Professor Discusses Future of Teacher Education at Kimball Lecture Sept. 28

Professor Discusses Future of Teacher Education at Kimball Lecture Sept. 28

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tom Schram, associate professor of education.Tom Schram, associate professor of education, will deliver the distinguished Kimball Lecture Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. The title of his lecture is ""Redefining the End of Teacher Education."

Presented by the UNH Department of Education, the Kimball Lecture will take place at 4 p.m. in the MUB Theatre II. A reception will follow. It is free and open to the public.

“Teacher education is at a serious crossroads. The impact of policy initiatives on teacher education reform has reached what some call ‘crisis proportions’ and sent our profession into a serious reactive mode. The challenges we face are exacerbated by the way the federal government under both the Bush and Obama administrations has sent mixed messages to potential teachers, parents of K-12 students, policymakers, providers, and accreditors about what should be required in the preparation of teachers,” said Schram, who also directs UNH’s teacher education program.

“And there is no disputing the fact that university-based teacher education, in particular, is being vilified by everyone these days, from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and our own state legislators to the National Council on Teacher Quality and designers of fast-track alternative pathways to teacher certification,” he said. “We're dealing with a host of factors—a focus on teacher effectiveness, data-driven instruction, a culture of high-stakes testing, among others—that may affect student achievement without questioning whether the achievement is meaningful.”

To address how teacher educators hold themselves accountable, Schram will discuss how teacher quality is being framed as a large-scale public policy problem and the federal pressure to hold teacher education programs accountable through high-stakes rating systems.

“We are in the midst of a policy culture that seems to favor looking for ways to include some degree of teacher value-added measures as part of a larger package for teacher evaluation—and, in like fashion, it appears the U.S. Department of Education is going to try to compel institutions of higher education like UNH to accept regulations that judge the quality of teacher preparation institutions by the test scores of K-12 students taught by their graduates,” he said. 

Schram is the 16th recipient the Roland and Charlotte Kimball Faculty Fellowship, which is awarded each year to an outstanding member of the Department of Education who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in his or her field. Past recipients have included Joe Onosko, Todd DeMitchell, John Carney, Michael Andrew, Ann Diller, Nodie Oja, Grant Cioffi, Barbara Houston, and Georgia Kerns.

Schram received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. His research has focused on teacher preparation, teacher learning, and school-university collaborations. His honors and awards include the UNH College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the New England Educational Research Organization, and the Outstanding Dissertation Award in Teaching and Teacher Education from the American Educational Research Association Division K.

Established by Charlotte and Roland Kimball, '42, professor emeritus of education, the Roland and Charlotte Kimball Faculty Fellowship recognizes members of the faculty of the university's Department of Education.