Voices of Beginning Teachers: Do Paths to Preparation Make a Difference?

By Sandoval-Lucero, Elena; Shanklin, Nancy L. et al. | Education, Winter 2011 | Go to article overview

Voices of Beginning Teachers: Do Paths to Preparation Make a Difference?


Sandoval-Lucero, Elena, Shanklin, Nancy L., Sobel, Donna M., Townsend, Stephanie S., Davis, Alan, Kalisher, Shannon, Education


The importance of good teaching is one of few areas of consensus in current educational debates. There is no significant educational goal whose attainment does not require a growing number of highly capable teachers. However, the debate in the United States about how best to develop an increasing supply of quality teachers has increasingly rejected traditional teacher training in which candidates receive pedagogical foundations followed by supervised student teaching, in favor of alternative pathways to teacher certification. While alternative pathways vary in design, scope, and requirements they typically reduce course requirements in pedagogical preparation and place post-baccalaureate candidates in charge of classrooms during their training period (Rosenberg, Boyer, Sindelar, & Misra, 2007).

Teacher quality is inextricably tied to every aspect of school and student learning (Berry, 2010). In the No Child Left Behind Act (U. S. Department of Education, 2002). Congress defines highly qualified teachers as individuals who not only possess full state certification but also have solid content knowledge. According to the U.S. Secretary of Education (Office of Postsecondary Education, 2002), solid verbal abilities and content knowledge are highlighted as the most important criteria in identifying "highly qualified teachers." In addition, a large body of research has examined the relationship between teaching and subsequent student learning. For example, good teachers are also skilled in teacher-student interactions, instructional decision making, engaging students of diverse abilities and backgrounds, and classroom management (Jones & Jones, 2010; Sleeter & Grant, 2007). Since students respond in widely divergent ways to learning environments, curriculum, and instructional procedures, highly competent teachers engage in using layered decision trees and complex strategies to assess and construct effective learning processes for all of their students (Kozleski, Sobel, & Taylor, 2003).

The problem of teacher preparation has become acute as the national government has raised the stakes for student learning at the same time that the supply and retention of highly qualified teachers is in question (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 2003). Do differences in preparation matter? In particular, how do beginning teachers who have experienced very different approaches to professional preparation perceive their training and its relationship to the demands of teaching? Rosenberg, Boyer, Sindelar, and Misra (2007) maintain little is known about how different types of teacher education programs contribute to teacher supply, retention, or quality. Maier and Youngs (2009) also note a lack of studies exploring how teachers' preparation programs affect teachers' initial decisions about where to teach. Research on beginning teachers has detected significant differences in the perceptions of graduates of extended, formal teacher preparation programs in contrast to teachers entering the classroom through alternative licensure (Darling-Hammond, Chung & Frelow, 2002; Junor Clarke & Thomas, 2009). In a survey of 2,956 teachers in New York City with four or fewer years in the classroom, Darling-Hammond et al. (2002) found that graduates of professional preparation programs felt more prepared to promote student learning, teach critical thinking, understand learners, and develop instructional leadership than teachers without formal preparation. However, surveys have not asked teachers to elaborate on how particular aspects of their professional program prepared them for the realities of the classroom.

To further examine these issues, we interviewed beginning teachers from three preparation models regarding their perceptions of their first through second years of teaching. We acknowledge that there can be extreme differences even within each of the three types of programs. The three that we chose, however, do seem to be fairly typical examples of each type of program.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Voices of Beginning Teachers: Do Paths to Preparation Make a Difference?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.