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Teacher Preparation and The Next Education Workforce

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University


This white paper describes how a new teacher-preparation residency program piloted by Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College with two Arizona school districts addressed the workforce design problem at the heart of the teacher shortage.

In the 2018–19 academic year, Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC), which graduates over 750 teachers per year, partnered with two school districts facing severe teacher shortages to pilot a new teacher-preparation residency program. The pilot was designed to address a broad set of interconnected challenges faced by schools and teacher-prep programs.

The research that informs this white paper and its companion briefs consisted of 59 interviews with teacher candidates (Residents), mentor teachers (Lead Teachers), MLFTC faculty (Site Leads), district superintendents, school principals and district human resources professionals. Additionally, as is its practice, MLFTC faculty assessed Residents using the NIET Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) rubric, which identifies levels of teacher effectiveness during classroom observations and teacher evaluations.

This narrative outlines the reasons for the pilot, describes its objectives and its core features and summarizes the key learnings likely to drive the success of future iterations.

Companion implementation briefs provide further detail about elements of the pilot model, considerations for school systems and considerations for teacher-prep institutions.

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