Date of Award

Fall 11-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa Christiansen

Abstract

The quality of teacher education allows first-year teachers to meet mandates at federal and state levels (Darling-Hammond, 2010a). The teaching profession is complex and requires new and innovative quality preparation programs (Wei, Andree, & Darling- Hammond, 2009). This study involved examination of the perceptions of 17 building principals and 16 first-year teachers to determine the effectiveness of teacher preparation. First-year teachers identified essential elements of teacher preparation and weaknesses of programs. The study addressed building principals’ perceptions of differences, if any, in the effectiveness of first-year teachers graduating from traditional teacher preparation programs and first-year teachers who choose alternative routes to the profession. Perceptions of first-year teachers and building principals were identified in regard to the skills of first-year teachers in the classroom. Building principal perceptions indicated first-year teachers are prepared as effective classroom teachers in the areas of content knowledge, creating positive environments, classroom management, cooperative learning, cooperative partnership, implementing curriculum, use of technology and communication; understanding student learning, growth, and development; and performing roles, responsibilities, and collegial activities. Identified weakness in the effectiveness of first-year teachers were in the areas of instruction and assessment. Building principals indicated first-year teachers from traditional programs were more effective than those who chose alternative programs. First-year teachers indicated essential elements of teacher preparation programs to be organization, classroom structure, positive reinforcement, classroom management, and implementing a variety of instructional strategies. Areas of weakness identified were time-management, parent iv teacher conference experiences, preparing the classroom environment, and time for realistic opportunities to experience classroom teaching. First-year teachers perceived their preparation to be more positive than building-principal perceptions in the areas of analyzing instructional goals and differentiated instructional strategies, teaching for critical thinking, effects of instruction on individual/class learning, use of student assessment data to analyze and modify instruction, assessment data to improve learning, and self-assessment.

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