Teacher Preparation

Teaching Quality

As students return to school, this spotlight focuses on our research on teaching quality and its impact on student learning and long-term academic success of students. IDRA has outlined four dimensions of teaching quality:

  • Instructional Leadership: Creating an environment accepting of and suitable for all students, where communication is key.
  • Instructional Focus: Acknowledging the diversity of students and committing to meeting their needs. The educational community procures the proper materials and ongoing professional development.
  • Safe and Orderly School Climate: Students and their families are treated with respect, the students feel safe in school, and they are afforded opportunities for leadership roles.
  • High Student Expectations: Students feel valued and are aware of the high expectations of them.

IDRA’s work in defining teacher quality emphasizes that this quality must also be accompanied by teaching quality in the context of a supportive school and community environment as exemplified in the Quality Schools Action Framework™.  Developed in 2005, the Quality Schools Action Framework™ is a change model for school reform that emphasizes that widespread, effective change can only happen when the many aspects of the system work together toward the success of all students. This requires valuing all learners no matter the color of their skin, wealth, religion, gender, national origin, language characteristics, or orientation.

IDRA moves beyond simply defining quality as credentials and includes teacher perspective, instructional strategies, and the surrounding organization of the school and community.

Report Provides 15-Year Synthesis of IDRA’s Transition to Teaching Program

An IDRA report outlines the contributions of IDRA’s 15 years in teacher preparation through six multi-year Transition to Teaching grants, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. IDRA partnered with universities and more than 55 school districts across Texas to prepare a new generation of skilled, effective teachers to lead and innovate in schools that need them most. The projects recruited over 800 recent graduates and mid-career professionals who were working in fields other than teaching. These new teachers participated in university coursework and intense professional development while in a first-year paid teaching internship. They committed to working in high-need school districts for a set number of years.

See the report.

See news release with highlights.

See infographic.

Alianza Teacher Preparation Research Publications   

In 1998, IDRA and the Mexican and American Solidarity Foundation created a model teacher preparation and leadership development program with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Learn more about the IDRA Alianza project. Research publications developed through the project are below.

Méxican Normalista Teachers as a Resource for Bilingual Education in the United States: Connecting Two Models of Teachers Preparation
This publication provides an international comparative perspective on teacher preparation in Mexico and the United States, with a special focus on the preparation of bilingual education teachers. Its primary audience consists of teacher educators, program administrators, international transcript evaluators, and registrars in the United States working with students who have prior teacher preparation in the Mexican system. Therefore, the largest section of the monograph is dedicated to providing a thorough description of this system. (IDRA and Arizona State University; No ISBN; Paperback; 100 Pages; 1999; $28.00)

Spanish Language Proficiency of Bilingual Education Teachers
This monograph addresses a long ignored issue in bilingual education, the academic Spanish language proficiency of bilingual education teachers. The author draws on relevant literature and research and on personal experiences to discuss this dimension of bilingual education. (IDRA and Arizona State University; No ISBN; Paperback; 64 Pages; 1999; $20.00)

Certification and Endorsement of Bilingual Education Teachers: A Comparison of State Licensure Requirements
This monograph addresses a long ignored issue in bilingual education, the academic Spanish language proficiency of bilingual education teachers. The author draws on relevant literature and research and on personal experiences to discuss this dimension of bilingual education. (IDRA and Arizona State University; No ISBN; Paperback; 64 Pages; 1999; $20.00).

The Views of Mexican Normalista and U.S. Bilingual Education Teachers: An Exploratory Study of Perceptions, Beliefs and Attitudes
This monograph reports on conversations held with the normalista teachers involved in Project Alianza before they completed their studies and became credentialed in the United States. The authors sought the teachers? views about the teaching profession, the preparation of teachers and the role of teachers in the community. The report shows great congruence between these teachers and their US reared counterparts involved in bilingual education programs. Nonetheless, some differences exist and these may become more than marked once the teachers enter US classrooms and begin to practice the profession they interrupted, often for many years, as they sought a social and economic footing in this country. (IDRA and Arizona State University; No ISBN; Paperback; 82 Pages; 2000; $23.00)

Elementary Curricula in Mexico and the United States: A Comparative Analysis of Content Standards and Objectives
In this monograph, John Petrovic (now of the University of Alabama) begins the much needed task of comparing the curricula of public schools in the United States and those in Mexico. As was the case with the teacher education report, we were faced here with a difficult comparison since the K-12 curriculum is national in Mexico and thoroughly decentralized in the United States. By focusing on two key states with large Hispanic populations, Petrovic was able to identify differences and similarities in the curriculum objectives for math and language arts in the two countries. It is the first of many such analyses that should be carried out in order to pin down the differences between what bi-national children experience in one country and in the other. (IDRA and Arizona State University; No ISBN; Paperback; 118 Pages; 2000; $33.00)

Teacher Recruitment and Employment Practices in Selected States: Promising Prospects for Foreign-Trained Teachers
This monograph broadens the perspective to include the experience of states and school districts that have credentialed foreign-trained teachers, other than those involved in Project Alianza. We set out to document, in broad terms, the collective experience of these entities in order to identify problems and opportunities that others have had in working with foreign teachers, chiefly normalistas. We were pleased to find that these efforts have been mostly positive. Problems and obstacles exist, but are not intransigent and can be solved with only modest effort and the will to act. (IDRA and Arizona State University; No ISBN; Paperback; 56 Pages; 2001; $16.00)

El Desarrollo del Proyecto Alianza: Lessons Learned and Policy Implications
This study documents the design and implementation of Alianza and synthesizes the lessons learned by various institutions involved in the process. This publication is designed to inform others who may be interested in doing similar research and display what might be expected as they attempt to implement the general concept of Alianza. (IDRA and Arizona State University; No ISBN; Paperback; 98 Pages; 2002; $28.00)

These publications were prepared by the Center for Bilingual Education and Research, College of Education, Arizona State University as a resource for Project Alianza – a consortium of organizations and universities working to improve preparation programs for bilingual education teachers. Project Alianza was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through a collaboration of Intercultural Development Research Association and the Mexican and American Solidarity Foundation.