We should be preparing educators for the schools we need rather than the schools we have.
Teacher education is a complex system. Many contributors are involved, including state legislatures, state certification boards, national and regional accreditation associations, educational professional associations, teacher unions, teacher education institutions, schools, and the federal government.
Most of these stakeholders agree that teacher education needs to change to meet the needs of digital age learners and the challenges of a rapidly changing knowledge and technology-based global society. But diverse policy contexts and a lack of shared vision pose barriers to collaborative action among the stakeholders to affect change. Although there are isolated islands of innovation and excellence in educator professional development, concerted and coordinated action by all stakeholder groups is needed to take them to scale.
There have been extensive, prolonged national discussions about moving teacher education and our schools out of the industrial age and into the knowledge age. Over 100 key education stakeholders met in December 2009 with the understanding that now is the time to segue from talk to action. This diverse group spent two intensive days progressing through a series of carefully crafted large- and small-group workshops leading to the development of and consensus around a new vision for teacher education in the digital age. This vision, along with a series of subsequent meetings, led to a set of policy recommendations at the institutional, state, and national levels that would facilitate the redefinition of educator preparation in our rapidly changing technology- and knowledge-based global society. Representatives of this group presented their recommendations to Congress and the full report is available to the public.
Summit Report—Redefining Teacher Education for Digital Age Learners