Source: Teacher Education Quarterly, Volume 39, No. 1, Winter 2012
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study investigated the effect selected extrinsic variables have on survey data collected to determine the efficacy of, and improve, teacher preparation programs.
The authors conducted two studies: The first study examined the effect of credential program variables on composite scores. It included 994 graduates from a CSU elementary teacher credential program after one year of teaching and 242 their employment supervisors, who responded to a survey.
The second study examined effect of K-12 school characteristics on composite ratings. It included 19,050 supervisors responded to the survey over a 10-year period.
The findings reveal that study 1 addressed the most frequent argument, that more coursework would improve assessment data. California does not allow an undergraduate major in education so credentials are added on to degrees in other subjects and programs are also limited to preparation that can be completed in one year.
The relatively strong inter-correlations among the various aspects of teacher preparation that were rated indicates that teachers judged strongly prepared in one area are so judged in other areas.
Study 2 addressed the assertion that teachers working in the most challenged schools, those with low achievement, and large numbers of emergency permitted teachers, will be judged less well prepared because they are teaching under more challenging conditions. The results of Study 2, however, showed no clinically significant correlation between the principals’ evaluation of the CSU graduates’ preparation program and the characteristics of schools in which they taught during their first year. The follow-up survey of university-based teacher preparation program graduates and employment supervisors conducted by the CSU is unprecedented. As predicted by the literature, however, some involved have been reluctant to accept this opportunity to utilize the culture of evidence so increasingly necessary in the field of teacher preparation. This research contributes knowledge to this critical area by addressing the extent to which the results of surveys assessing university-based teacher preparation are influenced by extrinsic variables over which a program has little or no control.