At CTAPP, we believe aligned teacher preparation which mirrors the reality of classrooms is an integral piece of increasing classroom retention; one initiative we are excited to explore is the integration of High-Quality Instructional Materials into the courses at educator preparation programs to align coursework with district expectations. Teacher access to high quality curriculum resources has a measured positive effect on impact in the classroom (Kane, 2016), and our Teacher Preparation Model calls for the integration of curriculum resources into pre-service coursework and field experiences for novice teachers. Novice teachers, trained to be critical consumers of these resources, will have a smoother transition into the classroom, thus leading to increased retention year after year.
Ultimately, an effective teacher preparation program should provide teachers with access to high quality instructional materials to develop their ability to analyze, supplement, and facilitate quality curriculum. This is the heart of curriculum literacy, and CTAPP has partnered with programs across the nation to develop a Curriculum Literacy Guide that Educator Preparation Programs can utilize to assess and plan for the integration of this critical element in their teacher preparation trajectory.
We know that the initial step in building curriculum literacy begins with developing strong relationships with local education agencies in order to gain access to the tools and resources that teachers will be utilizing in the classroom. Additionally, programs must identify critical courses that should contain elements of high-quality instructional materials and begin to plan their revisions. We have been working with our partners to evaluate, adjust, and support the facilitation of coursework which engages novice teachers in authentic practices to boost their curriculum literacy. The Curriculum Literacy Guide will serve as a launching point for programs interested in expanding their support for novice teachers and paving developmental pathways toward the classroom.