Teacher residencies, year-long programs that allow teaching candidates to work alongside experienced teachers while learning how to teach, have been praised as a teacher training model with great potential.
Indeed, there is consistent research showing that teachers trained through residencies are more likely to stay in the profession, potentially reducing churn in schools and costs of finding and training new teachers.
But preliminary new research focusing on Denver’s residency program showed that teachers trained through the program were less effective at improving student achievement in math than other novice teachers in Denver.
This echoes the findings of a study on the Boston Teacher Residency, a prominent example of the approach. In that case, residency-trained teachers also were less effective in math in their first years in the classroom — though they improved fairly quickly.
Together, the positive impacts on teacher retention and the more tepid effectiveness results might still suggest that residencies are worthwhile. But some see the enthusiasm getting ahead of the evidence, particularly in light of the steep price tag of such models.
“I am amazed by how much enthusiasm this idea seems to be generating, despite the fact that we don’t have much evidence to support it,” said Marty West, a Harvard professor who studied the Boston program.
An EdNext article by Katherine Newman looked at several new teacher training models, including the Boston Teacher Residency, and an article by June Kronholz looks at how the Relay graduate school of education trains teachers.
— Education Next