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ERIC Number: EJ1090424
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 30
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Rumor Has It: Investigating Teacher Licensure Exam Advice Networks
Baker-Doyle, Kira; Petchauer, Emery
Teacher Education Quarterly, v42 n3 p3-32 Sum 2015
In many countries, including the United States, England, Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan, individuals must pass some form of examination for entry into or completion of a teacher education program (Wang, Coleman, Coley, & Phelps, 2003). These exams are meant to act as gatekeeping mechanisms for teacher quality. In the majority of the countries mentioned previously, such exams are one part of a comprehensive set of evaluative criteria, usually developed by the certifying institution or country. However, in the United States, the exams are high-stakes, standardized tests developed and administered by private companies (Akiba, LeTendre, & Scribner, 2007). In addition, many U.S. exams have been found to be limited measures of preservice teacher ability (Angrist & Guryan, 2008; Goodman et al., 2008). Outcomes on these exams are related to factors such as academic preparation, grade point average, major, and race (Gitomer et al., 2011). Given the relationship between race and the exam, many scholars have argued that these exams are culturally biased against preservice teachers of color (Bennett, McWhorter, & Kuykendall, 2006; Flippo, 2003; Grant, 2004) and decrease the racial diversity of the teaching profession (Flippo, 2003; Memory et al., 2003). Given the centrality of examinations to teacher certification and the previous scholarship that identified factors related to exam outcomes, this study examined a related social factor: social capital. This study examined the characteristics of the advice networks of 23 preservice teachers preparing for the basic skills teacher licensure exam in the United States, the most test-intensive country for teacher certification. Advice networks include the people whom an individual reaches out to regarding a particular problem or issue. In particular, the web of relationships that participants had that provided them advice and information regarding teacher licensure exams was examined. Ways in which advice networks related to preservice teachers' persistence in exam preparation and their success or failure in passing the exams were analyzed. Research questions were as follows: (1) How does social capital function in preparing preservice teachers for the licensure exam?; (2) What are the characteristics of preservice teachers' licensure exam advice networks as the preservice teachers prepare for the licensure exam?; and (3) Is there a relationship between any particular structural network characteristics and the pass rates and/or persistence in completing the exam for entry into their programs? Researchers employed a mixed methods approach to the study, which incorporated the use of social network analysis to analyze the characteristics of the structures and people in participants' licensure exam advice networks. The outcomes of this study offer implications for future research frameworks and for how institutions under similar professional testing mandates can support preservice teacher preparation for licensure exams.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A