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April 2021: Teacher Training

Dear Knowledge Network members,  

During the past 50 years, schools have increasingly demanded that new teachers receive high-quality training before entering the classroom, and veteran teachers participate in ongoing training throughout their career. The cost and time required to provide training are enormous. Teachers' certification costs range from $30,000 to $100,000 for each teacher. Research suggests that after teachers enter the classroom, school systems allocate between $11,000 to $18,000 per teacher annually to provide training designed to improve student performance. Still, are these investments meeting the needs of teachers and students? Disappointingly, the answer is much of this effort results in professional development that does not improve student academic achievement. It seems reasonable that if American schools spend upwards of $8 billion annually on this training, the public would want the best return for the dollar on this ubiquitous intervention. 

This spring newsletter will examine critical issues that are associated with providing practical training to teachers. Wing Institute original papers included in this edition range from preservice to inservice training and research supporting standard methods for delivering this essential training. This issue also offers an array of studies to supplement the original work by Wing Institute writers. 

Teacher Professional Development (Preservice and Inservice training)

Wing Institute Original Work
This newsletter contains seven Wing Institute original papers on teacher training and a data mining analysis. Research published since 2020 on the topic of teacher professional development
This issue contains summaries and access to the following resources: Wing Institute 2021-2022 Student Research Grant  We hope you find this information valuable in the valuable work you perform in addressing student's and teacher's needs.

Stay safe and thank you for your service,
The Wing Institute

Teacher Dashboard

Abundant knowledge informs us that teachers play the pivotal role in student success. A comparison of key variables reveals that teachers lead all other school factors with an effect size between 0.30 and 0.42. More important, how teachers instruct and interact with students is the cornerstone around which effective schools are built. This dashboard provides the most recent data on important teacher data.
Figure 1. Between fall 2000 and fall 2017, the percentage of public school students who were White decreased from 61 to 48 percent, and the percentage of students who were Black decreased from 17 to 15 percent. In contrast, the percentage of public school students who were Hispanic increased from 16 to 27 percent during the same period.


Taie, S., & Goldring, R. (2020). Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary School Teachers in the United States: Results from the 2017-18 National Teacher and Principal Survey. First Look. NCES 2020-142. National Center for Education Statistics.

Figure 2. The percentage of public school teachers who held a postbaccalaureate degree (a master’s, education specialist, or doctor’s degree) was higher in 2017–18 (58 percent) than in 1999–2000 (47 percent). This pattern was observed at both the elementary and secondary levels. Some 55 percent of elementary school teachers and 61 percent of secondary school teachers held a postbaccalaureate degree in 2017–18, whereas 45 and 50 percent, respectively, held a postbaccalaureate degree in 1999–2000. In both school years, a lower percentage of elementary school teachers than secondary school teachers held a postbaccalaureate degree.


The Conditions of Education: Characteristics of Public School Teachers. (2020). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

Figure 3. Research suggests that the cost per educator per contact hour ranged from $138.29 to $158.45 for workshops and was $169.43 for coaching, in 2017–2018 US dollars. The distribution of costs indicated that local districts incurred the majority of the costs for traditional workshops (i.e., range of 74.76% to 81.03%), whereas regional providers incurred the majority of the costs for coaching (i.e., 58.75%). 


Barrett, C. A., & Pas, E. T. (2020). A Cost Analysis of Traditional Professional Development and Coaching Structures in Schools. Prevention Science21(5), 604-614. Barrett Publication.

Wing Institute Original Papers

Effective Teachers Make a Difference

This analysis examines the available research on effective teaching, how to impart these skills, and how to best transition teachers from pre-service to classroom with an emphasis on improving student achievement. It reviews current preparation practices and examine the research evidence on how well they are preparing teachers. Read More

Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2012). Effective Teachers Make a Difference. In Education at the Crossroads: The State of Teacher Preparation (Vol. 2, pp. 1-46). Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Teacher Preparation

Because research has shown that, of all school factors, teachers have the greatest influence on student achievement it is not surprising the United States invests significant time and money in the preparation of new teachers. The available research highlights the importance of preparation programs recruiting and selecting the highest quality candidates, training prospective teachers in evidence-based practices, and employing pedagogical practices including extensive time in actual classrooms teaching students as necessary to developing exemplary teachers. Research comparing traditional 4-year teacher schools of education, graduate degree credential models, and alternative routes suggest that current approaches to credentialing are falling far short of expectations. Efforts to hold preparation programs accountable to higher standards by making better use of program evaluation and holding institutions accountable by linking graduates to student achievement are hopeful signs and offer viable options for improving existing models and replacing outdated training methods so prevalent in many of todays pre-service programs. Read More

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2020). Overview of Teacher Preparation. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Student Teaching

Student teaching, field experience, and practicum experience are powerful methods for training new teachers. These methods all feature working with students in classrooms or in laboratory environments that bridge the gap between university instruction and the experience of teaching. Integrating theory, knowledge, and skills, student teaching generally occurs under the direction of a supervisor at the end of the preparation process. Read More

