Generalizing Effective Teaching Skills: The Missing Link in Teacher Preparation

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A clear need to teach preservice teachers to generalize newly acquired teaching skills across time and settings has been well established in the literature. Few empirical studies exist that inform teacher educators on ways to promote generalization of teaching skills with beginning teachers, however. Programming for generalization continues to be a missing link between preservice teacher preparation and inservice application of skills. Four factors emerge as important to sustaining teaching skills in classrooms based on a review of the research. A model for promoting generalization of teaching skills using these factors is described including using immediate feedback to promote acquisition of skills, training to mastery to promote maintenance of behavior, programming for generalization, and providing performance feedback in classroom settings. Implications for teacher preparation are discussed such as requiring generalization training in teacher preparation programs and training supervisors to sequentially implement model components.

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