Report: 21st Century Knowledge and Skills in Educator Preparation


Reform: School improvement


Partnership for 21st Century Skills




Partnership for 21st Century Skills


This is an exciting and challenging time for teacher educators. The nature of teaching is
changing. In an effort to transform themselves into exemplary educator preparation institutions,
many programs are becoming more entrepreneurial, recognizing new opportunities and making
changes required to respond to the needs of 21st century learners.
Many are successfully engaged in strategies such as:
• Providing high-quality alternative routes to teaching,
• Building on private and public partnerships that share common sets of ideas in advancing
education reforms,
• Effectively partnering with urban schools to prepare teacher candidates to teach in urban
environments with large numbers of culturally and linguistically diverse learners,
• Playing a greater role with charter and other experimental/alternative schools,
• Effectively recruiting career changers to build the teacher workforce,
• Creating a robust clinical experience for teacher candidates, including year-long teaching
residency programs, and
• Growing a network of over 1,000 professional development schools designed after the
medical model of clinical training.
In order to meet the challenges and demands of the profession, AACTE is leading reform efforts
• Provide evidence that the teachers prepared at member institutions will have a positive
effect on their students’ learning,
• Go beyond providing content knowledge and prepare teachers to differentiate their
instruction to reach all children, especially those most at risk for school failure: children
with disabilities, English language learners, and children from low-income homes,
• Ensure that teacher candidates receive extensive, in-depth clinical experiences with
mentoring support that requires performance evaluation tied to the teacher licensure
process and high standards for beginning practice,
• Create fast-track, yet high-quality, teacher preparation programs in close partnership with
school districts to meet speciic teacher shortages,Engage prospective teachers in creating instruction aligned with their state’s curriculum
standards, effectively interpreting assessment results, responding to students’ learning
needs, and cultivating a passion for learning that will support students for a lifetime, and
• Meet the demands of the global economy by exemplifying, and embedding in
instruction, the mastery of 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving,
communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation. This includes the application
of technology to support more robust instructional methods and understanding the
relationship between content, pedagogy and technology through dissemination of
Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) theory and research (American
Association of Colleges of Teacher Education 2008, US Department of Education 2010).
While all of these efforts are interconnected and critical to the transformation of educator
preparation, the purpose of this paper is to create the foundation for ongoing dialogue
around how 21st century knowledge and skills can be appropriately embedded in
educator preparation, and to guide the development of resources and services to
support educator programs. With your help we intend to:
• Develop a blueprint for building the models, tools, resource base, and capacity needed
to support this work,
• Create an infrastructure of leadership and communications that will support the
contributions of educator preparation programs and other key stakeholders to this
initiative, and
• Provide faculty training and resource pilot initiatives and partnerships to develop and test
21st century instructional models among higher education institutions nationwide.


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