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Updates
February 2011
Volume 3 - Issue 1

CalStateTEACH: A Blueprint for Preparing Teachers with 21st Century Knowledge and Skills

blueprintIn the spring 2010 issue, we looked at the past and celebrated the accomplishments of our last ten years. In this issue, we would like to share with you our blueprint for the future. We are acutely aware of the fact that our children, in order to be prepared for the challenges of the 21st century, need a different education.

Schools need to expand their curricula and have different expected outcomes for K-12 students. Teacher preparation programs need to prepare teacher candidates who have not only acquired this new set of knowledge and skills, they must be prepared to teach them and assess K-12 students’ acquisition of them. We have decided to embrace this challenge by launching four strategic program innovations: new 21st century curriculum content; modified candidate outcomes; integration of mobile computing as an educational tool; and redesigned clinical practice.

The 21st century interdisciplinary themes such as global awareness, economic and entrepreneurial literacy, civic literacy, health literacy and environmental literacy will be woven into the core content curriculum. Learning and innovation skills, such as creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration will be incorporated into the curriculum and evaluated in a modified assessment system. The integration of content based educational technology will enable our candidates to acquire a sophisticated level of information literacy, media literacy, and information, communications and technology literacy.

Mobile device lessons with a rich array of text, images and sounds will be used to make content accessible and engaging and enable our teacher candidates to both challenge students and make adaptations for special needs. Working in multi-generational teaching teams, candidates will learn to co-teach with peers and work as apprentices with experienced expert teachers thereby learning to take responsibility and initiative while also being responsive and accountable to colleagues.

As our partners in teacher preparation, we are asking you to collaborate with us in new and deeper ways. Teaching, following the patterns of other high performing organizations, has the challenge of developing collaborative cross-generational learning structures. Teaching teams made up of student teachers, novice teachers, mentor teachers, and specialists will be needed to meet the challenge of teaching 21st century knowledge and skills to diverse K-12 students and address the challenge of the 21st century teacher workforce. Working together we can prepare better teachers; our children certainly deserve it.

Our work has been framed by these policy pieces: 1) 21st Century Knowledge and Skills in Educator Preparation (2010). American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and the Partnership for the 21st Century Skills; 2) Who will teach? Experience matters (2010). National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future; and 3) Transforming Teacher Education through Clinical Practice: A National Strategy to Prepare Effective Teachers (2010). NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning.

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