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Clarion University gets an ‘A’ in teacher prep programs for classroom management training

November 3, 2020

The National Council on Teacher Quality has included Clarion University’s undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program among the top in the country for its strong training in classroom management strategies.

NCTQ is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization, which released its 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice and Classroom Management. The review 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. For the first time since NCTQ began publishing ratings in the 2013 Teacher Prep Review, half of the nearly 1,000 traditional elementary teacher preparation programs evaluated earn an A or B grade, up nearly 30 percent from seven years ago.

Clarion University earned an 'A' for its efforts.

Clarion University of Pennsylvania's undergraduate program is among only 14 percent of elementary programs that earn an A, and serves as a model of excellence for others. These top-performing programs are recognized for requiring their aspiring elementary teachers to demonstrate during student teaching, residency, or 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, at least for this year, reshaped much of what happens in schools, 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 and are still critical to the success of aspiring teachers in their future careers.

"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," observed NCTQ 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."

Read the full NCTQ summary of findings, see all top-performing programs, and dig deeper into the methodology at


Last Updated 1/11/21