It is not difficult to find conflicting opinions about the current state of teacher preparation. Harsh critics, as well as ardent apologists, litter online forums, editorial sections of newspapers, and Capitol steps. Somewhere in the middle lies the probable reality that although the quality of teacher preparation has improved in recent years, we still have a lot of work to do. Living with this tension allows us to optimistically pursue organizational and institutional change that ultimately benefits students.
The CEEDAR Center provides quality resources and expertise to states and educator and leader preparation programs. Through providing universally available resources on our website and forging strategic partnerships throughout the United States, the CEEDAR Center is able to support teacher preparation programs and state departments of education to work hand in hand to improve the quality of our nation’s teachers.
Marty Hougen is one of the CEEDAR Center’s most experienced consultants. She is a content-area expert in reading and provides Intensive Technical Assistance to several states. Like many of our staff members, she started her career in the classroom (a classroom of 30 senior boys!) and quickly realized that she would benefit from further preparation to effectively teach a broad array of students. Since getting her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin in 1984, Marty has worked tirelessly to improve teacher preparation in her home state of Texas as well as in the United States as a whole. She was instrumental in the formation of the Texas Higher Education Collaborative (HEC) in 2002, which started with 15 members but progressively grew to more than 600 faculty members who worked together to improve teacher preparation in Texas.
Since coming on board with the CEEDAR Center in 2012, Marty has utilized several CEEDAR tools while consulting with states. The faculty members and Department of Education workers with whom she has consulted have especially found useful the CEEDAR-facilitated opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and the resources CEEDAR provides such as Course Enhancement Modules (CEMs) and innovation configurations (ICs). Marty claims, “I consider myself to be an ongoing learner. I’m always looking for new research and more effective strategies to help kids succeed.” Marty uses her drive toward continual improvement, expertise in teacher preparation, and relationships with colleagues to give them the individual support they need.
An excellent example of Marty’s hard work is our brand new CEM titled Evidence-Based Reading Instruction for Grades K-5. This robust resource can be used in whole or in part to aid professional development providers and teacher preparation programs.