Thursday, September 08, 2011

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calls U-M School of Education a national model

Tags: bahr, bain, ball, cohen, digital signage, palincsar, sellers, teacher education, teacher education initiative, teacher quality

Arne Duncan, the United States Secretary of Education, visited the School of Education on September 8, 2011.  He and a panel, including our faculty members Deborah Loewenberg Ball, David Cohen, Bob Bain, Annemarie Palincsar, Peter Bahr, and Robert Sellers, along with Dedrick Martin, superintendent of Ypsilanti Public Schools, and Jordan Peshke, a current student in our elementary teacher education program,  discussed strategies to promote excellence in America's classrooms.

A September 8, 2011, article on, reports that Duncan identified our school as a national model: "The model you guys are continuing to establish and adjust here has extraordinary national implications," said Duncan.

A September 8, 2011, article on quotes Duncan speaking about the school's accomplishments: "You should be so proud of what you're doing here."

Some of the elements of our teacher education programs that have impressed Duncan are an emphasis on frequent and consistent in-the-classroom experience. Students in our secondary education track are in community classrooms from their first semester until they graduate. Another attribute of our programs is a focus on identifying the components that comprise the practice of teaching--classroom management, leading a discussion, etc.--and having the students specifically study, rehearse, perform, and be assesed on their competence with these practices.

As Ball said at the event, quoted in a September 9, 2011, article in the university's Record Update, "We have redesigned the program to focus directly on teacher's skills. We're actually putting them in schools and supervising them critically, then evaluating their performance."

A September 8, 2011, article in the Ann Arbor Journal provides additional information about the event and about our teacher education programs.

The Michigan Daily also reported on the event, with an article in their September 9, 2011, issue.

The Department of Education quickly produced a video capturing some of the highlights of the event. Also available is a video of the entire discussion. The one-hour, three-minute video can be watched online.


Deborah Loewenberg Ball is William H. Payne Collegiate Chair, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and dean of the School of Education.

David Cohen is John Dewey Collegiate Professor, School of Education; and professor, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Bob Bain is an associate professor, School of Education; and an associate professor, Department of History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Annemarie Palincsar is professor of education; Jean and Charles Walgreen Professor of Reading and Literacy; Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; and associate dean for academic affairs.

Peter Bahr is an assistant professor in the School of Education.

Robert Sellers is professor, School of Education; and professor, Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

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