Published December 15, 2021
A new book, co-authored by a team of researchers and educators at UB and the Buffalo Public Schools aims to provide a new blueprint for residency programs that train community members to become teachers.
The book, “A Case for Change in Teacher Preparation: Developing Community-Based Residency Programs,” follows the creation and documents the successes of the Graduate School of Education’s Teacher Residency Program.
Launched in 2019, the one-year program enables individuals interested in a career in education to earn New York State initial teacher certification through a paid residency. The program combines coursework with experience educating alongside a mentor teacher for an entire school year in the Buffalo Public Schools.
The Teacher Residency Program works toward building more equity in the quality of school experiences for historically underserved communities in Buffalo by hiring and retaining racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse teachers.
Published in August by Routledge, the book serves as a template for educational leaders, policymakers and researchers to expand the program to other universities and school districts.
“We tried to write the book we wish we’d had when we planned and implemented the program,” says co-author Julie Gorlewski, chair of the Department of Learning and Instruction.
By shifting the balance of teacher education from university classroom-based learning to a community-based residency model grounded in practical experience, the program bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world experience in K-12 classrooms.
The book also explores the importance of collaboration between universities and school districts, and the need to distribute program leadership across, and solicit input from, all school stakeholders, including students, teachers, teacher educators, administrators and community members, says Gorlewski.
“Learning and teaching are context based,” she explains. “We can create the structure of an effective program and take it to another city or another community, but community members need to be involved in shaping the program so that it will work for them.”