Guiding Principles and Key Features of TR@TCTR@TC is guided by the larger Teachers College conceptual framework for teacher education programs, which emphasizes inquiry, curriculum, and social justice. With these overarching concepts in mind, TR@TC embraces a philosophy of inclusive education, seeking to prepare teachers of all students in schools. TR@TC’s philosophy of inclusive education is fundamentally about all students, and more specifically, about the cultural practices of schooling. Consequently, the full spectrum of challenges of contemporary schooling must be attended to, in order to generate transformative action. We interrogate and focus our efforts to actively challenge the many sociocultural, institutional, bureaucratic, and interpersonal ways in which children and their families experience marginalization and exclusion in schools (e.g., on the basis of race, ethnicity, social class, disability, gender, nationality, sexuality, language, religious affiliation, etc.). We simultaneously inquire into how such resistance can be translated into meaningful engagement within existing school systems and school practices in order to affect change.
TR@TC aims to support Residents to embrace the inherent ambiguities of teaching, to fashion their inclusive pedagogies through their own commitments as advocates for all children and youth, curriculum inquiry, reflective practice and the pursuit of social justice; and to conceptualize the work of inclusive educators as the complex, intellectual, and political work that it is.
Co-Teaching Student Teaching ModelTo support the Resident’s development as inclusive educators, TR@TC seeks to disrupt the current notions of student teaching by employing a co-teaching student teaching model in the residency placements. Developed as part of the Teacher Quality Enhancement grant at St. Cloud State University, “co-teaching in student teaching enables two professionally prepared adults to collaborate in the classroom, actively engaging students for extended periods of time.” (St. Cloud State University, Teacher Quality Enhancement Center, 2010, p. 4)
Research suggests that the co-teaching student teaching model builds stronger connections between universities and partnership schools, provides more opportunities for teacher candidates to teach, enhances communication skills between cooperating teachers and student teachers, and better meets the needs of P12 students than traditional models of student teaching (St. Cloud State University, Teacher Quality Enhancement Center, 2010).
To facilitate the co-teaching student teaching model, mentor teachers and Residents are offered ongoing professional development prior to and during the residency year.
Small Learning CommunitiesTR@TC seeks to foster and support small learning communities of professionals who engage in curriculum inquiry, reflective practice, and the pursuit of social justice within and across partnership schools. Specifically, TR@TC organizes mentor learning community meetings and encourages partnership schools to set aside time for Teaching Residents and Mentor Teachers to meet. The small learning communities may take the form of:
- Mentor Teachers and Teaching Residents within a partnership school working collaboratively to co-plan, analyze student assessment data, and reflect on teaching practice
- Teaching Residents working collaboratively in Integrating Seminar to explore ideas and develop skills in relation to teaching and learning
- Mentor teachers across schools collaborating to discuss, analyze and plan for their role as mentors
- Partnership schools and community-based organizations collaborating to meet the needs of the students that they serve.