Remixing Teacher Preparation

Over at Learning Matters regarding teacher quality and training, Barnett Berry wrote, “Jettison traditional three-hour course credits in favor of performance-based pedagogical modules and assessments: This nimble, practical approach will help recruits to develop specific teaching skills and will better identify who is ready to teach, when, and under what conditions.”

I couldn’t agree with him more. For quite some time, I’ve been an advocate for remixing teacher preparation. How can teacher preparation be remixed? To answer that question, I began asking the following questions:

(1) Can post-secondary institutions truly support what today’s teachers need to be successful, especially if they are looking at an implosion of the very institutions attempting to prepare teachers? Can an institutional model be successful when a blended, network model is supplanting traditional organizational structures? Should we not explore ideas, such as the one Howard Rheingold, in his post Democratizing Learning Innovation, examines of how “learning can be liberated from its industrial, factory-model roots”?

(2) Should teacher preparation be undertaken in three-hour, silo courses, which are isolated from the realities of a teacher’s experience? Or, should teacher preparation be designed considering badges, as defined by Digital Media and Learning, and learning and performance assessment undertaken by mentors, teacher leaders, and teacherpreneurs?

(3) Would it be a better idea to remix teacher preparation by embedding the experience in real learning communities, including face-to-face, blended, and cyber learning environments? (The idea isn’t necessary new, but does it require a fresh perspective?) Would a multi-disciplinary approach be a better design to prepare teachers, such as has been done at the Yale School of Management in its Organizational Perspectives, which was created under the direction of the then dean now turned director of Apple University Joel Podolny?  Perhaps close scrutiny of the Organizational Perspectives experience will prompt a remixing of teacher preparation? (And, don’t overlook downloading the PDF of the Integrated MBA Curriculum Diagram.)

(4) How can teacher preparation programs ready teachers for new and emerging roles as teacherpreneurs, such as Web Curator, Learning Architect, Network Sherpa, and Community Connector?

What are your questions? What are your ideas? What directions intrigue you? How would you remix teacher preparation?

I look forward to your thoughts.

Running the digital river of learning with you,
Emily Vickery