The Power of Place

Researchers at EPIC (Education Policy Initiative at Carolina) provide compelling research on the importance of student teacher placements in North Carolina in two research briefs published in July 2018. Nearly 50% of student teachers are hired by the district in which they taught, based on data from the six largest UNC System colleges of education from 2011 - 2016.

The biggest takeaway from the briefs: NC students win when there is a close coordination between school districts and colleges of education, especially as it relates to classroom placements and hiring practices. Yet, we know student teaching is too often treated as a perfunctory placement, instead of a strategic recruiting and coaching tool.

Other key findings on student teaching from the briefs:
1. Best place to student teach: a school where teachers collaborate and that exceeds expected growth
2. Best person to student teach under: a high-quality instructor who is skilled at coaching adults
3. Early career teachers are more effective if they are hired by their student teaching school or one like it.

These facts should encourage school districts to actively partner with EPPs to identify high-quality placements that are a good fit for the candidate.

—Kevin Bastian, Senior Research Associate at UNC Chapel Hill and Associate Director of the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina

The Power of Place: Assessing Whether Novice Teachers Benefit from Similarities in In-Service and Student Teaching Schools
Placed for Success? An Analysis of Student Teaching Placements and Novice Teacher Performance
July 2018
Authored by: Kevin Bastian and Kristina Patterson

In 2017, The Belk Foundation invested $49,887 in EPIC for their research on student teaching placements in NC.