The 2014-2015 TeachingWorks streaming seminar series will focus on a central challenge of teacher preparation: the demand to show results and impact of initial training on the quality of candidates’ effectiveness as teachers. Many skeptics point to the lack of impact of professional training and the centrality of on-the-job experience. Policymakers eager to close weak programs advocate for using data to examine and judge the quality of teacher preparation. At the same time, many teacher preparation programs and leaders have been developing methods for evaluating the quality and impact of professional training. This year’s seminar series focuses on the core question: To whom and for what should teacher preparation be accountable?

In each of this year’s seminars, the presenter will present a perspective on what would be both appropriate and feasible in holding teacher preparation programs accountable, and will offer concrete examples of how to carry that out, and will also share challenges of the particular perspective.

This year's series will offer a platform to learn about different answers and approaches to this basic question. For example, if the goal of teacher preparation is to ensure that beginning teachers are ready for responsible entry-level teaching, what are the relative merits of different ways of judging program impact? Is it possible to link programs to the student growth of their graduates? What are the possibilities and pitfalls of this approach? What are other ways to link program outcomes to student learning? Our goal is to open the discourse to the nature of the question of program accountability, the technical possibilities and challenges, and some concrete ways that programs are seeking to respond.

Participants will have the opportunity to attend the seminar in person at the School of Education at the University of Michigan or to view the live event online.

December 2014 Seminar: Learning from other fields

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
4:10pm - 6:00pm

  • Rajesh Mangrulkar
    Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Associate Professor of Medicine and Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan
  • Christine Pintz
    Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, George Washington University School of Nursing

The December 3, 2014 seminar will feature Dean Christine Pintz, associate professor and associate dean for graduate studies at the George Washington University School of Nursing, and Dr. Rajesh Mangrulkar, associate dean for medical student education and associate professor of medicine and learning health sciences at the University of Michigan. Dean Pintz and Dr. Mangrulkar will help us to consider how other fields have responded to the problem of program accountability. In particular, Dean Pintz and Dr. Mangrulkar will discuss how medicine and nursing have ensured that beginning practitioners are ready for responsible entry-level practice; what the relative merits of different ways of judging program impact might be; whether programs have been asked to link the training they provide to the practice of their graduates, and if so, how they have responded

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January 2015 Seminar: Program-level efforts

Thursday, January 22, 2015
4:10pm - 6:00pm

  • Leslie Fenwick
    Dean, Howard University School of Education
  • Karen Symms Gallagher
    Dean, University of Southern California Rossier School of Education

The January 22, 2015 seminar will feature Dean Leslie Fenwick from Howard University and Dean Karen Symms Gallagher of the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. Deans Fenwick and Gallagher will discuss their programs’ efforts to track graduates’ effectiveness. They will consider methods for determining how effective program graduates are, including what measurements are used, what outcomes are considered, and how well the process seems to work.

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February 2015 Seminar: Value-added modeling

Thursday, February 5, 2015
4:10pm - 6:00pm

  • Daniel McCaffrey
    Principal Research Scientist in Statistical and Psychometric Theory and Practice, Educational Testing Service

The February 5, 2015 seminar will feature Daniel McCaffrey, principal research scientist in Statistical and Psychometric Theory and Practice at Educational Testing Service (ETS). McCaffrey will take up the topic of value-added modeling (VAM), and will help us understand the ways in which VAM might – and might not – be useful for assessing the quality of teaching and teacher preparation.

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