National Board’s ATLAS Boosts Teacher Prep in Louisiana through Video Analysis and Reflection

ARLINGTON, Va. — Through a new partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, teacher preparation programs in Louisiana will receive a major boost in preparing the next generation of teachers for success in the profession.

The new partnership between the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Louisiana Board of Regents will provide aspiring teachers throughout the state with access to ATLAS—a unique, searchable online library of authentic videos showing National Board Certified Teachers at work in the classroom.

ATLAS (Accomplished Teaching, Learning, and Schools™) allows users to get inside the heads of accomplished teachers by observing authentic, in-classroom video case studies. Aligned to professional teaching standards and indexed by teachers, ATLAS serves as a window into what accomplished teaching looks like for early career teachers.

“ATLAS will greatly improve the preparation of new teachers, setting them on a trajectory to accomplished practice earlier in their career,” said Joseph C. Rallo, Commissioner of Higher Education with the Louisiana Board of Regents. “We believe that ATLAS will play a strong role in helping our teachers succeed, and in turn, assuring that Louisiana’s students are well prepared for college and careers.”

ATLAS draws on more than 1,000 cases from National Board Certified Teachers, covering most subjects, grades and school settings. The cases also feature the instructional materials used in the lesson and the teacher’s written reflection and analysis, further unpacking the educator’s thinking and approach to the lesson.

Many of the cases have been indexed to teaching and learning frameworks such as National Board Standards, edTPA guiding questions, the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. The National Board first unveiled the new resource earlier this month at Teaching & Learning 2015, the profession’s conference in Washington, D.C.

“You can’t ask teachers to hit a target they’ve never seen,” said Dr. Ronald Thorpe, President and CEO of the National Board. “ATLAS cases make the invisible parts of teaching fully visible and accessible to pre-service teachers, for the benefit of teaching and learning. With ATLAS, exceptional teacher preparation is within reach, and we owe it to the next generation of teachers to assure that they have the best teacher preparation available.”

Since 2013, the National Board has been piloting ATLAS with a number of higher education institutions as part of an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. ATLAS is now available to colleges and universities by subscription for a nominal fee based on the number of licenses.

“The National Board is committed to advancing excellence within the teaching profession, so our goal is to ensure teacher preparation and other programs have easy and affordable access to ATLAS,” Thorpe said. “Pricing for an ATLAS license will allow the National Board to curate and improve the collection, constantly adding new resources and keeping the platform fresh.”

Renée A. Middleton, dean of The Patton College of Education at Ohio University, said the university is looking forward to integrating ATLAS cases in preservice instruction.
“Students in our methods courses and our clinical experiences will all benefit from exposure to this wide variety of examples of accomplished teaching by National Board Certified Teachers,” Middleton said. “ATLAS allows our candidates to view and analyze authentic video and commentary that aligns with the edTPA—a subject specific assessment of pedagogy. ATLAS is a wonderful tool that complements our efforts to ensure that our candidates are able to demonstrate that they can identify, plan, teach, and assess major learning outcomes within their field of expertise.”

A number of teacher preparation programs are piloting ATLAS, including Central Washington University and the University of Washington, in Tennessee with Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, the University of Memphis, California State University, and others.

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