“To keep America competitive, and to make the American dream of equal educational opportunity a reality, we need to recruit, reward, train, learn from, and honor a new generation of talented teachers. But the bar must be raised for successful teacher preparation programs because we ask much more of teachers today than even a decade ago. Today teachers are asked to achieve significant academic growth for all students at the same time that they instruct students with ever-more diverse needs. Teaching has never been more difficult, it has never been more important, and the desperate need for more student success has never been so urgent. Are we adequately preparing future teachers to win this critical battle?” – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, 2009
This is an exciting and challenging time for teacher educators. The nature of teaching is changing. In an effort to transform themselves into exemplary educator preparation institutions, many programs are becoming more entrepreneurial, recognizing new opportunities and making changes required to respond to the needs of 21st century learners.
We have the opportunity to establish a vibrant vision for educator preparation, one that leverages the best of what has worked in the past, combined with what educators need now and in the future, in order to prepare all students for the future they deserve. In order to meet the demands of the global economy we must exemplify, and embed in instruction, the mastery of 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation. This includes the application of technology to support more robust instructional methods and understanding the relationship between content, pedagogy and technology through dissemination of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) theory and research (American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education 2008, US Department of Education 2010). In order to do this, we need to reenvision the classroom space and technology that we are using to reach our learners.
Ivy Tech Hamilton County is seeking to create an Education Preparation lab that provides the opportunity for students to build the 21st century skills needed to be successful in their careers.