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TCU Joins National Network to Transform Teacher Preparation

TCU has joined Deans for Impact Learning by Scientific Design, a national network aimed at transforming the way institutions prepare future teachers. The University has made a three-year commitment and will join eleven institutions across the country that prepare nearly 7,000 future educators.

Participating programs are redesigning how they prepare future teachers through the lens of learning science. Using data from a unique formative assessment developed by Deans for Impact, programs identify gaps in teacher-candidate understanding of learning science, develop action plans to address those gaps, implement changes to coursework and clinical experiences, and collect evidence to monitor improvements. Future teachers emerge with a deep understanding of learning-science principles and an ability to design rich instructional experiences for students.

“Making science about how students learn more accessible to our teacher candidates here at TCU will distinguish our program, our graduates and the impact they will have on their own K-12 students,” said College of Education Dean Frank Hernandez, one of the founding members of the Deans for Impact organization.

TCU’s team will use data collected from the formative assessment and video clips of teacher candidates to identify and address gaps in educator preparation, create action plans to make changes to coursework and clinical experiences and monitor improvements for efficiency.

“We will use the data from this project to continuously improve the way we plan instruction for our teacher candidates. We will work to ensure they have a deep understanding of learning-science principles and how to plan instruction using these principles,” said Jan Lacina, professor and associate dean of graduate studies.

“We believe that all teachers should begin their careers with a firm understanding of the science of how students learn,” said Benjamin Riley, founder and executive director of Deans for Impact. “At a moment of tremendous challenges for our education system, the Learning by Scientific Design network is helping programs maintain their focus on fostering excellent teaching that improves student learning.”

About Deans for Impact

Founded in 2015, Deans for Impact is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that every child is taught by a well-prepared teacher. We do this by connecting with leaders of educator preparation programs; helping them transform their programs; sustaining these transformations over time; and influencing policy that affects their work. In designing learning experiences, we aim to create inclusive and collaborative spaces that address participants’ real problems of practice, and provide concrete examples while recognizing the importance of local context.