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ERIC Number: EJ857483
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Alternative Teacher Certification: A Program Theory Analysis
Scribner, Jay Paredes; Heinen, Ethan
Teacher Education Quarterly, v36 n2 p179-197 Spr 2009
"Alternative teacher certification program" (ATCP) is widely used as a term for a variety of programs designed to train and credential teachers in expedited fashion. In practice, however, ATCPs consist of a loose confederation of programs and practices ranging from "emergency certification to very sophisticated and well-designed programs that address the professional preparation needs of the growing population of individuals who already have at least a baccalaureate degree and considerable life experience who want to become teachers." The policy rhetoric suggests that these programs address teacher shortages, improve teacher quality, increase diversity of the teacher pool, and increase retention rates. While these goals are laudable, the underlying assumptions of the policy have been challenged. Studies question assumptions about the effectiveness of alternative certification policy to attract teachers of higher quality than traditionally trained teachers. However, the antecedent assumption that ATCPs are substantially similar in structure and function remains tacit and under-explored in policy circles, among practitioners, and in large part in extant research. This article presents findings from the initial phase of a longitudinal research program designed to evaluate alternative teacher certification policy in one state. The study used program theory evaluation (PTE) to investigate policy assumptions, program logics and dilemma points from alternatively certified teacher training to teacher practice. The authors specifically explored how and why ATCPs differed in form and function by presenting an emergent framework to make sense of these differences. Gaining a better understanding of ATCP variation is critical given national, state, and local pressure to address teacher shortages "and" improve teacher quality. The following questions guided the authors' exploration into ATCP theories: (1) what are the program theories that guide practice in the five largest ATCPs in Missouri? and (2) what factors contribute to formation of these program theories. In their discussion the authors consider the implications their findings have for the practice of alternative teacher certification. As this study shows, policy makers and ATCP directors must address the external factors that shape program logics and the contradictions these influences can create. (Contains 1 figure, 1 table and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri