Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Dr. Rose McNeese

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Dr. James T. Johnson

Committee Member 3

Dr. David Lee

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 4

Dr. Ronald Styron

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

This study was conducted to identify if there was a need for reform within initial traditional teacher and/or alternative route teacher training programs. The purpose of this study was to gather data about teachers’ perceptions of their initial teacher training program (traditional undergraduate or alternative route) as adequate training to prepare them to complete their actual teacher job tasks. The study compared the perceptions of teachers with varying years of teaching experience (one to two, three to four, and more than five) to identify if there was a difference and/or how years of teaching experience impacted teachers’ perceptions of their initial teacher training program. The study also sought to identify specific teacher job tasks which teachers do or do not feel adequately trained by their initial teacher training program to complete.

There was no statistical significance found within any of the variables for this study. However, there were some areas identified where teachers indicated feeling less prepared by their training program to complete certain teacher job tasks. Several study participants indicated not feeling prepared to plan instruction for students with specials needs (i.e. ESL, 504, At Risk, & Special Ed.). Study participants also reported not feeling prepared by their initial teacher training program to teach classes with large numbers of students and/or do not have adequate instructional resources.

These factors have a profound impact on education reform. Adequate teacher training is critical to the ability of a teacher to meet each student’s individualized needs. The current status of our economy creates additional issues which need to be addressed by education reform. Many school districts are eliminating teacher jobs to address budget issues. This concept creates larger class sizes as well as limits available instructional resources needed for effective instruction. This indicates that current teachers as well as future teachers need adequate training in these areas in order to provide effective differentiated instruction for their students and meet all student needs.

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