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NCTQ StudyReveals Strategies Every Teacher Should Know

Several weeks ago NCTQ released an important new study Learning About Learning: What Every New Teacher Needs to Know.  You may have read about it here or here.


This new study focuses on the poor quality of textbooks available to teacher preparation programs in their coursework addressing how children learn--generally speaking, in education psychology and general methods coursework.  While your preparation may not be as textbook-dependent as the preparation offered in traditional teacher preparation programs, trust me when I suggest that you will find the report's findings extremely relevant to your program's training model.           


In the sample of 48 textbooks, we were not able to identify a single textbook which provided an adequate orientation to the instructional strategies which are most likely to help teachers increase learning and retention, no matter what the age or subject being taught. 


It’s hard to overstate the extent to which these textbooks ignore what research has to offer teachers. Specifically, we analyzed the textbooks to determine if they include even minimal discussion of the research-based strategies identified by the Institute for Education Sciences, the research arm of the US Department of Education, in its 2007 guide Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning: A Practice Guide. The majority of texts reference only a single strategy.


The report includes recommendations for textbooks and other resources that could better support any preparation program in its mission of providing the best training possible.  NCTQ has been touch with each of the publishers of the textbooks in the sample to discuss our findings, invite them to respond, and engage in an effort to improve future editions.  We are optimistic those efforts will bear fruit.


As we work to improve the materials used to prepare the next generation of teachers, we very much welcome any thoughts or concerns you may have.




Kate Walsh


President, National Council on Teacher Quality

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