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Defining Novice 'Practice' in Teacher Education

One of the aftereffects of all the increased emphasis placed on teacher preparation has been a lot of attention to student-teaching—the "clinical" part of preparation during which candidates apply their theoretical knowledge and practices.

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For some time now, programs have been lengthening student-teaching. But in general, the field has paid less attention to what specifically candidates should do during these experiences, and what practices they should come away having mastered.

The Match Teacher Residency program, which I profile in this week's edition of Education Week, offers one possible road map toward a solution. The Boston-based program has identified a specific curriculum of skills beginning teachers should master, and couples them with opportunities for teacher-candidates to practice them in structured settings before taking on a classroom.

And it's not the only such program; a variety of professionals and academics are wrestling with the implications of these questions, some of them within university-based settings.

The story is part of a larger series of stories I've been working on; I hope you'll check those out, too.

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