Alder Presents Research Designs at AIR Teacher Education
Research Convening

Alder’s President, Heather Kirkpatrick, and Director of Research, Kristin Alvarez, recently returned from a two-day meeting of teacher education researchers in Washington, DC. Convened by American Institutes for Research (AIR), the gathering brought together researchers focused on the improvement of teacher preparation. Researchers had the opportunity to present research designs to one another and receive feedback and thought partnership from other participants. The invited researchers also engaged in an interesting discussion regarding the research methodologies most appropriate for studies aimed at the improvement of teacher preparation.

Kirkpatrick and Alvarez presented two research studies. One focused on the ways in which teacher residencies can maximize the effectiveness of having two adults in one classroom teaching students for an entire academic year. The aim of this study is to investigate the ways in which both adults can be best utilized to improve student learning, as well to promote the learning of the teacher candidate.

The second study seeks to “get under the hood” of the Director role in the Alder Teacher Residency. Akin to a field supervisor position, Alder Residency Directors observe and supervise candidates in the field, teach weekly seminars to residents, lead monthly mentor trainings, and serve as crucial boundary crossers between Alder and K–12 school sites. By exploring the Director role, Alder researchers aim to contribute to the literature on field supervisors and refine the role and responsibilities of Directors within Alder.

The October 2017 AIR teacher preparation research convening was the second of two meetings to advance research in the field. To learn more about the first meeting, visit AIR’s full report, “Fostering a New Approach to Research on Teacher Preparation: Results of the First Convening of Researchers, Practitioners, and K–12 Educators.”