Thanks to a $10 million donation, Harvard University is planning to launch a fellowship program for students to become K-12 teachers.
The existing teaching program at Harvard is very small and only has about 25 students enrolled each year. The interest in teaching in recent years has been growing, however, and the undergraduate courses on education have been very popular.
The program will begin with 40 slots in the 2015-2016 school year and the school hopes to eventually expand to 100 slots. It will begin the second semester of a student’s senior year, during which the student will begin student teaching with a mentor teacher. The following year will consist of classes on specific teaching methods.
Once the students become full-time teachers, they will continue to receive coaching and feedback from Harvard faculty. Some of this may include online coaching through Skype, webinars or recordings since some of the fellows will be teaching at sites that aren’t in Cambridge’s neighboring towns. Harvard plans to study the progress of the fellows during and after the completion of the fellowship in order to continue to improve the program.
Many states have recently seen declines in the enrollment in teacher programs. Recent policies on teacher evaluation and media coverage have caused questions about how the perception of teaching is affecting students.
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