These three principles of teacher education were given by the Scott Education Transition Team in its report. They are in the category “Teacher Quality” and are items “n”, “o” and “p”:
Ensure better alignment between needs for K-12 educators with postsecondary education training programs.
Enhance professional development by continuously helping teachers learn new content and new high yield instructional strategies that improve student learning through new approaches and teaching models.
Identify best practices nationally and at Florida schools of education in private and public universities and state colleges based on classroom performance of graduates (inclusive of student performance data) and model, share and mentor other programs to raise performance levels.
From the point of view of science teacher education, all three are significant. The first calls for redirecting teacher education resources at the universities (and state colleges) into high demand fields, such as science and math. Of course, among the science fields, the greatest shortages are now (or will soon be) in chemistry and physics.
The mention of “content” in the second recommendation – the one on professional development – is welcome. The problem (as illustrated by the failure of much of the Florida PROMISE program) is that you must make serious investments of resources and build strong partnerships with content faculty to have a successful professional development program that includes a significant content component.
The final recommendation listed above once again focuses on the evaluation of teacher education programs using student achievement data. Maybe the application of student achievement data to this task will be straightforward – and maybe not.