OECD visits Inspired Teaching as part of international study

November 17, 2016

(Photos: Sammy Magnuson/ Center for Inspired Teaching)

On October 26, a team from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) visited the Inspired Teaching Demonstration School in Washington, DC. Inspired Teaching was one of a select few sites in the United States, as the OECD investigates effective, innovative teacher preparation worldwide. Their findings will go into the next Teacher and Leader International Survey (TALIS), a comparison of teacher preparation in at least seven nations.

As a residency partner site of the Inspired Teacher Certification Program, the school hosted the researchers as they toured classrooms and interviewed a resident teacher, lead teacher, and Inspired Teaching staff.

To thank Inspired Teaching for the visit, Hannah von Ahlefeld wrote on behalf of the OECD:

“What struck us most about your organization and the school is the commitment of staff and students, and the exemplary support provided for teacher residents. We had the good fortune to meet resident teacher James Tandaric, who helped us to get the day started with this class’s morning circle – and Sybil Bolden, who has been nurturing resident and new teachers at the school for several years…

“Our research and experience have shown us that strong professional development is a key success factor in high-performing schools. This was evident from listening to Jessica Hiltabidel, Mara Duquette, and Jane Dimyan-Ehrenfeld, who spoke about the importance of building collaborative support amongst teachers – new, experienced, and residents – and fostered strong school partnership. The Center’s vision of bringing new teachers to the profession as career teachers, and focus on the continuous learning and development of teacher expertise is a noble one.”

The letter was signed by Hannah and the rest of the research team: Kjetil Helgeland, OECD analyst; Danielle Toon, Learning First, Australia; Jukka Alava, Institute for Professional Leadership, Finland; Makito Yurita, Shimane University, Japan; and Yoon Young Lee, OECD consultant. Jenny DeMonte of the American Institutes for Research coordinated the researcher’s tour for the United States.

Inspired Teaching is proud to have contributed to the field in this way, demonstrating the strengths of a residency model that is grounded in an approach that authentically engages all learners. We thank our colleagues at the National Center for Teacher Residencies, who identified us to the OECD team as a site for the US segment of the international tour.


Inspired Teaching Fellow James Tandaric leads his class in morning meeting.


Jessica Hiltabidel answers the researchers’ questions.


The team visited several classrooms, from early childhood through middle school.


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