Forward Arkansas invites CEHS educators to share innovative approaches for teacher preparation

Apr 23, 2024 | Education and Human Sciences, Faculty/Staff

Educators from Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS) recently shared their innovative approaches with Arkansas teacher preparation programs at the Forward Arkansas Educator Preparation Program Design Collaborative. This initiative brings Arkansas educators together to champion high-quality teacher training.

Dr. Amy Vessel, Clinical Director of the Clinical Residency & Recruitment Center (CRRC), and Dr. Don Schillinger, Chair of the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership (CIL), shared insights into the department’s decade-long journey in developing and sustaining teacher residencies, the power of establishing a co-teaching approach, and the proven value of utilizing a TEAM (Teacher Educators and Mentors) model.

“When we established the TEAM Model in 2015, we had a substantive vision for what we believed to be a plan for year-long co-teaching,” Vessel said. “As we added any new piece to the model, including redesigning program plans of study, it has typically taken three years to shift from the learning phase to solid implementation.”

“Our partnership with policymakers, particularly with former Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White and his staff, was crucial,” Schillinger added. “Their support, both financial and regulatory, helped us navigate challenges and celebrate victories, contributing significantly to our success.”

Reflecting on the process of starting the model, both educators offered advice for programs embarking on similar endeavors. They emphasized the importance of finding passionate individuals, establishing regular check-ins, seeking research-based practices, valuing team members, and maintaining open reflection.

“All of this works because of the commitment of dedicated and talented teacher preparation faculty,” Schillinger said. “Their efforts to revise our programs to accommodate the year-long clinical residency cannot be understated.”

The Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership remains at the forefront of high-quality teacher preparation, driven by a steadfast commitment to excellence through education.

Visit here for more information on the Clinical Residency & Recruitment Center and the TEAM Model.