Student Teaching Apprenticeships in Context: The Importance of Specific Human Capital in Early-Career Teacher Development
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This study seeks to contribute to both lines of prior research by leveraging data on the student teaching experiences of over 20,000 teacher candidates that have been assembled as part of the Teacher Education Learning Collaborative (TELC), a partnership with 15 of the 21 teacher education programs (TEPs) that place student teachers in Washington. TEPs participating in TELC have produced 79% of newly credentialed in-state teachers during the past decade, and since 2009-10, individual candidates can be linked to the grade level and student demographics of both the classroom in which they did their student teaching and, if they enter the state’s public teaching workforce, the classroom(s) in which they begin their teaching careers.
We will use this dataset to explore the importance of specific human capital—i.e., experiences that are specific to a candidate’s future teaching positions—in the transition from student teaching to early-career teaching positions. Specifically, we will investigate whether teachers who student taught in the same grade, school, or district in which they are currently teaching are more effective than teachers who switched grades, schools, or districts between student teaching and their first job. We will also extend prior work on school-level student demographics (Goldhaber et al., 2017) to explore whether the match between student demographics measured at the classroom level between a teacher’s current position and student teaching position are predictive of teacher effectiveness.
The findings from this paper will be of considerable interest to policymakers—both in Washington and across the country—who are responsible for developing policies that impact student teaching placements in public schools. In particular, if prior findings about the importance of specific human capital in early-career teacher development extend to the specific classrooms and grades in which candidates do their student teaching, then it suggests that policies should be developed to ensure a close alignment between student teaching placements and teachers’ first teaching positions.