Just seven states currently require general education teachers to take coursework that focuses on students with disabilities.
Back to School!
As schools and districts ready themselves a new school year over the next few weeks, we at NCTR would like to wish the best of luck to the residents, mentor teachers, principals and program partners working around the country on behalf of students. Have a great and successful school year!
Residencies have a wealth of data on effective teaching, and that helps them identify what residents need to know and be able to do upon graduation. NCTR and our partners have identified the teaching competencies that residents must master during their residency year. Watch our new video on the Residency Year Curriculum.
Students can adopt a “growth mindset” and improve their classroom performance with a short online intervention, according to the latest findings from the National Study of Learning Mindsets published in the journal Nature. A “growth mindset” perspective teaches students that their brains are "like a muscle that grows stronger and smarter when it undergoes rigorous learning experiences." The researchers found that participation in the online intervention “improved grades among lower-achieving students and increased overall enrollment in advanced mathematics courses” in a nationally representative sample of secondary students.
Teachers Feel Unprepared for Students with Learning Differences
Nearly 20 percent of public school students in America have a learning disability or attention issues that interfere with classroom performance. Yet, according to the recent report “Forward Together,” by Understood and the National Center for Learning Disabilities, only 17 percent of general education teachers feel “very well prepared” to teach them, and only 30 percent “feel strongly” about their preparedness.
Most students with these types of challenges spend a majority of their time in traditional classrooms. Roughly half of teachers surveyed “feel strongly” that these students can perform at grade level, however, most of these students actually perform below grade level according to 2017 NAEP scores.
Just seven states currently require general education teachers to take coursework that focuses on students with disabilities, and much of this instruction does not prepare them for the realities of the classroom, according to the report. NCTR currently works with eight residency programs that have a focus on preparing special education teachers.
The report’s authors recommend that teacher preparation providers re-examine their programs and look for ways to “strengthen the courses and clinical practices” they offer. The report also urges colleges and universities to seek out districts willing to offer teacher candidates more diverse clinical teaching experiences as part of their program.
“Theory is not enough,” the report concludes. “Teacher candidates should have specific, carefully crafted, and repeated experiences of putting what they learn into practice with students who learn differently, with multiple opportunities to apply knowledge and skills with feedback.”
Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.