CTA IFT Background
The California Teachers Association Institute for Teaching (CTA IFT) was formed in 1967 by the Board of Directors of the California Teachers Association and established as an arms-length foundation - a 501(c)(3) corporation - to assist public education in ways that the Association alone was unable to address. The centerpiece for the CTA IFT is Teacher Driven Strength-Based Change (TDSBC).
TDSBC is formulated from teacher experiences in the classroom, teacher school-community relations, and the teaching and learning process. TDSBC is context specific, depending on actual teacher experiences. At the core of TDSBC is a continual search by classroom teachers to improve public education in their local school communities. Way beyond the identification and mastery of externally driven standards, TDSBC is an educational adventure lead by teachers with school-community stakeholders to help students find purpose and meaning in their lives. This search is neither hollow nor random and is designed to help all students, regardless of their circumstances, becomes masters of their own fate.
By focusing on what works in our schools, the CTA IFT believes strength - based models for school change add a new dimension to school improvement. Strength - based models provide an asset-based approach that teachers can use to emphasize talents over weaknesses and strengths over deficits to create a learning environment that supports and encourages every student to do their best. What makes strengths - based approaches particularly important is they provide a clear focus and direction for teacher driven change.