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ERIC Number: ED529919
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 86
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Fast Track Teacher Education: A Review of the Research Literature on "Teach For All" Schemes
McConney, Andrew; Price, Anne; Woods-McConney, Amanda
Online Submission
This review of the research literature was commissioned by the New Zealand Post-Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua as a means of informing the decision-making of the Association and its members about the Teach For All (TFA) scheme seeking to prepare teachers for New Zealand's schools. The systematic review is about fast track schemes in teacher education, and specifically focuses on what is known about such schemes run by the TFA organisation. In stark contrast to traditional university-based teacher education, schemes characterised as fast track provide would-be teachers a greatly accelerated programme of study and practical experience for gaining entry to teaching in schools. Within a wide variety of alternative routes for teacher training and certification (credentialing), fast track programs have been one of the more visible and aggressively marketed schemes over the last twenty-five years. Initially conceived and developed as Teach For America, similar fast track teacher education programs are now established as Teach First UK and Teach For Australia, and have been established in some 18 countries around the world. Such a scheme is currently under development as Teach First New Zealand. The review of the research literature found both positive and negative outcomes associated with TFA schemes. On the positive side are TFA's remarkable global expansion, success in securing philanthropic and corporate support, selective recruitment of highly able university graduates into teaching and public education, and apparently healthy relationships with prestigious university partners in the UK and Australia. Perhaps most critically, the few larger-scale studies that have been conducted to date on balance seem to support the view that TFA-prepared teachers are at least as effective in fostering student learning as compared to their traditionally-prepared colleagues, and perhaps more so in subjects like mathematics and science. On the negative side, a high proportion of TFA-prepared teachers leave teaching after two years. It is a design feature of the TFA strategy that its teachers need only make a two year commitment to teaching in the schools; this revolving door approach to teacher retention necessarily means both direct and hidden costs to schools and students, and these costs would seem particularly burdensome for schools in challenging circumstances. In addition, many traditional teacher education stakeholders have observed TFA's apparent alignment with the rise of deregulation, choice and marketization, key planks in a neoliberal/neoconservative educational reform agenda. Perhaps most importantly, TFA and its alternative route teacher education peers are often portrayed as having a high potential for reversing the progress made on advancing teaching as a profession. The logic of this perspective is that by its very operation, TFA promotes the view that effective teachers simply need sound knowledge of the subject to be taught, as well as a healthy sense of altruism and/or social justice that frames and supports their work in challenging schools. In other words, the continued expansion of TFA poses an existential question for traditional teacher education and potentially calls into question the value of teachers it prepares. An annotated bibliography is appended. A bibliography is also included. (Contains 9 footnotes and 1 table.) [This work was produced by the Centre for Learning, Change and Development, Murdoch University.]
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; New Zealand; United Kingdom