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R., States, J. & Keyworth, R. (2020). Overview of Student Teaching. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Teacher Professional Development

The story of professional development is illustrative of problems common to educational interventions. The American education system values in-service training, spending range from $18,000 annually per teacher. Like many promising practices found effective in controlled conditions, in-service training fails in the field. Ample evidence points to new teachers being insufficiently prepared, and in-service training is used to fill the gap. Schools invest extensively in teacher induction in the early years of a teacher and supplement this with continuous development over a career. Unfortunately, training is delivered in the least productive ways, such as emphasizing theory and demonstrating skills in simulated exercises rather than on real students. These efforts produce poor results—not surprising since they ignore the research, which shows the value of giving teachers opportunities to practice in real-world settings, tying training to existing procedures, and following up with monitoring and feedback. Only a fraction of the money is directed toward coaching, the method that research shows produces long-lasting results. Read More

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R., States, J. & Keyworth, R. (2020). Overview of Teacher Professional Development (Inservice). Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Teacher Induction

Teacher induction is a set of practices that help transferring and beginning teachers become competent and effective instructors. The goals of induction are to improve instructional practices; to help teachers in their first years understand and effectively integrate into school and community cultures; and ultimately to improve pupil learning. By supporting the teachers and facilitating their socialization into the profession, school systems could potentially reduce the significant turnover rate of teachers in the first 5 years of employment. Despite its substantial cost, induction has failed to meet most of the stated goals. Research reveals that despite setting high expectations, current models fall short in selecting evidence-based approaches for accomplishing the task. Goals and practices for induction activities are not clearly defined nor is performance effectively monitored. Finally, most models fail to provide effective implementation strategies necessary for sustainability. The overall message is that comprehensive teacher induction has the potential to positively impact teaching practices and pupil learning, but it requires careful reconsideration of current conceptual, procedural, and empirical foundations of the practice. Read More

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R., States, J. & Keyworth, R. (2020). Overview of Teacher Induction. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Teacher Inservice

The American education system values in-service training to improve teacher performance, spending an average of $18,000 annually per teacher. Like many promising practices, it has failed to produce as promised. Schools invest extensively in teacher induction in the early years of a teacher, supplemented with in-service training throughout the teacher’s career. Unfortunately, this training is often delivered in unproductive ways, for example, workshop sessions that commonly rely on passive didactic techniques, such as lecturing or reading, shown to have minimal or no impact on the teacher’s use of the practices in the classroom. This is especially true when the outcome, using the practices in the classroom, is assessed. Coaching-based clinical training, with the teacher practicing skills on students in a classroom setting and receiving feedback from the coach, has been found to produce the best results. Sustained professional development with scope and sequence curriculum, accompanied by manuals for interventions in which the teacher is being trained, is superior to single events. Computer-assisted instruction as a companion to systematic training techniques identified above has been found to be a cost-effective adjunct staff development tool. Read More

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R., States, J. & Keyworth, R. (2020). Overview of Teacher Inservice. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.


Research provides convincing evidence that teachers wield great influence over student outcomes. Our knowledge base tells us that how teachers teach is instrumental to their success. To leverage this fact, pre-service and in-service programs must use pedagogical techniques offering the greatest likelihood that teachers will master and apply these critical competencies on the job. Research shows that coaching is the most efficacious way to accomplish this goal. By far, coaching outperforms didactic instruction, the most commonly used technique. Coaching is essential to mastering complex skill sets required of every teacher. It improves treatment integrity of practices taught and, unlike other methods, makes more likely that the practices will actually be used in the classroom. Coaches instruct trainees in standards, demonstrate skills, and observe the application of these skills in real-world classroom settings. Coaches provide feedback to trainees, and, based on observation, instruct the trainees in how to improve their performance. Given the disappointing track record of current in-service programs, coaching offer schools a viable alternative for improving services. Read More

Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2018). Overview of Teacher Coaching. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Teacher Professional Development

What do we know about teacher preparation?

Linking Teacher Preparation Program Design and Implementation to Outcomes for Teachers and Students. This book examines how to improve teacher preparation programs using the best available evidence. The chapters explore how data availability, quality, and use within and across preparation programs shed light on the structures, policies, and practices associated with high-quality teacher preparation. The authors look at critical questions about the connection between what takes place during teacher preparation and subsequent outcomes for teachers and students. Despite a long history of teacher preparation and considerable investments in preservice and in-service training, there remains much to be learned about effectively training teachers. Read more

What can a research synthesis of meta-analyses tell us about teacher preservice training?

Research Synthesis of Meta-Analyses of Preservice Teacher Preparation Practices in Higher Education. This research looks at the results from a meta-analysis of 14 different preservice experiences for beginning teacher preparation. The study finds that clinically rich field experiences and instruction that include practicing new skills involve coaching, clinical supervision, performance feedback, and collaborative learning opportunities stood out as critical practices that improve beginning teacher outcomes. Read more

What does the research inform educators about professional development?

The Effects Of High-Quality Professional Development On Teachers And Students. This study includes an analysis of 52 randomized controlled trials evaluating teacher development programs, in order to establish their impact on pupil and teacher outcomes. The results suggest continued professional development has a significant effect on student learning. Read More

What are the costs of providing effective coaching?

