© 2016

Toward a Framework of Resources for Learning to Teach

Rethinking US Teacher Preparation


About this book


This book advances a new framework for learning to teach, using in-depth case studies to show how learning to teach—in any type of program—can best be understood as a recursive and dynamic process, wherein teachers differentially access programmatic, relational, experiential, disciplinary, and dispositional resources. In the last twenty years, debates in the field of teacher preparation have increasingly become paralyzing and divisive as rhetoric around the failure of university teacher preparation intensifies. The author addresses the historical and practical factors that animate these debates, arguing that novice teachers and teacher educators must understand the central conflicts in the field; however, the book also advances a way of approaching learning to teach that accounts for but does not get stuck at the level of programmatic designation. Using lively, in-depth case studies, the author shows how novice urban English teachers from two different teacher preparation pathways—a university-based program and an urban teacher residency—learn to teach within a policy context of high-stakes testing and “college readiness.” 


Teacher preparation teacher education learning to teach education policy preservice teachers university-school partnerships alternative vs. traditional teacher preparation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of Nebraska - LincolnLincolnUSA

About the authors

Lauren Gatti is Assistant Professor in Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. She earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. In 2013, she was awarded Outstanding Dissertation of the Year in Division K (Teaching and Teacher Education) of the American Educational Research Association.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Toward a Framework of Resources for Learning to Teach
  • Book Subtitle Rethinking US Teacher Preparation
  • Authors Lauren Gatti
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-50144-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-69908-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-50145-5
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 206
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Teaching and Teacher Education
    Learning & Instruction
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This book focuses on the process of learning to teach of novice English teachers who participated in two different kinds of teacher education programs. The case studies provide powerful and sobering accounts of teacher learning in US urban schools. What makes the book so important is its ability to help us think beyond the current polarized debates between replacing university programs with narrowly focused ones developed by social entrepreneurs and defending the current system that is in need of substantial improvement. The theoretical ideas it offers that frame teacher learning as a task of building on and accessing resources is a major contribution to the field. This book should be read by everyone concerned with the quality of education in public schools.” (Ken Zeichner, Boeing Professor of Teacher Education, University of Washington, USA)

“Finally a book that offers an alternative to the polarizing debates plaguing teacher education today! In this book, Gatti resists ‘defensive’ and ‘reform’ responses to contemporary teacher education. Instead she digs into what should always be, but rarely is, our focus in teacher education: teachers’ learning. Illustrating the complex and context-dependent ways in which teachers learn, this book offers hope and direction for the future of teacher preparation, regardless of the pathway. I can’t wait to use this book in my own work and to share it with colleagues and students alike.” (Jamy Stillman, Associate Professor, Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity, School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA)

“Focusing on the Urban Teacher Residency (UTR)--a key innovation in pre-service teacher education in the United States--Gatti gets right to the heart of learning to teach in ‘high-needs’ contexts. What happens when the partners in UTRs have conflicting views about the purposes of teaching? How do the teacher candidates negotiate the conflicting ideologies of different stakeholders? Do you have to ‘teach like a robot’ to become credentialed in urban schools? Or are critical pathways to educational transformation still open? In her beautifully written book, Gatti shows how young teachers grapple with these questions and how the systems of teacher education might better support them.” (Viv Ellis, Professor and Chair in Educational Leadership and Teacher Development, King's College London, UK)

“Engaging and timely, this book offers a fresh and discerning conception of teacher preparation, one that transcends unproductive debates about traditional and alternative routes to teaching by focusing attention on the demanding personal work of learning to teach, regardless of the pathway taken.  A must read not only for practicing and aspiring teacher educators but also for novice teachers committed to teaching in ways that build on the resources their students bring to learning.” (Ana María Villegas, Director of the Teacher Education and Teacher Development PhD Program, Montclair State University, USA) 

“Weaving together compelling personal stories and research-based examples, Gatti offers an engaging account of the tensions novice teachers live out as they negotiate conflicting personal, programmatic, and policy aims as new teachers learning to teach in high needs schools. Through her powerful new framework of resources for learning to teach, Gatti raises crucial questions about the aims of teacher preparation and how we should collectively wrestle with reforming teacher preparation to address educational inequities.” (Hilary G. Conklin, Associate Professor of Teacher Education, DePaul University, USA) 

“With this new volume on the education of teachers, Gatti contests the widely-held view that teacher education is a fluffy program of study, one that should be replaced by either content-area specialization or perhaps nothing at all. She skillfully disabuses her readers of these myths, using her lively and compelling prose to animate the complexity of public school education and illustrate the ways in which thoughtful, dedicated teachers learn to address its challenges. Critics of teacher education would benefit from immersing themselves in this volume and enriching their understanding of the difficult, if ultimately satisfying, task of learning to teach with love and a persistent belief in the mission and practice of public education.” (Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education, The University of Georgia, USA)