Preparing West Virginia’s Teachers

Ryan Saunders

Learning Policy Institute

October 2021

Opportunities in Teacher Licensure and Program Approval

In recent years, research on the science of learning and development has advanced rapidly, and calls for schools to provide all students with deeper learning experiences that prepare them for life and work in the 21st century have increased. Meeting these rising expectations will require educational systems to address the cognitive, sociocultural, and social-emotional aspects of learning and development in ways that meet the needs of every student. Teachers will play a vital role in any such realignment, since their qualifications, actions, and experience, as well as the strength of their preparation, affect students’ well-being and their learning. Further, research demonstrates that better-prepared teachers are not only more effective but are also more likely to stay in the profession longer. Therefore, policies that affect teachers and the teacher workforce, such as those that govern educator licensure and preparation program approval, will be key levers in ensuring that schools provide all students with equitable access to deeper learning experiences.