URI named one of the nation’s top teacher prep programs

The Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies was honored for strong training in classroom management

Media Contact: Jane Fusco, 401-277-5174 |

Kingston, R.I. – Oct. 21, 2020 – The University of Rhode Island’s Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies’ undergraduate and graduate elementary teacher preparation programs have been named among the top in the country by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization, for strong training in classroom management strategies.

URI’s undergraduate and graduate programs are among only 14 percent of elementary programs that earned an “A”, and serve as a model of excellence for others.

“URI’s School of Education faculty work tirelessly to develop programs that best prepare future teachers for the classroom. Across the nation, school leaders consistently ask that teacher candidates arrive with exceptional classroom management skills, and it is a testament to our faculty that they have been recognized for providing just that,” said Danielle Dennis, director of URI’s School of Education.

Dean R. Anthony Rolle added that, “All aspects of faculty life – conducting robust research, high quality instruction, and state and national service to their disciplines – have come together to ensure that the School of Education continues to prepare teaching candidates extremely well.”

Top-performing programs are recognized for requiring their aspiring elementary teachers to demonstrate during student teaching, residency, or through equivalent clinical practice their ability to implement all five classroom strategies, which are:

1) Establishing rules and routines that set expectations for behavior;

2) Maximizing learning time by managing time, class materials, and the physical setup of the classroom, and by promoting student engagement;

3) Reinforcing positive behavior by using specific, meaningful praise and other forms of positive reinforcement;

4) Redirecting off-task behavior through unobtrusive means that do not interrupt instruction and that prevent and manage such behavior, and;

5) Addressing serious misbehavior with consistent, respectful, and appropriate consequences.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped much of what happens in schools this year, including classroom management training for aspiring teachers. Several essential classroom management strategies can’t simply be converted to a remote teaching environment, and many states and teacher preparation programs have moved their clinical practice experiences online or abbreviated them limiting opportunities to practice. However, the basic principles of quality classroom management still stand in spite of COVID-19 and are still critical to the success of aspiring teachers in their future careers.

The full national council summary of findings can be viewed at www.nctq.org/2020TPRPractice

The council released its 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice and Classroom Management in October, which finds encouraging progress in teacher preparation programs’ adoption of evidence-based classroom management strategies that are universally effective, regardless of student age or the subject being taught.

“In previous editions of the Teacher Prep Review, the predominant approach to classroom management instruction by most programs was that establishing classroom rules and planning great lessons will prevent student misbehavior,” said council President Kate Walsh. “As any teacher can attest, engaging classes alone are seldom enough. We are heartened by the growing acknowledgment of the many benefits of building new teachers’ skills in these key strategies.”

Now in its fourth edition, the Teacher Prep Review assigns a team of experts to evaluate teacher preparation programs on their adherence to evidence-based classroom management strategies. Programs that earn an A on this standard require their aspiring elementary teachers to demonstrate their ability on all five strategies.