At the University of Maryland College of Education, teacher education is being reimagined.
Teachers are the most important school-based factor affecting student learning. An excellent teacher can transform learning for thousands of students over the course of their career. Yet, at the state and national levels, there are teacher shortages that pose serious challenges for the field of education.
Reflecting the needs of today’s classrooms, our teacher education programs prepare students to work with diverse student populations and are designed to address critical teaching shortages in special education, science, math, and TESOL. By incorporating evidence-based practices and testing innovations in the classroom, our programs evolve with and help inform the field of teacher education. And through strong partnerships with local school districts, we have developed 'grow your own' programs to prepare a high-quality, diverse teacher workforce that helps meet local and state staffing needs.
Our scholars research ways to improve teacher education for the benefit of students and teachers and respond to pressing issues in education. For example, we examine ways to better prepare science and math teachers—including high-leverage practices like the use of technology in the classroom and ways to increase teachers’ STEM knowledge and ability to teach these concepts to their students. Our researchers are developing a trauma-sensitive curriculum for preschool to address important needs for early educators—and their students. Our work developing core practices for novice TESOL teachers helps serve the needs of the fastest growing U.S. student population.
Our strategic location in the nation's capital, a diverse metropolitan area, and wealth of collaborative partnerships, catalyzes our research and teacher preparation programs to advance equity and excellence in education and society.
Jennifer King Rice
Dean and Professor
UMD College of Education
Preparing a Diverse and Culturally Competent Workforce
Dr. Clark’s research explores the range of influences on mathematics teachers’ pedagogy.
He has conducted quantitative and qualitative studies on how teachers’ mathematical knowledge, beliefs, dispositions, and racialized experiences shape their interactions with students. A thread of his research focuses on the role African American mathematics teachers plays in the lives of African American mathematics learners. An emerging thread of his research is the exploration of implicit bias in mathematics classrooms.
Dr. Clark served as principal investigator on the NSF-funded Robert Noyce Mathematics Teacher Scholarship Program. He is the co-director of Mathletics, which is a summer camp designed to engage students in data analytics through contextualizing statistics in sports contexts. Funded by the US National Security Agency and the Mathematics Association, the Mathletics program is held at the university and serves middle schoolers from area schools.
Dr. Jackson’s research examines inclusive schooling practices and policies, urban education reform, and pedagogies encouraging diversity and equity in teaching curricula. In particular, she is interested in the factors that influence the beliefs, practices and retention of urban teachers, and how individuals in privileged groups advocate and act as allies for members of other groups.
Dr. Jackson served as a Fulbright Scholar, and is committed to working on the preparation, support and long-term retention of urban educators who maintain high standards of social justice and equity in their teaching.
Dr. Jackson has contributed to a number of publications in diverse outlets such as Race, Ethnicity, and Education, Racism Review and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Her work has received support from numerous sources, including the American Association of University Women American, the Support Program for Advancing Research and Collaboration and the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity.
Advancing Math and Science Teaching
The Center for Math Education
Daniel Chazan, CfME Director and Jean, Jeffrey, and David Mullan Professor of Teacher Education
Dr. Chazan’s research investigates ways in which mathematics can be taught differently and how technology can support teaching innovations. A 1993 Spencer/NAEd fellow, his work explores the feasibility of technology in schools, investigating whether interventions improve student outcomes, as well as how the teaching profession resists change and for what reasons.
Dr. Chazan oversees UMD’s nationally prominent Center for Mathematics Education, which conducts research and development, teaching, and service that focuses on improving school and college mathematics teaching and learning. With a commitment to advancing equity, the Center’s work benefits from the diversity in local school systems, enabling faculty to research math education that addresses the needs of English language learners and other historically underserved groups.
He is the principal investigator for The LessonSketch Research + Development Fellows Project, which involves creating rich media-based materials for teacher education, including videos, animations, and other on-line resources. The $2.6M NSF-funded joint project of CfME and the University of Michigan explores how web-based resources and tools can support the work of teacher educators. The program’s twelve research fellows create mathematics teacher education materials, which a national network of teacher educators pilots.
Diane Jass Ketelhut
Dr. Ketelhut focuses on teacher preparation that helps teachers become confident in their own knowledge and competence in providing science education, including through inquiry and the use of technology. Her goal for science teacher preparation is to educate teachers so that their practice will develop students who are engaged with science and view themselves as able to do science.
Dr. Ketelhut is the principal investigator for a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation that aims to improve the ability of teachers to provide young children a foundation in computational thinking, in order to increase access to and diversity in the field of computer science.
She conducts research on virtual reality in the classroom, examining how immersive environments can increase student learning and self-efficacy by drawing on the benefits of situational learning without leaving the classroom. Virtual environments, where each keystroke is recorded, also enable a more robust way for teachers to assess student performance.
