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Abstract

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) released the Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) report on clinical preparation and partnerships for improved student learning, in November 2010. The report stresses the need for candidates to “blend practitioner knowledge with academic knowledge as they learn by doing” (NCATE, 2010, p. ii), stressing the importance of clinical preparation and P-12 partnerships in teacher preparation. The NCATE BRP Report calls for the transformation of teacher education through the application of clinical practice. Teacher candidates must have additional opportunities to “blend practitioner knowledge with academic knowledge as they learn by doing” (NCATE, 2010, p. ii). In order to ensure consistency in teacher preparation programs, the panel identified 10 design principles with clear strategies that facilitate the creation of clinically based teacher preparation programs. The 10 design principles for clinically based teacher preparation programs, as defined by NCATE (2010), are illustrated in the program that has been developed by the Education Division of the University of Pikeville, a private university situated in central Appalachia, in the east-most county in Kentucky. As clinical experiences –such as student teaching– are restyled, institutions must employ design principles and research to create learning experiences that focus on collaboration, co-teaching, and data-driven practice. This paper describes how these ideas have been implemented in the University of Pikeville’s education program and how they specifically relate to the ten principles laid out in the BRP Report (2010). The clinical elements of this program have evolved over several years in tandem with state regulations and current scholarship. The program is moving toward better serving teacher candidates in the program as it embraces new guidelines for teacher training. Co-teaching models, where both the cooperating teacher and teacher candidate share instructional responsibilities, provide greater opportunities for novices to learn from practice and increased student achievement.

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