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Lynne Hamer - Coordinator



Research Supporting Teach Toledo

Teach Toledo combines elements of the “grow your own teacher” movement with research on effective urban education.

The “grow your own” movement is based on the premise that it is more efficient and effective to educate persons with lived urban experience to be highly-skilled teachers, than it is to educate persons without lived urban experience to teach effectively in urban settings. 

Research on effective urban education strongly recommends taking a contextualized approach to teacher education. This means that teachers need to learn to teach for the context—the neighborhood, the community, the institutional structures—in which they intend to teach.

Standards for Urban Teaching.  Oakes et al. (2002) noted, “urban teachers need more than the generic teaching competencies…. They need to understand local urban cultures, the urban political economy, the bureaucratic structure of urban schools, and the community and social service support networks serving urban centers” (p. 228). In response to research on urban needs and urban education, Peterman & Sweigard (2007) devised the following Urban Teaching Standards.  The teacher candidate who is prepared for successful urban teaching:

  1. “creates a context in which identity formation … is valued and advanced when interacting…”;
  2. “enacts standards-based teaching—that is, systematically assessing students’ prior knowledge…; expressing high expectations; and providing a variety of opportunities for learning…”;
  3. “promotes students’ learning by using culturally responsive pedagogy…”;
  4. “uses a variety of strategies for meeting the special needs of students…”;
  5. “applies theories of language learning…”;
  6. “creates a classroom environment of nonviolence that promotes conflict resolution…”
  7. “effectively addresses the inequities of policies, practices, and achievement related to race, class, gender, and linguistic differences…”;
  8. “demonstrates a strong commitment to urban schooling and community renewal… through community activism…”;
  9. “addresses the bureaucratic complexities and demands of urban settings by responding appropriately….” (Peterman & Sweigard, 2007, p. 34)

The required coursework in the Teach Toledo Associate Degree has been selected to align with these standards.

Effective Teaching In Urban Schools:

The following research has been used in developing Teach Toledo and may be of interest to those wanting to know more about designing teacher education for urban schools.

Alliance for Excellent Education. (2014). On the path to equity: Improving the effectiveness of beginning teachers.  Retrieved from http://all4ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/PathToEquity.pdf

Association of Teacher Educators. (n.d.). Standards for teacher educators. Retrieved from http://www.ate1.org/pubs/uploads/tchredstds0308.pdf

Au, W. (2005/6). Teacher quality: Conversations on quality, an interview with Gloria Ladson-Billings. Rethinking Schools, Winter 2005/2006. Retrieved from http://www.rethinkingschools.org/special_reports/quality_teachers/glor202.html  

Boser, U. (2011). Teacher diversity matters: A state-by-state analysis of teachers of color.  Project 2050 of the Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2011/11/pdf/teacher_diversity.pdf

Chou, V., & Tozer, S. (2008). What's urban got to do with it? The meanings of urban in urban teacher preparation and development. In F. Peterman (Ed.), Partnering to prepare urban teachers: A call to activism (pp. 1-20). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Couch-Maddox, S. (1999). Teachers’ Perceptions of African American Male Students in an Urban School System. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Clark Atlanta University.

Downey, D., & Pribesh, S. (2004). When race matters: Teachers’ evaluations of students’ behavior. Sociology of Education, 77 (October), 267–282.

Feiman-Nemser, S., Tamir, E., & Hammerness, K. (Eds.). (2015). Inspiring teaching: Context-specific teacher preparation for the 21st century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Freedman, S. W., & Appleman, D. (2009). “In it for the long haul”: How teacher education can contribute to teacher retention in high poverty urban schools. Journal of Teacher Education, 60(3), 323-357.

Goosen, C. (2008, May 8). Chicago’s unique program makes teachers out of moms: The unique teacher education model uplifts women of color. Retrieved from http://www.lsna.net/Issues-and-programs/Schools-and-Youth/Chicagos-Unique-Program-Makes-Teachers-Out-of-Moms.html    

Lugo, J. (2015, May 8). Investing in homegrown teachers has long-term payoff. Crain’s Chicago Business. Retrieved from http://www.growyourownteachers.org/

Matsko, K., & Hammerness, K. (2014). Unpacking the “urban” in urban teacher education: Making a case for context-specific preparation. Journal of Teacher Education, 65(2), 128–144.

Oakes, J., Franke, M. L., Quartz, K. H., & Rogers, J. (2002). Research for high quality urban teaching: Defining it, developing it, and assessing it. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(3), 228-234.

Peterman, F., & Sweigard, K. (2008). Defining standards that respond to the urban context: A call to action. In F. Peterman (Ed.), Partnering to prepare urban teachers: A call to activism (pp. 21-40). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Quartz, K. H., Lyons, K. B., Masyn, K., Olsen, B., Anderson, L., Thomas, A., & Horng, E. (2004). Urban teacher retention policy: A research brief. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA’s Institute for Democracy. Education, and Access (IDEA). Retrieved from http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1mw9h5m1 

Schultz, B.D. (2008). Spectacular Things Happen Along the Way: Lessons from an Urban Classroom. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Toldson, I. (2011). Breaking Barriers 2: Plotting the Path Away from Juvenile Detention and toward Academic Success for School-age African American Males. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

Last Updated: 11/13/17