Collaborative Transformation: Establishing Excellence in Elementary Preparation (EXCEED) will improve pre-service teacher training in core subject areas (math, science, social studies, English language arts/reading) and improve clinical experiences to better prepare candidates for K-5 classroom success and advanced study. Our innovative partnership between Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Education, FAU College of Science, FAU Honors College (Arts and Letters), the School Districts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties (two high-needs LEAs), Learning Sciences International (LSI), and New Teacher Center (NTC) links content, teaching, and assessment strategies in university coursework with clinical experiences and measurable outcomes. An objective performance feedback system will inform decisions for continuous improvement.
EXCEED will improve pre-service candidates’ preparation and impact on K-5 student achievement through a comprehensive program redesign with specific goals that will:
• Improve candidate content knowledge of the increasingly rigorous requirements for K-5 students and prepare candidates for graduate coursework;
• Identify and train highly effective teachers to serve as cooperating teachers in accordance with FL Statutes §1012 et. seq.;
• Use districts’ Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model© to document pre-service candidates’ instructional effectiveness after extensive professional development for all participants;
• Develop data-driven performance feedback systems to provide continuous program improvement.
The project design will be a quasi-experimental time series using learning gains of K-5 students taught by FAU teacher candidates as primary outcome measures. EXCEED will create objective candidate performance feedback systems during practica and internships to measure effectiveness of methods and content strategies in field experiences through comparison of actual to predicted student learning gains (short duration value-added growth measures). EXCEED also will identify and measure the success of interventions and support of student teachers in growth areas identified during practicum and internship experiences.
The significance (contribution) of EXCEED is a strengthened, replicable, sustainable teacher preparation program that equips novice teachers with individualized instructional competency profiles, showing strengths and growth areas that will lead them to sustained, supported self-improvement and prepare them for advanced study. The project will provide better prepared novice teachers to employing districts.