Moving initial teacher training into the apprenticeship model

by Mr. Sheehy

The Newton program is small—at capacity, it can only train eight new teachers a year—but it’s also nimble and cost-efficient: roughly $5,000 per trainee teacher, which is how much it charges those trainees in tuition. Newton is able to achieve that efficiency because it makes use of its most important resource: its existing master teachers, who are excited to take on a new challenge after years of honing their craft.

“These are all stipended, moonlighting positions—nobody’s relying on this for their primary income,” Bassett explains. “That model is totally replicable—there’s nothing to prevent other public schools from doing this. You could decentralize the whole teacher prep thing and go to an apprenticeship model. It could be done.”

Of course I’m usually a fan of decentralizing and expediting a process in a way that removes it from bureaucracies’ control, but this kind of decentralizing (the article is in The Atlantic) is not only cost effective (for the student and the community) it creates better training.