Penn GSE and 15 APEC Member Economies to Conduct International Study in Science, Math Teacher Preparation

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | | 215-898-4820November 12, 2009

PHILADELPHIA — The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education-International is teaming with 15 other members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to conduct an international study on secondary-school teacher preparation, “Identifying Unique and Promising Practices in Math and Science Teacher Education in APEC Economies.”

Led by scholars from around the globe, this four-year research project will illustrate how teacher education and preparation influence student outcomes, fill critical gaps in education research and assess how American teachers can learn from international counterparts.

This study will compare teacher education in the U.S., Australia, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“We know that teacher preparation here puts a great deal of emphasis on methodology and psychology and not so much on subject matter. The opposite is true in the East,” Andrew Porter, Penn GSE dean, said. “In our study, we want to identify the right balance in teacher training and find a curriculum that maximizes teacher effectiveness and improves student performance.”

The U.S. research team is comprised of scholars from Penn GSE, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Columbia University’s Teachers College and the Michigan State University College of Education.