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ERIC Number: ED531600
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 59
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 140
Development and Sustainability of School-University Partnerships in Special Education Teacher Preparation: A Critical Review of the Literature. NCIPP Document Number RS-3
Rosenberg, Michael S.; Brownell, Mary; McCray, Erica D.; deBettencourt, Laurie U.; Leko, Melinda; Long, Suzanne
National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development
Local school systems, Local Education Agencies [LEAs], and universities, Institutions of Higher Education [IHEs], work together in a variety of ways in the initial preparation and ongoing professional development of teachers, although it is difficult to ascertain the number of LEA/IHE partnerships. These relationships typically allow for a leveraging of resources and expertise, achieving outcomes that would not be realized without the involvement of both parties (Barnett, Hall, Berg, & Camarena, 1999). Although it is likely that LEAs and IHEs have always had some degree of cooperative involvement in the development and sustainability of teachers, the view that partnerships can be a distinct method of teacher education reform is relatively recent. The attention given to partnerships is generally viewed as "one sustaining legacy of the critical reports of teaching and teacher education in the 1980's" (Allexsaht-Snider, Deegan, & White, 1995, p. 219). Little has changed in terms of the need for teacher education reform and the role of LEA/IHE partnerships in such efforts. For example, with the extreme shortage of qualified teachers at crisis levels--particularly in the high-need areas of special education, math, and science--the creative and synergistic efforts of individuals in LEAs and IHEs are needed to address the myriad challenges associated with recruitment, development, and retention of highly qualified personnel. In this paper the authors review extant literature on how partnerships between LEAs and IHEs influence the development of high-quality teachers, particularly special education teachers. They also examine the characteristics that define successful LEA and IHE partnerships as well as the contextual factors that allow these efforts to develop and be sustained. Their goal in this effort is to inform policymakers and practitioners of best practices for developing and sustaining LEA/IHE partnerships as a means of enhancing special education teacher development. Following a brief introduction in which they provide a rationale for and define LEA/IHE partnerships, they describe the methodology used to engage the literature and review the research associated with specific partnership types. In analyzing studies, they focus on determining (a) characteristics of successful partnerships; (b) effectiveness among partnerships of different types and intensities; and (c) contextual conditions that enhance the impact of the partnership. From these analyses they describe the features of partnerships, conditions favoring their implementation, and note resources needed to introduce and sustain partnerships. They also discuss partnership outcomes related to preservice teachers and their students. Finally, they discuss implications of the research and provide suggestions for future research and practice, with specific emphasis on next steps for the National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development [NCIPP]. Both general and special education partnership efforts are reviewed to identify similarities in their teacher preparation methods. Such information is foundational for justifying and building partnerships to prepare all preservice teachers. This information is also essential for accounting for any unique considerations when developing partnerships for preparing only special education teachers. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development. 1403 Norman Hall, P.O. Box 117050, Gainesville, FL 32611. Tel: 352- 273-4259; Fax: 352-392-5929; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Department of Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development (NCIPP)