For a long time, teacher education focused on learning and pedagogical theory, with minimal time spent in actual classrooms. Time for practice – that is, actually instructing in front of a class – was secondary to course work. Over the years, this began to shift as new programs addressed the need for more prepared, diverse candidates in the profession.
This is a time of fast-paced change and global innovation. In classrooms and schools across the country, there is a critical lack of teachers who are prepared to meet this changing world and serve students’ 21st-century learning needs.
Additionally, many communities across the country face teacher shortages, exacerbated by the lack of well-prepared teachers.5 This tends to disproportionately impact marginalized and historically underrepresented students and communities.
Teacher residencies, akin to medical residencies, address these long-standing challenges. Researchers, institutes of higher education, and school leaders alike see promise in this model that provides prospective teachers with both rigorous course work and practical hands-on experience in a classroom.