BIW is committed to developing an educational model for teacher’s colleges which prepare students to become “Best in the World” teachers. By focusing on scientific research and best instructional practice, students graduating from the BIW modeled program acquire a broad academic background and demonstrate the pedagogical skills, educational knowledge, and passion to prepare students from all walks of life to become: 1) much better prepared in their intellectual, moral, and aesthetic abilities; 2) more successful in their careers; 3) effective American citizens, because of better knowledge of American history and understanding of the American system of government; and 4) capable to continue their quest for life-long learning.
Best in the World Teachers Expert Panels
BIW seeks to transform the existing model of educator preparation by convening a series of expert panels to study best practice in pedagogy and content-area teacher education. Based on the successful work of organizations such as the National Academies of Sciences and the National Reading Panel, these panels will bring together the top researchers and practitioners in content fields such as English-language arts, mathematics, science, history, music, foreign languages, and social-emotional learning to identify research-based approaches to instruction and how best to incorporate that research into the more than 1,200 colleges of education currently preparing prospective teachers for the classroom.
By focusing on the research and what is most effective in ensuring student learning, BIW seeks to ensure that every teacher candidate successfully completing undergraduate teacher education programs graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to be a successful teacher on day one, equipped with the best content-area research available in the field today.
Best in the World Teachers Pilot Sites
The most successful educational research must be actionable, moving from study findings to practice in the colleges, universities, and collaborating k-12 schools that need it the most. Building from the research work done by BIW Expert Panels, BIW is committed to moving research into action through its Pilot Sites initiative, planning, collaborating, and piloting teacher education redesign at partner universities before expanding that model more broadly.
Successfully deployed, the BIW Expert Panels and Pilot Sites will:
Create a replicable teacher preparation model program that consistently produces novice teachers educated with: 1) generally accepted liberal arts curriculum; 2) deep content knowledge and pedagogy rooted in a critical thinking model; and 3) rigorous academic standards;
Develop a support system for novice teachers with coaching and mentoring during college and in the first years of teaching (developing a feedback loop as part of the model);
Provide professional development, led by expert panel leaders, within the colleges of education and for partnering school districts to further enforce the new teaching model; in turn provide PD nationwide for any teachers interested in BIW research and highly effective instruction;
Contribute to research and provide proof of concept with program data;
Take the BIW teacher model to scale; and
Influence policy and educational reform with research results via the advisory board network.
A Better Way Forward
When it comes to educator preparation, we can and should do better. With BIW, we will do better. Decades of research details best practice when it comes to both content knowledge and pedagogy, and BIW Expert Panels will synthesize that research into findings that can be used to improve how teachers are prepared and how students learn. Through our Pilot Sites initiative, we will work with existing teacher preparation programs to demonstrate how that research can be put into immediate practice to transform teacher education, offering clear roadmaps for how the BIW model can be diffused across undergraduate teacher education programs throughout the United States.
It is BIW’s fundamental assumption that all teacher education graduates must have a broad and substantial liberal education. A strong liberal arts curriculum translates into strong content knowledge of classroom teachers, regardless of the academic subject they are licensed to teach. A foundation in the liberal arts provides a scope and sequence for each content and skill area. It is also a time-tested means for fostering citizens capable of judging our history with prudence and developing an understanding of human nature through historical events, providing common elements fundamental to unity. Through this approach, BIW’s goal is to develop teachers who demonstrate collegiate level writing skills, college level knowledge of world literature, a foreign language at an advanced level, college-level mathematics, natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics), world history and geography, American government, economics, work-based learning, music and elementary epistemology.