A “Common Core” for Teacher Prep?

Education Week‘s Stephen Sawchuk reports that the University of Michigan today unveiled Teaching Works, a new organization that will support new teacher training by focusing on 19 essential teacher practices.

Led by Deborah Lowenberg Ball, Teaching Works aims to bring clarity and precision to teacher training, tying learning objectives and teacher assessments to the ability to successfully demonstrate the core 19 “high-leverage” teacher practices.

Some examples of these 19 practices, cited here and here, are

  • Setting up and managing small-group work.
  • Selecting and using specific methods to assess students’ learning on an ongoing basis.
  • Conducting a meeting with a parent or caregiver.
  • Choosing and using representations, models, and examples of core content.
  • Eliciting and interpreting each student’s thinking.

Teaching Works is hosting a series of online seminars to discuss how to identify fundamental teaching practices and how to make them central to new teacher training. Register for the online seminars.

What teaching practices are most essential for new teachers?

This new program from the University of Michigan draws from its own research and effectiveness criteria identified by Charlotte Danielson, Doug Lemov, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, Teach for America, and the Teacher Advancement Program to provide an answer.


  1. Sounds like an interesting development, but announced from on high with more than a dose of the academic arrogance that the dean exhibits quite frequently. And while the research base hardly supports the idea that these 19 are the final word, Ball is already claiming that all the other efforts to develop and use standards should simply bow silently in her direction and go away quietly.
    Moses was satisfied with 10 items on his list; why does Michigan need 19?


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