ERIC Identifier: ED358069
Publication Date: 1993-06-00
Author: Foxwell, Elizabeth
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Teacher Education Washington DC.
Making the Grade: Teacher Education's Role in Achieving the
National Education Goals. ERIC Digest.
The 1989 Charlottesville Education Summit of the nation's governors resulted
in the National Education Goals, which describe six priorities for public
schools to achieve by the year 2000. Educators across the country supported the
Goals' high aims, yet also expressed reservations (Voices, 1991). As originally
written, the Goals did not include a distinct role for higher education nor did
they acknowledge the importance of teachers to their success (p. 26, 27).
Policymakers have begun to address the omission and have proposed an
additional Goal that calls for teachers to "have access to programs for the
continued improvement of their professional skills and the opportunity to
acquire such knowledge and skills needed to instruct and prepare all American
students for the next century," by the year 2000 (Taylor, 1993). This Digest
highlights initiatives taken by the teacher education community in support of
achieving the Goals.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHER EDUCATION?
of education recognize that new, collaborative methods are needed to enable
teachers to reach the students of tomorrow and ensure every child's success
(Guy, in press). Organizations such as the National Board for Professional
Teaching Standards and the Holmes Group, among others, are working to design
standards to ensure comprehensive, quality teaching.
Former Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) Assistant
Secretary Christopher T. Cross observed, "For student learning to improve,
teacher learning must also improve" (Cross, 1991). The State Higher Education
Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) has called for funding professional
development programs for teachers at the college level, conducting teacher
education in clinical settings, and improving the provision of professional
enrichment programs (SHEEO, 1991). Release time for teachers' professional
development and universal recognition of teaching as a genuine profession could
also contribute to successful attainment of the Goals.
HOW IS TEACHER EDUCATION RESPONDING?
institutions have shaped the original six Goals into programs that can help
prospective teachers and their future students. In a 1992 survey, over 90% of
more than 600 private colleges and universities were conducting eight or more
programs related to the National Education Goals (Report, 1993).
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) recast the
Goals to reflect the involvement of teacher educators by adding strategies for
learning to accompany each Goal (AACTE, 1992, p. 13):
GOAL 1: Readiness for School
Strategy--All schools will be ready for children.
GOAL 2: High School Completion
Strategy--Schools and teachers will receive necessary support to engage all
children in learning, including development of special programs for those most
GOAL 3: Student Achievement and Citizenship
Strategy--Teachers will be proficient in the subjects they teach and the
pedagogies to teach them. They will be skilled in the use of assessment to
diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of individual learners.
GOAL 4: Science and Mathematics
Strategy--U.S. citizens will be first in the world in thinking skills and
GOAL 5: Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning
Strategy--Schools and businesses will join together to enhance workers'
abilities, both in the classroom and beyond.
GOAL 6: Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-free Schools
Strategy--All children will be guaranteed a safe learning environment. To
that end, every child in America will be taught by a fully qualified, licensed,
ARE NEW APPROACHES BEING TRIED?
Teacher educators must
prepare qualified teachers for a new kind of classroom. Following are
descriptions of projects undertaken by schools, colleges, and departments of
education to meet the National Education Goals (AACTE, 1992).
GOAL 1: Colleges of education are fostering early literacy, developing
collaborative services, providing intervention programs, and building teachers'
skills in working with children from disadvantaged families.
Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, sponsors a therapeutic preschool
classroom for abused or neglected children, including individualized instruction
emphasizing school readiness skills. A mental health professional provides the
children with daily counseling. Peabody College also administers the Tennessee
Outreach Training Project, which offers information to programs serving young
children with disabilities on best practices.
The Department of Teacher Education at Bradley University (IL) helps operate
a program where at-risk children attend preschool four days per week. On the
fifth day, teachers receive inservice training at the university or conduct home
visits. Classrooms serve as field sites for early childhood education majors and
for teachers requiring inservice training.
GOAL 2: Teacher educators have established linkages with secondary schools
and other partners, enabling academically troubled high school students to
attend college or vocational programs and exposing teacher education students to
experiences that will arise in their classrooms.
