The new Coherence and Assignment Study in Teacher Education (CAte Study) – a crucial research component of Norway's substantial reform of teacher preparation – examines key features of six high quality programs, two each from Norway, Finland, and the United States. The two U.S. programs are at Stanford University and the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara. This ground-breaking study will help Norway decide how best to invest substantial resources and efforts in teacher quality and education. Norway consistently has been ranked number one by the United Nation's Human Development Index, a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living of a country. The comparative Cate Study strengthens the potential for learning by providing important cross-cultural perspectives and different models.
"We are extremely pleased to have been selected as one of the high quality programs involved in this effort," says Tine Sloan, director of the Teacher Education Program at UC Santa Barbara. "We are excited to research with and learn from other top programs in countries with high educational achievements. It will expand our understandings of the practices that promote ideal teacher development and inform state and national calls to improve teacher education."
This project draws upon recent research and scholarship on teacher education in order to analyze key features of powerful teacher education programs and particular instructional practices. Emerging research suggests that in order to be effective, teacher education programs need to promote a clear vision of teachers and teaching; must be coherent, reflecting a shared understanding of teaching and learning among faculty and students; and finally, need to be built around a strong core curriculum deeply tied to teaching practice. The researcher will use these elements as a framework for analysis in order to engage in a cross-cultural comparative design as a means for embarking upon a program of high-quality comparative research in teacher education. Few studies have examined the nature of the pedagogies within teacher education programs across different national contexts. In order to make key policy decisions about effective teacher preparation, Norway needs empirical research that examines the pedagogical and structural features of powerful teacher education programs within as well as across countries.
The Teacher Education Program at UC Santa Barbara offers the Multiple- Subject, the Single-Subject, and the Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Teaching Credentials with a Master's Degree in Education. These programs provide future teachers with a solid theoretical foundation integrated with extensive fieldwork that leads to both a California State Teaching Credential and a Master's Degree in Education. The programs are run as a cohort, with the elementary and secondary cohorts no larger than 60 students each. This allows for the individualized attention necessary for high-level preparation of reflective, skilled practitioners who can meet the needs of a diversity of learners in California schools. The Teaching Credential Programs are full-time, post-graduate programs that begin in June and conclude the following June. Teacher candidates have the option to work on the Master's Degree concurrent with credential coursework. 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.