies in the professional roles for which they are preparing.
Ready2Teach will meet those criteria in a unique and exciting two-part residency model. Pre-residency and Residency 1 will use a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach.
- In this PBL approach, teacher candidates will be posed with unique cases (scenarios) in which they must collaborate and cooperate with their peers to find a solution.
- Problem-Based Learning can strengthen critical thinking, draws and values candidates past experiences/knowledge base, and increases problem solving ability.
- Medical schools around the nation have adopted the PBL model and a study conducted at the University of Missouri has shown that the use of Problem-based learning with medical students has dramatically improved their assessment scores versus the traditional model of instruction.
- In Residency 2, candidates will rely on Lesson Studies, which is an advanced professional problem solving model developed in Japan to structure learning from teaching experiences.
- Lesson Studies have the candidate instruct a class while his peers (other candidates/educators) watch this performance.
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