Source: Action in Teacher Education, v. 32 no. 3, (Fall 2010) p. 15-24.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study compared three teacher preparation programs at a Midwestern university.
The purpose of the study was to examine how the teachers from the three programs perceived the impact of the programs and how employers perceived their teaching competencies.
The study was guided by four research questions: (1) How did teachers from the different programs perceive the impact of the programs on their teaching competencies?
(2) How did the employers perceive the competencies of their teachers?
(3) Was there significant difference in teacher and employer perceptions among the three programs?
(4) Was there significance difference in teacher and employer perceptions between program candidates and completers?
Context of Study
The programs include a traditional 4-year undergraduate teacher certification program (TC),
an alternative certification-based master of arts in teaching program (MAT),
and an alternative certification program without the master degree option (AC).
The participants were teachers in the target population for the employee and employer surveys. The majority of the teachers were White Caucasian females.
The subjects of the study were divided into five groups:
(1) teachers who were currently enrolled in the AC program (with no master degree),
(2) teachers who recently completed the AC program,
(3) teachers who were currently enrolled in the MAT program,
(4) teachers who recently completed the MAT program, and
(5) TC teachers who had graduated from the undergraduate teacher education program.
Overall, teachers from the three teacher education programs at the Midwestern university were positive about the impact of their programs on their competencies. The result suggests that regardless of teacher education program or status, the teachers in these programs held similarly positive views about their programs.
Their positive views were confirmed by the perceptions of their employers, who provided high ratings of their teachers' competencies in all three programs. The only exception was the AC candidates, whose employers did not report similarly positive perceptions as those of the other teachers.
The positive ratings that the AC candidates gave to their program, combined with the similarly positive ratings that the AC completers gave to the same program, suggest that the university has a successful AC program, comparable to the MAT and TC programs.
The relatively low ratings that the AC candidates received from their employers, however, suggest that the candidates needed to complete their program before they became effective teachers, at least in the eyes of their employers.