Subject: GLEF Blast Newsletter, September 4, 2001: Teacher Preparation

GLEF Blast, September 4, 2001

"There is no more critical need in our society today than preparing
teachers who know their subject matter well and who understand the social
and emotional needs of students."  George Lucas, from the Spring 1999 issue
of Edutopia

The George Lucas Educational Foundation announces new Web content and a
companion VHS cassette on Teacher Preparation
(, the latest in our Teaching in the
Digital Age series. Today's schools face enormous challenges in recruiting
and preparing teachers to educate the most diverse student body in our
history to high academic standards. Fortunately, a quiet revolution is
taking hold in schools of education. This collection of articles,
resources, video documentaries, and interviews profiles exemplary programs
providing new teachers with deep content knowledge, extensive field
experience in the classroom, and skill with technology.

This series explores a few of these programs and how they can be used as
models for discussion and reform.


I. What's Working in K-12 Schools
II. Watch and Learn: Curry School of Education, U. Virginia
III. Expert Interviews
IV. Teacher Preparation Programs Sampler
V. Teacher Preparation Research
VI. Take Action
VII. GLEF Products

I. What's Working in K-12 Schools

* The Power of Preparation - Our best schools of education are connecting
theory to frequent classroom practice to ensure that teachers-to-be know
their subject matter, how to teach it, and how to incorporate technology.
(Accompanying mini-documentary, "Teacher Preparation Overview")

* Making the Switch to Teaching - How Project Promise, a one-year teacher
preparation program at Colorado State University, is preparing mid-career
professionals to become teachers. Meet Kari Hansen, ex-chemical engineer,
as she learns to teach high school chemistry. (Accompanying
mini-documentary, "Project Promise")

* Turning the Tables -- Students Teach Teachers - Technology-savvy students
in the Generation www.Y program help new and veteran teachers integrate
technology into their lessons to enhance student learning. (Accompanying
mini-documentary, "Generation www.Y")

* A Valuable Technology Tool for Student Teachers - Three University of
Alabama experts on educational technology describe how hand-held computers
can enhance productivity, classroom information management, and be used for
instructional support.

II. Watch and Learn: Curry School of Education, U. of Virginia

In the mid-1980s, the Curry School of Education was in danger of losing its
accreditation. The school responded by overhauling its education program
and replacing its four-year teacher program with a five-year program that
provides subject matter mastery, ongoing classroom experience, an emphasis
on technology integration, and experienced teacher mentors once its
graduates enter the classroom. Then-Dean Jim Cooper guaranteed the quality
of Curry grads to Virginia superintendents. If necessary, Curry professors
would go out to schools and bring its new teachers up to speed. "We never
had to go out to a single school," Cooper says proudly.

III. Expert Interviews: Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University

"In the last 10 years there's been a lot of research done about what makes
a difference for student achievement, and it's now clear that the single
most important determinant of what students learn is what their teachers
know. Teacher qualifications, teacher's knowledge and skills, make more of
a difference for student learning than any other single factor."

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, a distinguished professor at Stanford University
and member of GLEF's National Advisory Board, describes the elements of an
effective teacher education program and how parents and policymakers can
play a role in improving teacher quality.

IV.  A Teacher Preparation Sampler

Examples of teacher education programs at colleges and universities that
have heeded the call for reform, particularly regarding early classroom
experience and technology instruction.

V. Teacher  Preparation Research

Research studies from the U.S. Department of Education, the Council for
Basic Education, and Public Agenda, among others, support the value of
hands-on experience, content knowledge, and technology know-how for student

VI. Take Action

Whether you are a parent, an aspiring teacher, policymaker, or school
administrator, you have a part to play in reforming the quality of our
teacher preparation programs.

* What Aspiring Teachers Can Do - Middle and high school students planning
a teaching career can take early steps to ensure they get the best

* What Business Can Do - Ideas and resources for businesses interested in
improving teacher preparation.

* What Parents Can Do - Strategies and resources to help ensure that
teachers at their schools get the right preparation.

* What Policymakers Can Do - Legislators, school board members, and other
officials institute crucial policies that have the power to revolutionize
teacher preparation.

* What School Administrators Can Do - Tools and resources for principals
and superintendents who want to hire the best-prepared teachers.

* What Schools of Education Can Do - How schools of education can advance
teacher preparation reform.

* What University Leaders Can Do - How university leaders can improve the
quality of teachers through their schools of education.

VII. GLEF Products

The video segments of Teacher Preparation, the latest addition to our
Teaching in the Digital Age Web-based series, are also available on

* Teacher Preparation: Becoming a Skillful Educator (60-minute
videocassette) - $12

Other products

* Emotional Intelligence: Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom
(75-minute videocassette) - $12
* School Leadership: Sherman Oaks Community Charter School (60-minute
videocassette) - $10
* Learn & Live Kit (300-page resource book and 60-minute videocassette) -
* Learn & Live CD (300-page book and 60-minute video) - $6

Our new online shopping cart is available at
or call 1.888.GLEF.ORG

The Foundation's primary mission is to gather and disseminate the most
innovative models of K-12 teaching and learning in the Digital Age. All our
products are available online. We also offer Free Shipping for orders sent
Ground within the continental United States.

The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) is a nonprofit operating
foundation located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Established in 1991 by
filmmaker George Lucas, the Foundation produces and distributes materials
sharing hundreds of powerful examples of learning and teaching already
successful in our nation's schools. We hope this information will stimulate
active involvement and guide choices in school reform.
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