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ERIC Number: ED491683
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-5
Pages: 25
Abstractor: Author
Alternative Certification for Science Teachers: Policy and Context
Zhao, Yijie
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (Dallas, TX, Apr 4-7, 2005)
The purpose of this paper is to review literature on the alternative certification policy so as to identify key features and issues as the basis for suggesting a more systematic approach to the study of the policy efforts. Alternative teacher certification has become a proliferating phenomenon in the United States in response to current and projected widespread teacher shortages. The growth of alternative certification, while rapid, has not been systematic and there is little agreement on how to define, structure and ensure quality control across a diverse array of programs. In the course of nearly 20 years of implementation of alternative certification, the policy landscape has been dominated by a myriad of definitions and programs, intense debate about the professional legitimacy of the solution, and mixed, inconclusive and even contradictory research in terms of the effectiveness of such programs. Although the projected severe nationwide teacher shortages have not materialized in general, such shortages do exist in specific localities and specialties, indicating that teacher distribution rather than production is the issue. Nevertheless, despite the endeavor to solve the generic teacher production problem at the macro level, alternative teacher certification has been criticized for having fallen short of addressing teacher distribution and retention at the micro level, that is, in most hard-to-staff schools in urban and rural areas and in high-need subject areas, such as mathematics and science, English as a second language, bilingual education, and special education, and for teachers of color and male teachers. Given the complexity of issues, the continued growth, and the on-going investment of public resources associated with alternative teacher certification, a comprehensive, in depth and systematic descriptive analysis is needed to help evaluate the effectiveness of the policy in addressing teacher supply and demand, teacher production and distribution. Classification of Alternative Routes is appended.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States