The National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore and the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will lead to an exchange program for teacher credential candidates from both schools to study in the other country. The Teacher Education Program at UCSB will be the first U.S. university to whom the NIE will send its students. The first cohort will conduct a five-week practicum in local schools as part of the exchange.
Singapore’s education system has received much international attention after continuous strong performance in internationally benchmarked tests like the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Out of 65 countries and economies that took part in PISA 2009, Singapore students ranked fifth in Reading, second in Mathematics, and fourth in Science.
The contingent from NIE will be led by Dr. Tan Oon Seng, Dean of Teacher Education. In conjunction with the visit to UCSB, Dr. Tan will also be presenting the free public lecture “NIE’s Teacher education Model for the 21st Century: From Conceptualization to Implementation” on Friday, April 20 at 4 pm in Room 1217 in the Education Building on the UC Santa Barbara campus.
“We are very excited to be working so closely with Singapore’s excellent teacher education faculty and students,” says Tine Sloan, director of UCSB’s Teacher Education Program. “For the past two years, the Ministry of Education in Singapore has recruited graduates from our program, and now we will be able to send prospective teachers abroad to learn from them as well. This is an important step in our goal for an international focus that includes our pre-service training, our research agenda around teacher education, and the expanded opportunities for our graduates.”
UCSB’s Teacher Education Program offers a rigorous, 13-month, post-graduate M.Ed.+Credential program (an academic year with 2 summers). In fall 2011 the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing recommended the Teacher Education Program at UC Santa Barbara receive full re-accreditation with no stipulations and no concerns (a rare occurrence). It is one of the highest quality programs in the nation, with state-of-the art practice grounded in partner schools, a focus on teaching to reach ALL learners, and teacher educators with established records of success. TEP works with one cohort of teacher candidates per year and keeps the program small to ensure individualized attention for each teacher candidate (approximately 100 candidates). Course- and field-work is concurrent, which means candidates spend the entire academic year in schools, developing their practice with daily guidance, then extending their learning in afternoon/evening courses. This allows for a more streamlined, purposeful integration of university and fieldwork, which drives our faculty to collaborate across all aspects of teacher preparation. TEP strives for a community of learners where everyone – teacher candidates, teacher educators, and K-12 teachers – are working together to meet the needs of our new, our diverse, and our very different generation of learners.