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NCTQ investigated the extent to which America's traditional teacher preparation programs offer future teachers research-based strategies to help them better manage their classroom from the start of their teaching career. These strategies are so strongly supported by research that we refer to them as the Big Five.
However, instruction and practice on these strategies are generally scattered throughout the curriculum. The Big Five are rarely granted the connected and concentrated focus they deserve.
Most teacher preparation programs do not draw from research when deciding which classroom management strategies should be taught and practiced. Only 16% of programs we evaluated teach all of the Big Fivestrategies.
Classroom management strategies that foster student engagement, impose consistent consequences for misbehavior, and use praise and other means to reinforce positive behavior were the least common among the teacher prep sample.
Instruction is generally divorced from practice (and vice versa) in most programs, with little evidence that what gets taught gets practiced. Only one-third of programs require candidates to practice classroom management skills as they learn them.
The disconnect between classroom management instruction and practice may be clearest when teacher candidates are placed in PK-12 classrooms for a semester of student teaching. NCTQ has created a chartthat shows the rarity of instances when a strategy was addressed in a lecture, an assignment, and also a feedback indicator on the program's student teaching evaluation/observation forms.
Regrettably, we could not identify a single program in the sample that did well addressing all research-based strategies, identifying classroom management as a priority, strategically determining how it should be taught and practiced, and employing feedback accordingly. However, some programs are paying more attention to research and to the alignment of instruction and practice:St. Mary's College of Maryland, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington-Seattleare notable for aligning instruction and practice with research-basedstrategies.