Located on a 300 acre tree-lined campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is approximately 6-to-1. Rice is highly ranked for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
Students enter our program as undergraduates following a teacher certification path or a five year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Post-baccalaureate students follow both a certification and MAT path. Experienced teachers hone their pedagogical skills and develop a master level research project for implementation in their home school. Students with master’s degrees are pursuing principal certification in the state of Texas.
The teacher preparation program is based on five key pillars: creating environments where students discover and construct meaning from content, understanding and serving needs of diverse learners, incorporating authentic assessments, integrating educational technologies and digital learning into curriculum and developing teachers as instructional leaders. The program’s teacher training encourages the use of culturally relevant content and pedagogy when working with English language and diverse learners.
All students work with a select group of instructional leaders as they participate in a small, cohort-based classroom and field-based experience. Rice is building a network of education leaders who are prepared and committed to work in high-need schools.
As one of the few Latina teachers, Rice taught me to model to students, and especially students of color, what it takes to navigate the world when they leave school—to equip them with the tools necessary to problem solve, inquire about the world around them and ultimately find success, no matter what challenges they face.
Undergraduate students enter our program with well developed content skills, ready to add culturally relevant and critical pedagogy to academic rigor in 10, three hour courses that fulfill all requirements for a Texas Standard Teaching Certificate.
Students thrive as they move from course work to field-based work and apply what they are learning from courses to classrooms iteratively. A year-long clinical teaching experience readies these candidates for their first-year of teaching. In the fall semester, these preservice teachers take pedagogical classes, observe a cooperating teacher 5-10 hours a week and prepare unit and lesson plans that they defend before faculty and cooperating teachers. The spring semester offers clinical teaching with cooperating teachers in one of our lab schools.
Art (Pre-K-12) English Language Arts and Reading (7-12) French (Pre-K-12) History (7-12) Latin (Pre-K-12) Life Science (7-12) Mathematics (7-12) Physics / Science (7-12) Science (7-12) Social Studies (7-12) Spanish (Pre-K-12)
Program Semesters/Steps Overview
Students begin taking professional education courses. These include: Race, Class, Gender in Education in the fall semester, and Educational Psychology in spring semester.
Students take Teaching and Learning with Inquiry and Literacy Across the Curriculum in the fall semester, and Teaching Diverse Learners in the spring semester. Each class requires five hours of observation at a local school. Students observe different levels and subjects.
Students begin the year attending in-service with an assigned cooperating teacher. They take the Theory and Methods of Teaching course in a specified content area and the Curriculum Development course. During the spring semester students take Assessment and Practicum for Pre-Service Teachers courses.
The Teacher Education Program has deepened the training of new teachers by fostering academic learning, teamed with a year-long clinical (student teaching) experience in dedicated, urban Houston ISD schools. This emphasis on strong, field-based experiences and structured support has greatly strengthened our graduates’ success, but we know there is more we can do for them to ensure their development as instructional leaders in their schools and longevity in the field.
The department also conducts teaching workshops, for both current students and alumni, that address instructional strategies for diverse learners, learner-centered classroom, data-driven instructional planning and leadership from the classroom. The Life in Schools event is held every semester and focuses on educational topics such as teaching through inquiry, assessment and technology.
The Rice University teacher preparation program is an exemplary program that emphasizes effective pedagogy for diverse learners. The program is unique in that it provides fieldwork grounded in educational research and theory. All of the courses include field-based experiences that encourage students to compare and apply their theoretical work to what is actually happening in schools. Our 21st century mission is to prepare and support teacher leaders to work with diverse students and be responsive to the paradigm shift in education that moves us from teaching academic content to teaching skills and strategies that foster lifelong learning.
The Rice Teacher Education Program seeks to engage, prepare and support secondary teachers to lead student-centered classrooms in a diverse society. Our program for new teachers provides an academically rigorous, yet highly personalized clinical teaching framework. Teaching candidates begin with a strong academic foundation in educational history, philosophy, learning theories and human developmental processes. During their second year in the program, when our students become first-year teachers of record in Houston public schools, they apply their knowledge and analytical skills via their teaching internship, while receiving an exceptional amount of personal coaching and mentorship from Rice faculty. As our graduates enter their second year as full-time teachers, they have the opportunity to draw upon the experience and counsel of our extended network of students and alumni, as well as the benefit of a formalized mentorship structure that helps ensure their continued growth and retention.
The Rice Teacher Education program embraces a continuous improvement model for our teacher preparation program. We use available data to measure program effectiveness and drive improvement. We are continually striving for improvement and seek feedback from a variety of our stakeholders each semester (summer, fall and spring).
In addition to the aforementioned assessment methods and rubrics utilized by the program to assess effectiveness and the preservice teachers’ mastery of competencies, we seek additional feedback from others, including cooperating teachers, secondary students being taught by the clinical teacher, principals whose campuses we work in and the clinical teachers themselves. This provides our leadership team with an opportunity to identify and address our own strengths and weaknesses as it relates to our student support and their mastery of competencies.
American Indian or Alaskan Native
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
Two or more races
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