To help rural disadvantaged students, the College of Education at Eastern
Kentucky University provides tutorials to at-risk 9th- and 10th-grade students
to build math, language arts, and study skills. Marian College (WI) sponsors a
mentoring program where education students work with elementary-grade students
GOAL 3: Teacher educators have initiated programs to build skills in
multicultural areas as well as in rigorous academic subjects so that new
teachers can challenge their students to reach their full potential.
Northeastern State University (OK) started a pilot program to aid in the
transition of at-risk students from rural schools into middle schools. Courses
in the Education Department at the College of St. Elizabeth (NJ) emphasize
living and teaching in a pluralistic society and feature preservice
opportunities to work with children of diverse backgrounds. Florida State
University's College of Education developed new strategies to prepare teachers
of children with limited proficiency in English.
GOAL 4: Teacher educators have established partnerships with businesses,
schools, and representatives from other academic disciplines to help foster
student interest in science and mathematics from a very young age. Increasing
the number of women and people of color entering mathematics and science careers
is also a priority. Efforts include improving teachers' skills in the use of
technology in the classroom, linking them with industry, and designing inservice
programs to strengthen their math and science knowledge.
Since 1976, Wesleyan College (GA), has sponsored "Expanding Your Horizons in
Science and Mathematics" conferences for middle and high school girls and runs a
math and science summer camp for middle school girls.
The Dayton Science Project of the University of Dayton's College of Education
(OH) links public schools, professional associations, a museum, software
publishers, research institutes, and local industry to redesign the K-12 science
curriculum; develop a communications technology network between science and math
teachers and students, industry leaders, and government staff; and create
science content and pedagogy workshops for teachers.
GOAL 5: Higher education institutions have moved into the workplace and other
community areas to promote literacy and lifelong learning. Projects include
tutoring programs that pair prospective teachers with elementary students and
on-site classes for workers featuring computer technology.
The University of Miami Student Literacy Project includes undergraduate
education majors who tutor at-risk elementary school students. A program to
improve the literacy skills of Sara Lee employees is operating with a
partnership among North Carolina State University-Raleigh, the U.S. Department
of Education, the corporation, and Forsyth Community College. Basic and
job-related skills are emphasized in an in-plant instructional program;
employees are granted release time to attend classes. A supervised learning lab
is computer equipped.
GOAL 6: Colleges of education are trying to provide teachers with the skills
to deal with the social problems they face in the classroom. Drug awareness
programs, counseling skills, and resources are a few of the services offered in
partnership with parents, administrators, and others.
Junior and senior education undergraduates at the University of West Florida
participated in three pilot modules on drug prevention--classifications of drugs
and ways to identify users; drug use history; and problems in monitoring school
policy and introducing drug prevention education into the curriculum.
Achieving the National Education Goals will
depend on teachers' abilities to meet great challenges, devise and use effective
learning strategies, and work with many partners to enable all children to meet
their full potential. Teacher educators are working to provide their students
with the necessary skills to meet the demands of tomorrow's classrooms.
References identified with an ED number
(documents) are in the ERIC database. Documents are available in ERIC microfiche
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the ERIC Document Reproduction Service: (800) 443-ERIC. For more information,
contact the ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education.
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education [AACTE]. (1992). The
National Education Goals: The AACTE member response. Washington, DC: Author. ED
Cross, C. T. (1991, February 27). Education research and development for
teacher learning: Leadership roles. Speech presented at the Annual Meeting of
the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Atlanta, GA. ED 336
Guy, M. (Ed.). (in press). Teachers and teacher education: Essays on the
National Education Goals. Washington, DC: Clearinghouse on Teacher Education and
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Report looks at national ed goal programs. (1993, April 5). ACE Higher
Education & National Affairs, p. 4.
State Higher Education Executive Officers Association [SHEEO]. (1991,
August). Higher education and school reform: Creating the partnership. Denver,
CO: Author. ED 337 110
Taylor, T. A. (1993, May 24). Congress confronts Goals 2000, national
service. AACTE Briefs, p. 1.
Voices from the field: 30 expert opinions on America 2000, The Bush
administration strategy to "reinvent" America's schools. (1991, April).
Washington, DC: Institute for Educational Leadership and William T. Grant
Foundation, Commission on Work, Family, and Citizenship. ED 336 823