What's working (or not) in clinical practice? Take this survey for a chance to win a gift card!


New teachers often report that clinical practice (AKA field experiences or student teaching) was the most impactful part of their preparation. The research bears this out: new teachers who student taught alongside highly effective cooperating teachers were as effective as third-year teachers.1 Hosting student teachers is good for school districts, too: While new teachers are likely to take their first job near their home, they are ten times more likely to take a job where they student taught.2 Likely as a result, districts that host student teachers are less likely to report teacher shortages or need to hire teachers under an emergency credential.3

Policies set by school districts and teacher prep programs can help make sure that these experiences are positive ones. But work done by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a national education nonprofit, has consistently found that teacher prep programs are not developing clinical practice experiences that align to the research. In fact, in our most recent look at teacher prep programs’ clinical practice requirements, only 4% of teacher prep programs look for evidence that cooperating teachers are either instructionally effective or are experienced mentors.4

A stronger clinical practice experience sets new teachers up for greater success in the classroom and helps districts address hiring needs. But getting there will require that states, school districts, and teacher prep programs all work together in establishing the policies and practices that will lead to stronger clinical practice. 

To learn more about school district leaders’ priorities, experiences, challenges, and successes in supporting clinical practice, NCTQ is surveying district HR leaders--and we want to hear from you

The survey results will inform future guidelines and recommendations about what matters and what works in clinical practice, and we will use the survey to help identify districts to spotlight in our forthcoming Best Practices Guide (with permission from the districts, of course).

Take the survey by December 15th for a chance to win one of ten $25 Amazon gift cards, complete this survey by December 15th. 

[ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY!] Participate in an NCTQ focus group for district leaders

Beyond just clinical  practice, we want to learn more about what is top of mind for district leaders like you. We know school districts play an increasingly important role in setting the conditions for great teachers to thrive., and we want to make it easier for you to learn about and implement promising policies and practices that will help you be successful. Register now for a 1-hour focus group to share your thoughts!

By Hannah Putman, Managing Director of Research, National Council on Teacher Quality

  1. Goldhaber, D., Krieg, J., & Theobald, R. (2020). Effective like me? Does having a more productive mentor improve the productivity of mentees?. Labour Economics, 63, 101792.
  2. Krieg, J. M., Theobald, R., & Goldhaber, D. (2016). A foot in the door: Exploring the role of student teaching assignments in teachers’ initial job placements. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 38(2), 364-388.
  3. Goldhaber, D., Krieg, J., Naito, N., & Theobald, R. (2021). Student teaching and the geography of teacher shortages. Educational Researcher, 50(3), 165-175.
  4. NCTQ. (2020). Clinical Practice. National Council on Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: https://www.nctq.org/review/standardDetails/Clinical-Practice