November 2020

US PREP Curriculum Redesign Process 
There is a critical need to ensure teacher candidates have high-quality preparation experiences and PK-12 students have access to equitable educational opportunities.  US PREP believes that we can accomplish this together via mutually beneficial university and school district partnerships that cohere around common instructional approaches.  That said, many teacher education programs around the country have struggled to get their heads above the pressure and pace of daily practice in ways that allow them to learn from their own experiences and alongside their colleagues.

The field of teacher preparation lacks practice-based grounding and a comprehensive understanding of what outcomes really matter in teacher education.  Most preparation practices are rooted in historical norms, which include insular thinking about what really matters in teacher preparation and the expectation that university teacher educators be effective lectures about teaching/learning, but not the expectation that they are effective at modeling masterful teaching or shaping teacher candidates’ competencies (i.e. concepts about teaching are valued over actual skills for teaching). Planning and instruction of teacher preparation courses often occur in isolation of other teacher educators or the needs of the districts they serve. Further, teacher educators receive little feedback on their teaching, with the primary measurement being the end of semester course evaluations.

Teacher educators from twenty-one colleges of education are collaborating to address these challenges. Together, they are redesigning their courses to include a balance of research-based knowledge and practical, real-world, techniques that help teacher candidates develop and master key skills. Collectively, they are re-envisioning practice-based coursework to include identification of high leverage content and practices. 


US PREP began this process by seeking out and onboarding Curriculum Design Coaches in each of the core content areas (Math, Science, Literacy/SpEd, Social Studies, Bilingual Education, and Student Teaching).  Each Curriculum Design Coach and participant is focused on ensuring high-leverage Pk-12 content, effective educator practices, and efficacious teacher educator pedagogies integration in order to ensure the highest quality development of teacher candidates.

As the over 150 faculty members from US PREP programs, along with key personnel from district partners across the nation, have engaged in the curriculum redesign process, the need for access, engagement with, and implementation of standards-based curriculum and educator practices has become as apparent as ever.  Beginning in June and then again in October, university faculty and district partners created clear criteria for curriculum redesign in their respective content areas, reflected on their practices as teacher educators, made revisions to their practices, and engrained high-leverage content. 

What’s resulted thus far is an engaged and even more committed group of teacher educators ready, willing, and prepared to champion curriculum design that disrupts inequities in our nation’s most disadvantaged communities.

What’s resulted thus far is collective learning around TNTP’s Opportunity Myth and the importance of maintaining grade-level expectations for our P-12 students, culturally relevant teaching, and the science of learning. In October, faculty and district participants provided peer feedback in key assessments and instruction and have started to revise their syllabi, assessments, and their instructional practices as a result.


To learn more about how US PREP is disrupting inequities in PK-12 school districts across the nation, please visit www.usprepnationalcenter.com.
Contact us for more details:
[email protected]
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