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Eric.ed.gov – The Relative Effectiveness of Traditional and Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs: A Review of Recent Research. MHEC Research Brief

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Teacher preparation refers to a “state-approved course of study, the completion of which signifies that an enrollee has met all the state’s educational or training requirements for initial certification or licensure to teach in the state’s elementary or secondary schools” (Department of Education, 2016, p. 6). The widespread concern for the quality of teacher preparation has extended to both traditional programs at four-year institutions and alternative programs created to address teacher shortages. This brief seeks to inform policies on teacher preparation by reviewing research on the effects of teacher certification and preparation programs in relation to student performance and teacher outcomes. Main findings include: (1) Traditional teacher preparation generally refers to a four- or five-year undergraduate program at a postsecondary institution. Alternative preparation programs, such as Teach for America (TFA), provide expedited pathways to licensure in order to rapidly increase the number of available teachers in a state; (2) Traditional teacher preparation consistently yields better instructional knowledge, self-efficacy, and teacher retention than alternative preparation across all levels of schooling, except kindergarten; (3) Studies comparing alternative and traditional teacher preparation programs have yielded mixed results in relation to student achievement. Some studies revealed that less selective alternative preparation programs were either substantially less effective or slightly less effective than traditional programs. However, other studies demonstrated that alternative and traditional preparation programs are equally effective in Texas and New York, and some studies indicated that TFA, a highly selective program, is more effective in improving math and science scores compared to traditional preparation; and (4) Taking into account the findings of both teacher and student outcomes research, a cautious approach to policy would minimize reliance on alternative preparation programs to meet teacher workforce demands.

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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