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CSU Pueblo Named as One of the Nation’s Top Teacher Prep Programs for Strong Training in Classroom Management

Release Date: October 21, 2020

Greg Hoye

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Top Teacher Program

Pueblo​ - Colorado State University Pueblo’s undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program has been named among the top in the country by the ​National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)​, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization, for strong training in classroom management strategies.

“I am thrilled that the elementary teacher prep program received the highest possible grade in classroom management as part of an elite group of programs,” said Mohamed Abdelrahman, Ph.D. provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at CSU Pueblo. “I want to congratulate Dr. Jeff Piquette as the Associate Dean and Director of the School of Education on this fine accomplishment.  This is a testament to the quality of our students, the excellence of our faculty, and the strength of our partnerships all across the state,” said Abdelrahman.

This month NCTQ released its ​2020​ ​Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice and Classroom Management​ , which finds encouraging progress in teacher preparation programs’ adoption of evidence-based classroom management strategies that are universally effective, regardless of student age or the subject being taught. For the first time since NCTQ began publishing ratings in the ​2013​ ​Teacher Prep Review​ , half of the nearly 1,000 traditional elementary teacher preparation programs evaluated earn an A or B grade, up nearly 30 percent from seven years ago.

CSU Pueblo’s undergraduate program is among only 14 percent of elementary programs that earn an A, and serves as a model of excellence for others. These top-performing programs are recognized for requiring their aspiring elementary teachers to demonstrate during student teaching, residency, or equivalent clinical practice their ability to implement all five classroom strategies, which are:

  • Establishing rules and routines​ that set expectations for behavior;
  • Maximizing learning time​ by managing time, class materials, and the physical setup of the classroom, and by promoting student engagement;
  • Reinforcing positive behavior​ by using specific, meaningful praise and other forms of positive reinforcement;
  • Redirecting off-task behavior​ through unobtrusive means that do not interrupt instruction and that prevent and manage such behavior, and;
  • Addressing serious misbehavior​ with consistent, respectful, and appropriate consequences.

Classroom management is a unique challenge to teach preparation programs, explained Associate Dean of the College of Education, Jeff Piquette, Ph.D. “It is extremely gratifying to be recognized for the work that you do,” said Piquette. “It represents years of developing not only courses, but an entire, seamless, preparation program that weaves classroom management theory and practice together throughout,” added Piquette. “It takes dedicated faculty and K-12 partners working together to build a top-rated program.”

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has, at least for this year, reshaped much of what happens in schools, including classroom management training for aspiring teachers. Several essential classroom management strategies can’t simply be converted to a remote teaching environment, and many states and teacher preparation programs have moved their clinical practice experiences online or abbreviated them limiting opportunities to practice.

“In this time of higher teacher accountability, without committed partners who are willing to host students in their classes and help prepare them for their future jobs, it would be hard for our students to hone their craft and become more masterful at managing classes,” said Piquette.

The basic principles of quality classroom management still stand in spite of COVID and are still critical to the success of aspiring teachers in their future careers.

“In previous editions of the ​Teacher Prep Review​ , the predominant approach to classroom management instruction by most programs was that establishing classroom rules and planning great lessons will prevent student misbehavior,” observed NCTQ President Kate Walsh. “As any teacher can attest, engaging classes alone are seldom enough. We are heartened by the growing acknowledgment of the many benefits of building new teachers’ skills in these key strategies.

While the NCTQ data reports a clear uptick in the number of programs whose elementary teacher candidates learn research-supported classroom management strategies, NCTQ also noted a trend that prevents large numbers of teacher candidates from gaining the classroom management skills they need to help their students.

Now in its fourth edition, the ​Teacher Prep Review​ assigns a team of experts to evaluate teacher preparation programs on their adherence to evidence-based classroom management strategies. Programs that earn an A on this standard require their aspiring elementary teachers to demonstrate their ability on all five strategies.

Read the full NCTQ summary of findings, see all top-performing programs, and dig deeper into the methodology at ​

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