Preparing Teachers for the New Classroom

Jan 21, 2020

Dr. Stephen Spates teaches on Missouri State campus.

In our changing world, how can teachers be confident they are still teaching and reaching their students?

Dr. Stefanie Livers, assistant professor of childhood education and family studies at Missouri State University, researches teacher preparation and professional development of those already in the field. Her goal: to improve access and equity for all students.

"Our teaching force is primarily white female. How do we disrupt some of those structures so that our teaching force changes, and that we are able to meet the needs of each and every student who look different from us?" she asks.

Livers remembers when she first became an instructor, she thought the most important thing she could impress upon teacher candidates was the proper methods for teaching math.

"The longer that I have taught, I've realized if the teachers don't have relationships with students and build connections with people different from them, the teaching's not going to get through," she said. "Because without those relationships, or the investment in that community of learners, student achievement is still going to suffer."