ERIC Number: ED422388
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-16
Policy, Politics, and Contradictions of Alternative Teacher Certification.
Bradshaw, Lynn K.
This paper presents a review of theory and research dealing with alternative teacher certification policy. It begins by examining the context for alternative teacher certification through the lens of Human Capital Theory. It defines alternative certification and describes the history and present status of alternative certification policies. The research on the effectiveness of alternative certification is summarized, and contradictions in the effects of alternative certification policies on different stakeholder groups are identified. Data were obtained through a review of literature and research. They reflect a national view, with some state examples that include North Carolina and Texas. An initial search of the ERIC database yielded the original data, and additional sources were added. Alternative certification has been broadly defined as a method of entry into the teaching profession that does not require the completion of a traditional teacher education program. Some alternative certification programs are no more than provisions for emergency or provisional certification, but others provide training for liberal arts graduates who wish to teach and earn standard certification. Interest in alternative certification programs seems to be rooted in a need to address declining numbers of teachers, a concern with the quality of individuals who choose teaching as a career, and a desire on the part of the general public to allow entry into teaching by individuals perceived to have skills needed by the schools. Research reveals increasing numbers of alternative routes for preparing teachers. All states currently have some program other than the traditional teacher certification route to teaching. Alternative certification programs allow individuals to enter the teaching profession with different stocks of human capital as a result of their investment in either a liberal arts or traditional teacher education program. At this time, the research base comparing the quality of alternatively and traditionally certified teachers is not large, but studies to date have generally found few differences between alternatively and traditionally certified teachers. Some implications of alternative certification programs are discussed. (Contains 75 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).