Eight states are beginning a national pilot program to transform teacher education and preparation to emphasize far more infield, intensive training as is common practice in medical schools, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Teaching, like medicine, is a profession of practice,” said State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, who is co-chairwomam of the expert panel that released a report on the recommended changes Tuesday in Washington. “Making clinical preparation the centerpiece of teacher education will transform the way we prepare teachers.”

The pilot program developed by school and higher education officials with teachers unions to improve instruction is being done in California, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon and Tennessee as well as New York. The states agreed to implement the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning created by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Instead of exposing student teachers to varied classroom experiences at the end of their academic pursuit, the new system would put student teachers into classrooms earlier and more often. It could include rounds, similar to the system used in teaching hospitals in which mentors provide constant critiques to students in real-life situations…

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staff and wire services reports