Cost-Effectiveness of Instructional Coaching: Implementing a Design-Based, Continuous Improvement Model to Advance Teacher Professional Development. Schools devote substantial resources to teacher professional development each year. Yet studies show much of this investment is directed toward ineffective short-term workshops that have little impact on instructional change or student outcomes. At the same time, more intensive job-embedded forms of professional learning, such as instructional coaching, require substantially more resources than traditional professional development. The authors report the results of a two-year study assessing the cost-effectiveness of instructional coaching through a design-based, continuous improvement research model. Our findings suggest that coaching programs can become more cost-effective over time, as coaches and teachers refine their work together. Read More

What is the impact of student teachers on student's performance?

Exploring the impact of student teaching apprenticeships on student achievement and mentor teachers. The authors examine the impact of preservice teachers on student achievement during the apprenticeship training and in the future. While the average causal effect of hosting a student-teacher on student performance in the internship year is indistinguishable from zero in both math and reading, hosting a student-teacher has modest positive impacts on student math reading achievement in a teacher's classroom in the following years. These findings suggest that schools can participate in the student teaching process without fear of short-term decreases in student test scores while potentially gaining modest, long-term increases in test scores. Read More

How can schools improve student teacher mentors performance?

Making the Most of Student Teaching: The Importance of Mentors and Scope for Change. A growing literature documents the importance of student teaching placements for teacher development. Emerging evidence from this literature highlights the importance of the mentor teacher who supervises this placement, as teachers tend to be more effective when they student teach with a mentor who is a more effective teacher. But the efficacy of policies that aim to have effective teachers perform as mentors depend a great deal on the availability of effective teachers to serve in this role. This paper examines data from Washington State to identify ways for improving student-teacher placements. The authors propose if policymakers value teacher candidate development equivalently to teacher in-service development, they should be willing to pay substantially more than the current average compensation for mentor teachers to recruit effective teachers to serve in this role. Read More

How can professional development improve teachers use of classroom management practices?

The effects of targeted professional development on teachers’ use of empirically supported classroom management practices. Research suggests teachers receive limited training and support in classroom management, making it essential that school leaders provide efficient and effective professional development opportunities. This paper looks at the effects of a targeted professional development (TPD) approach (brief training, email prompts, and self-management of trained skills) on teachers’ use of three empirically supported classroom management skills (prompts, opportunities to respond [OTR], and specific praise). The results find that teachers increased their prompt and specific praise rates while they actively engaged in TPD. However, training effects did not maintain when TPD shifted to a new skill, and teachers’ increased use of OTRs during TPD was neither statistically significant nor sustained. Teachers found TPD to be acceptable, usable, and feasible. Read More

What are challenges schools face in providing professional development in rural school systems?

Teacher Professional Development Challenges Faced by Rural Superintendents. Effective teacher professional development is defined as structured professional learning activities which result in changes in teacher practice and improvements in student learning outcomes. Superintendents face common challenges unique to the rural environment which hinder the delivery of effective teacher professional development in rural school districts. These barriers must be addressed to ensure a high-quality education for all rural students. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the common experiences and perceptions of superintendents responsible for providing teacher professional development in rural school districts. Read More

Are professional development learning and skills retained?

Does Teacher Learning Last? Understanding How Much Teachers Retain Their Knowledge After Professional Development. Teacher professional development (PD) is seen as a promising intervention to improve teacher knowledge, instructional practice, and ultimately student learning. While research finds instances of significant program effects on teacher knowledge, little is known about how long these effects last. If teachers forget what is learned, the contribution of the intervention will be diminished. Using a large-scale data set, this study examines the sustainability of gains in teachers’ content knowledge for teaching mathematics (CKT-M). Results show that there is a negative rate of change in CKT after teachers complete the training, suggesting that the average score gain from the program is lost in just 37 days. Read More

Grant RFP

Latest News

March 23, 2021 

Graduate Research Grant 2021 RFP 

The purpose of the Wing Institute Graduate Research Funding Program is to:

  1. Sponsor and promote new research in areas of evidence-based education, including: efficacy research, effectiveness research, implementation, and monitoring
  2. Sponsor and promote new research across disciplines, types of research, and venues
  3. Encourage graduate students to focus their future professional work in this subject area, increasing the number of professionals dedicated to the field of evidence-based education
  4. Disseminate research findings for application in real world” settings, further bridging the gap between research and practice.


Grants vary in size; the maximum grant is $5,000 per annum. These funds will be available to recipients as they achieve agreed upon “benchmarks” in the research process.

Applications available: Immediately
Application deadline: May 15, 2021
Funding decisions: June 15, 2021

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must be enrolled full-time and be in good standing in a masters or doctoral at a regionally accredited university or college.


 Read More

Data Mining

Why is this question important? This is one of the most fundamental questions that must be answered in order to effectively teach teachers the skills they require to be successful in the classroom. Billions of dollars have been misspent on poorly designed teacher training that does not work. Read More  


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