NYU Steinhardt Wins Frank B. Murray Award for Innovation and Excellence in Self-Assessment of School’s Teacher Education Program

The NYU Steinhardt School for Culture, Education, and Human Development is the 2013 recipient of the Frank B. Murray Award for Innovation and Excellence in Program Self-Study. Bestowed by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), the award recognizes a program’s evidence of quality that makes it worthy of accreditation.

The Murray Award is awarded to an educator preparation program selected from the set of cases granted accreditation by TEAC during the year. The award recognizes excellence in the program’s investigation of (or inquiry into) the performance of the program’s candidates and completers and in the capacity of the program’s quality control system to support programmatic improvement and excellence.

“I am thrilled with this award. It is based on evidence we’ve presented that we are preparing highly effective teachers. Too many accreditation processes in the past, that I have been engaged in, focused on what students are assigned to do, not what they can do,” said Mary Brabeck, Gail and Ira Drukier Dean of the NYU Steinhardt School. “Our TEAC brief provided evidence of what we are doing well. It also provided useful information about where we need to work to improve our preparation of teachers. It was a very useful process and we are proud that it has been recognized as an excellent review of our program.”

In its decision to award accreditation to the teacher education program at NYU Steinhardt, TEAC’s Accreditation Committee commended NYU Steinhardt’s self-study report (called an “Inquiry Brief”) as “well-conceived, nuanced, thorough, and thoughtful…an example of how a faculty can undertake careful consideration of its program, its Quality Control System, and the validity and reliability of its outcomes.”

“TEAC examined the evidence presented in NYU Steinhardt’s ‘Inquiry Brief’ regarding the program’s internal process for monitoring and improving, as well as its claim that its graduates are ready to begin their careers in education,” said TEAC President Mark LaCelle-Peterson. “The Accreditation Committee agreed that the evidence of excellence is clear on both counts.”

NYU’s Teacher Education Program is built on five core values:

• Be in and of the city and engaged deeply in New York schools

• Integrate theory and practice pro-actively rather than expecting students to do it on their own

• Promote intercultural openness as a tool for teaching

• Value content knowledge (disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and inter-professional) and also
pedagogical knowledge as crucial to effective teaching

• Engage habitually in organizational self-scrutiny, and in the process contribute to the
knowledge base for effective teaching and teacher education.

“The award signifies that teacher education at NYU Steinhardt – though a large and complex effort – is exceptionally well grounded and clear in its values,” said Joseph McDonald, professor of teaching and learning at NYU Steinhardt.

According to TEAC, these values impel faculty to articulate the program’s theory of action, to assess the value that the program adds to the education of its graduates’ students, and to participate in the effort to build a deep and trustworthy scholarship of teacher education

The Frank B. Murray Award for Innovation and Excellence in Program Self-Study is named in honor of the first president of TEAC. Murray established an inquiry-driven accreditation process that starts from the faculty’s questions about the program’s mission and results, and focuses on the quality of the evidence the faculty puts forward that candidates meet high expectations and the policies and procedures that produce quality and lead to improvement.