Zeroing In

Shout out to Stephen Sawchuk for his EdWeek story. He spent a lot of time here, interviewing and observing residents, talking with our team, etc.

The Match Teacher Residency is one of a small number of teacher-preparation programs focusing on what's coming to be called "practice-based" teacher education. The approach is growing in popularity among charter groups and beginning to emerge in university-based programs as well.

A program like ours takes a lot of ideas discovered or invented by university-based scholars, and uses them in a particular way. Some folks ask me whether the arrow sometimes could point in the other direction: will ideas ever flow from residency programs back to university-based ones.

This is a key nugget:

University-based programs face a different set of challenges in devising coherent practice-based programs. They prepare teachers for dozens of districts, and faculty members are typically divided into clinical staff and researchers, not all of whom embrace the more-specific focus on practice.

"It's not only hierarchy, it's autonomy or uniqueness, where what you get rewarded for as a university faculty member is your own work, your own ideas, and your own research," said Magdalene Lampert, a former University of Michigan professor whose research with Ms. Kazemi and others has helped lay the groundwork for some of the university-based practice-oriented programs.

"If a novice is going to experience a coherent practice-based program, it needs to be operated by a group of people who can agree with each other."

Totally agree. Or even more specifically: operated by people who have built-in time to hash out the disagreements, something our team does every week.