“Little Has Changed in the Critique of Ed Schools”

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FOR RELEASE: April 29, 2014

Beverly Sanford | Vice President for Communications | (609) 452-7007 x181 (press only)


WW’s Fraser outlines a half-century of criticisms of teacher prep, calls for change

PRINCETON, NJ—The U.S. Department of Education’s renewed call for accountability on the part of teacher preparation programs is likely to fuel continued controversy about the subject, just as it did in 2012, in a first attempted round of rulemaking for federal teacher preparation funds.

But the controversy, as James W. Fraser explains in a new white paper from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, is more than a half-century old, and the problems have remained intransigent.

In “Considering the Future of University-Based Teacher Preparation,” Fraser, a noted historian of education, reviews decades of challenges to traditional teacher preparation, looks at some current reforms, and calls for a commitment to “reshaping the way that universities prepare great teachers for our schools.”

Dr. Fraser, Senior Advisor to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, is a former Senior Vice President of the Foundation. He is also Professor of History and Education at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, and was the founding dean of Northeastern University’s school of education.

“We as a nation could invest massive capital, both literal and social, in trying to do away with [university-based teacher preparation],” Dr. Fraser writes, “or we can… follow the lead of some of [the] forward‐looking teacher preparation programs around the country, while at the same time refusing to accept the excuses of those who are not willing to change the way they operate.”

Funding for the white paper was provided in part by the Annenberg Foundation. The full paper is available at http://woodrow.org/news/publications/.

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Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops leaders to meet the nation’s most critical challenges.


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