Fostering Language and Literacy Development
Megan Madigan Peercy
As ESOL students are the fastest growing population in US schools, preparing teachers to instruct English language learners is essential for advancing equity. Dr. Peercy’s research focuses on the preparation and development of teachers, as they work with linguistically and culturally diverse students over the span of their careers.
Her Voices from the Field project convenes COE preservice and early career ESOL teachers, along with teacher educators in the doctoral program, to explore teaching practices for English language learners, provide collaborative peer support and self-care, and examine best practices for teaching linguistically and culturally diverse learners. She conducts observations and interviews with teachers to develop core practices for novice ESOL teachers, helping to better prepare teachers for instructing English language learners.
Dr. O’Flahavan’s research examines comprehensive school-wide programs and continuous school improvement, with an emphasis on language and literacy teaching and learning. His interests include the development of literacy in young children and peer discussion about text, with a focus on culturally and linguistically diverse schools.
Writing instruction and achievement in the U.S. has been a persistent challenge, with many students never reaching writing proficiency during the K-12 pathway. One of his projects, which has been implemented in area schools, anchors writing instruction in the three core discourses--narrative, informative and argumentative genres--and develops children’s skills as consumers, critics and producers of these discourses.
Early Childhood/Special Education and Special Education
Dr. Tirrell-Corbin conducts research on issues of race and culture in early childhood classrooms. Through facilitating professional development on issues of race in schools, her work aims to help teachers be more responsive to the culturally-specific needs of children and families. For example, Dr. Tirrell-Corbin and Pennsylvania State University colleagues are developing a curriculum to address trauma, such as those caused by school shootings and the opioid epidemic.
Dr. Tirrell-Corbin recently launched a preschool curriculum for four-year-olds, funded by the Maryland State Department of Education and in partnership with the Smithsonian Museum and Apple, which is being piloted in 65 classrooms. This in-depth, project-based learning curriculum addresses strategies for teaching English Language Learners and students with disabilities and will ultimately be free-of-charge to prekindergarten classrooms in Maryland.
Dr. Tirrell-Corbin is the executive director of the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention and is the director of the College's Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education program
Sarah B. Mallory
Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Mallory is the program director for special education teacher preparation. COE provides undergraduate programs and one and two-year master’s degree programs that focus on preparing special education teachers, which help to address a critical teacher shortage area.
The College also offers an endorsement that enables current special education teachers to teach children with severe disabilities, providing a valuable service to Maryland school districts. Through a ‘double count’ program, select teacher candidates are able to take undergraduate courses that also count for their master’s degrees, allowing students to complete their master’s degrees in a timely manner while working part- or full-time.
Reflecting the importance of mentorship, Dr. Mallory notes the close involvement of College faculty with teaching students, as faculty accompany students to their teaching placements, providing critical support and supervision as students work directly in the field.
Leaders in Teacher Education Policy
"UMD is a longstanding leader in teacher education policy. Our research and programs not only address priority areas in the field, from serving English Learners to incorporating technology, they also evolve based on feedback from educators and administrators on the ground," said Professor Donna L. Wiseman, the former president of the board of directors for American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). “We work closely with policymakers at all levels of the government to ensure that teacher preparation programs enable educators to serve and engage the diverse students in the classrooms of today.”
David Imig is a long-standing leader in teacher education, having served as director and CEO of the AACTE for twenty-five years prior to joining the College of Education faculty. A founding member of the National Policy Board for Educational Administration and a former president of the National Society for the Study of Education, he brings important insights on teacher education from leadership in the field to the College of Education.
A Professor of the Practice, his research focuses on teacher education policy in the US and abroad. He also co-directs the College’s Ed.D. program, an innovative, practice-based model that brings together a cohort of school administrators from County school systems. A Senior Scholar for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, he co-directs the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), which involves some 110 research extensive colleges and universities across the country in the transformation of the education doctorate.
Expanding the Educator Pipeline
"To enhance the quantity, quality, and diversity of teacher candidates and to better meet the needs of our school district partners, UMD has developed a number of strategic partnerships and innovative programs,” said Kathy Angeletti, assistant dean and executive director of teacher education. “Through 'grow your own' programs such as CITE and collaborations like Terrapin Teachers, we are expanding the educator pipeline in ways that serve the state and nation." Creative Initiatives in Teacher Education (CITE) enables paraeducators in Montgomery County Public Schools to earn an M.Ed. and eligibility for initial teacher certification, while undergraduate students in Terrapin Teachers earn a STEM degree and eligibility for certification as a middle or high school teacher, a collaborative program the UMD College of Education and the UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.
Harnessing the Power of Technology to Improve Teacher Education
Through avatars, our teaching students benefit from classroom simulation technology that helps prepare them for real-world teaching scenarios. From modeling interactions with students with disabilities to mock parent-teacher conferences, preservice teachers are able to hone their lesson plans and classroom management techniques by interacting in real-time with avatars played by actors. Daniel Levin, associate clinical professor, facilitates the avatar program and ensures it is informed by and informs research on teacher education.