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Who will Teach in a Teacher Shortage?

Activity type: Expert Team
Activity coordinator: Ohad Leslau, Ph.D
Activity period: 2008-2010
The Mandel-Israel Foundation approached the Initiative with a request to consolidate scientific knowledge and practice as it relates to the topic of "teacher policy" and in a special study seminar organized by the Initiative, to share its findings with stakeholders, and to make a report on the topic available to the public at large.
The point of departure for this activity was:
What knowledge and information is available concerning how to handle extreme conditions of teacher shortages? At the teacher level, what do we know about successes – recruitment, training, re-training, and retention; and, to the extent possible, from the perspective of students – what are their successes (as defined) when learning with "these types" of teachers in contrast to their successes when being taught by "regular" teachers?
At the center of activities in this area was a study seminar, held on September 9, 2009, with the participation of approximately 60 stakeholders – including those responsible for training and in-service training, researchers, developers, decision makers, and others. Ahead of the seminar, four scientific literature reviews dealing with different aspects of coping with teacher shortages were commissioned. Following the seminar, a final report summarizing the study seminar was prepared and published. As is customary with all Initiative activities under the Israel Academy of Science’s auspices, the activity in this area was followed by a team of experts made up of researchers and an advisory committee comprised of Initiative and Mandel Foundation representatives.
This program was supported by the Mandel-Israel Foundation.
"Teacher-Student Interaction" – a seminar and workshop with the participation of Prof. Robert Pianta of the University of Virginia
Current research demonstrates that the quality of teacher-student interaction is one of the more important predictive factors of students' cognitive and emotional development. The Initiative was exposed to this topic through the work of several of its committees. The contribution of Prof. Robert Pianta, dean of the University of Virginia's School of Education, to this field is large and significant and was what led the Initiative to invite and host him here in Israel. The goals of Prof. Pianta's visit were to enable researchers and other professionals in the field to become more closely acquainted with the tools he has developed, to study an example of a relationship between research and practice, to learn about the necessity of success measures, and to promote a discussion concerning the advantages of using these tools. The file here describes aspects of Prof. Pianta's work upon which the seminar focused. Background materials, the seminar agenda and presentations are also available by clicking on the "News & Events" tab. Prof. Pianta's lectures can be viewed by clicking: Standardized observation of teachers' interaction with children, Improving the quality and impact of teacher-child interaction.
The Initiative hosted Prof. Pianta in November 2009, during which time he gave a workshop open to professionals in the field and the public that focused on two of the tools he has developed: CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System), an observation tool to monitor teacher-student interaction, and MTP (My Teaching Partner), a web-based tool used for teachers' in-service training and professional development.
The final report (Hebrew only) summarizing the seminar is available by clicking on the "Publications" tab.
Many entities from the education research and practice fields were involved in preparing the visit and we availed ourselves of their aid. We thank them all for their willingness to help and their assistance.