UNC Pembroke teacher prep program earns top marks

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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program has been named among the top in the country by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization, for strong training in classroom management strategies.

This month, NCTQ released its 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice and Classroom Management, which finds encouraging progress in teacher preparation programs’ adoption of evidence-based classroom management strategies that are universally effective, regardless of student age or the subject being taught.

UNCP’s undergraduate program is among only 14% of elementary programs to earn an A and serves as a model of excellence for others. UNCP is among only 138 out of 979 programs nationwide to receive an A on classroom management.

“We are very pleased to learn of this national recognition of our Elementary Education program by the NCTQ organization which exemplifies the dedication and commitment of the School of Education faculty to produce teachers who are prepared to implement the best and most effective classroom management strategies,” said interim Provost Zoe Locklear.

These top-performing programs are recognized for requiring their aspiring elementary teachers to demonstrate during student teaching, residency or equivalent clinical practice their ability to implement all five classroom strategies, which are:

  • establishing rules and routines that set expectations for behavior;
  • maximizing learning time by managing time, class materials, and the physical setup of the classroom, and by promoting student engagement;
  • reinforcing positive behavior by using specific, meaningful praise and other forms of positive reinforcement;
  • redirecting off-task behavior through unobtrusive means that do not interrupt instruction and that prevent and manage such behavior; and
  • addressing serious misbehavior with consistent, respectful and appropriate consequences.

“The School of Education has extremely talented faculty who are committed to producing highly qualified professional educators. We appreciate the recognition by NCTQ,” said Dr. Loury Floyd, dean of the School of Education.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has, at least for this year, reshaped much of what happens in schools, including classroom management training for aspiring teachers. Several essential classroom management strategies can’t simply be converted to a remote teaching environment, and many states and teacher preparation programs have moved their clinical practice experiences online or abbreviated them limiting opportunities to practice.