Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 59, No. 4, 300-312 (2008)
This research investigated the value added to middle school public education by pedagogically trained college students. An experimental design was employed in which 680 middle school pupils were randomly assigned to instructional groups. University arts and sciences students were put into two groups on the basis of those with formal teacher training and those without. Each student taught four lessons to his or her instructional group.
Pupils were administered pre- and posttest measures on the content delivered in the four lessons and a reflection scale on lesson difficulty. Teachers' behaviors were recorded and scored independently by two trained observers. University arts and sciences students were put into two groups on the basis of those with formal teacher training and those without Results indicated that pupils' achievement was influenced by their perceptions of task difficulty and that teaching behaviors had a statistically significant influence on adjusted pupil achievement outcomes among students with formal pedagogical training. These results support the contention that pedagogical preparation of teachers adds value to middle school public education when measured in terms of pupil academic learning.