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Effective Online Teacher Preparation: Lessons Learned

Effective Online Teacher Preparation: Lessons Learned

States with large rural populations must find new ways to prepare and retain highly qualified teachers who want to teach in rural schools. Research on rural education indicates that pre-service teachers who already have ties to rural communities are more likely to want to teach in rural schools. Online teacher preparation programs are one way to meet the need for highly qualified rural teachers. This paper identifies obstacles one teacher preparation program encountered in developing such a program and suggestions for solutions. Successful online teacher preparation programs must address issues of student isolation, the difficulty of committing resources and staffing to ongoing online courses, a campus infrastructure that may lack flexibility for meeting online student needs, and the challenge in providing students with diverse field experiences in their rural communities.

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