How can we best prepare pre-service teachers to succeed in the classroom - and to stay in teaching over time? The onesize-fits-all model of traditional teacher education programs has been widely criticized, yet the most popular alternative - fast-track programs - have at best a mixed record of success. An increasing number of districts and charter networks are trying to fill this void with a third option: "grow-your-own" teacher preparation programs tailored to specific school contexts and the needs of the populations they serve.
In Inspiring Teaching, leading teacher educator Sharon Feiman-Nemser and her colleagues investigate this "contextspecific" approach to teacher education. They draw on the Choosing to Teach study, a detailed multiyear investigation ofthree selective, mission-driven teacher preparation programs - the Urban Teacher Education Program at the University of Chicago, the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame, and the Day School Leadership through Teaching program at Brandeis University - that traces each program's impact on graduates during their first few years of teaching.
Feiman-Nemser and her colleagues show how teacher education programs like these can help teachers develop the understanding, commitment, tools, and strategies they need to teach in specific settings. By tracking the professional growth of teachers in these programs and documenting the challenges they encounter in their respective school sectors, the book explores and illustrates the ways in which these mission-driven programs select and prepare teachers for particular school environments.
Sharon Feiman-Nemser is the Mandel Professor of Jewish Education at Brandeis University, USA and the founding director of the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education. Eran Tamir is a senior research associate and lecturer in education at Brandeis University, USA. Karen Hammerness is an associate professor and director of program research at Bard College, USA.