MSU dean leads national report on changing expectations for teachers

February 12, 2020

Michigan State University College of Education Dean Robert E. Floden led the national committee of experts behind a new report on the demands facing K-12 teachers.

The report, released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, finds teachers face new expectations from policymakers, parents, students and schools. This includes addressing changes in curriculum standards, the emergence of more explicit teaching goals and shifts in what it means to support all students in their development.

Robert Floden headshot
Robert E. Floden

Better teacher training and preparation, a more diverse teacher workforce and more equitable distribution of teachers might help meet these new needs and also address longstanding challenges in K-12 education, the report says.

“We need new training and education strategies to help K-12 teachers meet shifting demands and expectations,” said Floden, who chaired the National Academies’ Committee on Understanding the Changing Structure of the K-12 Teacher Workforce. “Asking teachers to do more without giving them new resources will impact our education system for the worse, and we need to address areas of concern to put us on the right track.”

MSU Associate Professor Anne-Lise Halvorsen, coordinator of the Ph.D. program in Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education (CITE), was also part of the 13-person committee.

The report, Changing Expectations for the K-12 Teacher Workforce: Policies, Preservice Education, Professional Development, and the Workplace, covers key changes in education policy, the K-12 student body and priorities for schools and classrooms that have contributed to teacher demands over the past 20 years. It also identifies four high priority areas that require immediate action if the U.S. teacher workforce is to meet these changing expectations:

  1. Preparing teachers to meet changing expectations
  2. Diversifying the teacher workforce
  3. Ensuring the equitable distribution of teachers
  4. Mapping teacher preparation to teacher and student outcomes