Additional scholarly projects

Project TEER

Project TEER (Teacher Education and Education Reform) is a collaborative research group focused on new teacher preparation, licensure, and accountability initiatives. Led by Marilyn Cochran-Smith, she and eight current and former Boston College doctoral students meet regularly to discuss readings, issues, and events related to the rapidly changing landscape of teacher education in the United States. In particular, the group focuses on new initiatives related to teacher preparation, licensure, and accountability and examines the ways the work of teacher education is being redefined by current education reform efforts. Informed generally by a discourse perspective on educational policy and employing the tools of frame analysis, several key questions guide the group’s work:

  • How are the problems of teacher education constructed and framed within the current educational policy paradigm?
  • What are the key contemporary initiatives that are proposed as solutions to these problems?
  • How are these initiatives (re)defining practice and policy in teacher education?

Research team

Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Cawthorne Professor, Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College
Molly Cummings Carney, doctoral candidate, Boston College
Elizabeth Stringer Keefe, Ph.D. ’18, Boston College 
Stephani Burton ’06, M.Ed. ’07, Ph.D. ’18, Boston College
Wen-Chia Chang, Ph.D. ’17, Boston College
Beatriz Fernández, Ph.D. ’16, Boston College
Andrew Miller, Ph.D. ’17, Boston College
Juan Gabriel Sánchez, doctoral candidate, Boston College
Megina Baker, Ph.D. ’17, Boston College

Selected publications 

Cochran-Smith, M., Carney, M. C., Keefe, E. S., Burton, S., Chang, W.-C., Fernández, M. B., Keefe, E. S., Miller, A., Sánchez, J. G., & Baker, M. (2018). Reclaiming Accountability in Teacher Education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. 

Cochran-Smith, M., Baker, M., Burton, S., Chang, W.-C., Carney, M. C., Fernández, M. B., Keefe, E. S., Miller, A., & Sánchez, J. G. (2017). The accountability era in US teacher education: Looking back, looking forward. European Journal of Teacher Education40(5), 572-588. DOI: 10.1080/02619768.2017.1385061

Cochran-Smith, M., Baker, M., Burton, S., Carney, M. C., Chang, W.-C., Fernández, M. B., Keefe, E. S., Miller, A., Sánchez, J. G., & Stern, R. (2017). Teacher quality and teacher education policy: The U.S. case and its implications. In M. Akiba & G. LeTendre (Eds.), International Handbook of Teacher Quality and Policy. New York, NY: Routledge.

Cochran-Smith, M., Burton, S., Carney, M. C., Sánchez, J. G., & Miller, A. F. (2017). NEPC Review: A New Agenda: Research To Build a Better Teacher Preparation Program. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center.

Cochran-Smith, M., Baker, M., Chang, W-C., Fernández, M. B., & Keefe, E. S. (2017). NEPC Review: Within Our Grasp: Achieving Higher Admissions Standards in Teacher Prep. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. 


NOKUT International Advisory Panel on Teacher Education

Chaired by Marilyn Cochran-Smith and composed of international scholars in teacher education, the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) International Advisory Panel on Teacher Education was established in connection with the Norwegian government’s introduction of five-year integrated master’s programs for primary and lower secondary education. The purpose of the advisory group is to help ensure that the degree structure change results in high quality educational experiences for teacher candidates and improve teacher education at the primary and lower secondary levels by describing how to improve Norwegian teacher education institutions overall. In May 2018, the Panel made recommendations in areas such as staff composition, master’s supervision, practice, support for deans and program leaders, and support for teacher education institutions.

Panel members

Marilyn Cochran-Smith, chair
Cawthorne Professor, Lynch School of Education and Human Development
Boston College, Boston, Mass., United States

Mikael Alexandersson
Professor, Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Göteborgs Universitet, Gothenburg, Sweden

Viv Ellis
Professor, School of Education, Communication & Society
King’s College London, London, England

Lexie Grudnoff
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Social Work
University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Karen Hammerness
Director, Educational Research and Evaluation
American Museum of Natural History, New York City, NY, United States

Alis Oancea
Professor, Department of Education
University of Oxford, Oxford, England

Auli Toom 
Professor, Department of Education
Helsingfors Universitet, Helsinki Finland


Recommendations from the International Advisory Panel in Teacher Education, May 28, 2018


Project RITE 

Project RITE (Rethinking Initial Teacher Education for Equity) is a research project led by a two-country research team at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and Boston College (USA). A fundamental premise underlying Project RITE is that the ultimate goal of initial teacher education, as a values-oriented professional enterprise, is to prepare teachers who not only understand how intersecting systems of inequality operate, but also know how to promote and support marginalized students’ academic, social, emotional, civic, and critical learning within a range of school environments and contexts. It is this phenomenon—teacher candidates/graduates challenging inequities and engaging in patterns of teaching practice that promote students’ learning—that is the major object of interest in Project RITE. Accordingly, the ultimate goal of RITE, as a research endeavor, is to develop an explanatory theory of teachers’ learning during the critical period of initial teacher education (and beyond) that helps us understand the complex, contingent, and multiple influences on whether, how and to what extent teacher candidates/teachers learn to engage in patterns of teaching practice that support students’ learning and challenge existing inequities in the system. To achieve this goal, the concrete task of Project RITE is to pose new questions and conduct a series of interrelated, mixed methods empirical studies, grounded in complexity theory integrated with critical realism, which will lead collectively to an explanatory theory of teacher learning in the context of initial teacher education.  

Research team

Boston College
Marilyn Cochran-Smith
Cawthorne Professor, Lynch School of Education and Human Development

Larry Ludlow
Professor and Department Chair of Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics and Assessment, Lynch School of Education and Human Development

University of Auckland
Fiona Ell
Associate Dean and Head, ITE; Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
Lexie Grudnoff
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education

Mavis Haigh
Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Education

Mary Hill
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education

Selected publications

Grudnoff, L., Haigh, M., Hill, M. Cochran-Smith, M., Ell, F., & Ludlow, L. (2017) Teaching for equity: insights from international evidence with implications for a teacher education curriculum, The Curriculum Journal28(3), 305-326, DOI: 10.1080/09585176.2017.1292934

Ell, F., Haigh, M., Cochran-Smith, M., Grudnoff, L., Ludlow, L., & Hill, M. (2017). Mapping a complex system: what influences teacher learning during initial teacher education?, Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education45(4), 327-345, DOI: 10.1080/1359866X.2017.1309640

Grudnoff L., Haigh M., Hill M., Cochran-Smith M., Ell, F., & Ludlow L. (2016) Rethinking initial teacher education: preparing teachers for schools in low socio-economic communities in New Zealand, Journal of Education for Teaching42(4), 451-467, DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2016.1215552

Cochran-Smith, M., Fiona, E., Grudnoff, L., Haigh, M., Hill, M. & Ludlow, L. (2016). Initial teacher education: What does it take to put equity at the center? Teaching and Teacher Education, 57, 67-78. DOI: 10.1016/j.tate.2016.03.006