The Department of Education's Teacher Education Program (TEP)

Why Teach?

Every day, you will have the opportunity to teach a child a new skill or model a concept or see the world through different eyes. If you thrive on challenge, love to learn, work hard, and care about equity, we ask: why not? And, research clearly shows that a good teacher can have a positive impact not only on learning, but also on students' nonacademic life outcomes.1 As a teacher, if you are systematic, intentional and caring as you work, you will have tremendous influence over what is taught and learned in your classroom, as well as how students see themselves and their potential. 

What We Offer

Julia reads aloudThe Dartmouth College Teacher Education Program (TEP) offers an undergraduate course of study and student teaching that leads to certification to teach in public elementary (K-8), middle and high schools (Biology, Chemistry, Earth-Space Science, English, French, General Science, Mathematics, Physics, Social Studies and Spanish). More importantly, we provide our students with:

  1. deep knowledge about how students learn and what teachers can do to enhance learning;
  2. a set of research and diagnostic skills to assess both evidence of student learning as well as the effectiveness of efforts to improve that learning; and
  3. rigorous practice with a set of skills and strategies to support the learning of their own students.

Our program is designed to serve students who are professionally committed to education and learning, as teachers and school leaders. Students take our courses and devote themselves to a part-time practicum and a full-time term of teaching at a local school because they believe the children they will teach deserve skilled and knowledgeable teachers and leaders. We expect our students to go on and shape conversations about practice in the communities in which they work.

We encourage you to explore this website for further information, and consult the Elementary and Secondary brochures for quick summaries.

Why Teacher Education?

There are many routes to becoming a classroom teacher and school leader, and committing to a challenging preparation program such as the Dartmouth TEP is not a decision to be taken lightly. However, research shows that new teachers who completed a rigorous preparation program that includes a closely-mentored teaching practicum are more effective when they reach the classroom than teachers without comparable preparation.2

What do the employers and colleagues of some of our graduates say?

  • Quite honestly, this was a superior class, and you have no right to be that good this early in your career!” (About a Dartmouth ’12 high school first-year teacher, April 2013)
  • Her planning is the best I have seen from a beginning teacher; it is what I would expect from an experienced teacher.” (About a Dartmouth ’12 middle school first-year teacher, March 2013)

Our Approach

The Dartmouth College Teacher Education Program takes a research-based and peer-supported approach to developing teachers and leaders who can think analytically and use research to continuously improve the learning of children. In our program, students:

  • read and analyze and synthesize research about the mind and brain, learning, child and adolescent development, pedagogy, and their subject areas;
  • develop, teach, reflect on and modify lessons, based on close supervision and feedback by experienced practitioners;
  • develop research methods that they can use to test and improve their pedagogy in the field, and produce their own action research to investigate specific problems of practice;
  • become skilled at observing and analyzing teaching through our process of Instructional Rounds, modeled after medical rounds;
  • hone the skills involved in reasoning from evidence, reflecting, crafting an argument, and justifying pedagogical choices based on descriptive (rather than normative) evidence.3

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