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Options in Teacher Preparation: An In-Depth Examination of an Alternative Licensure Program Over a Five-Year Period
Unformatted Document Text:  Alternative Licensing 2 job?” and c) “What is the effect of maturity and prior work experience in enhancing one’s preparedness to be an effective teacher?” Contribution: Given the attention focused on preparing highly qualified professionals by No Child Left Behind and by state and local policy makers, this investigation provides opportunities for better understanding the effectiveness of teachers trained through non-traditional licensing routes. These findings also provide insight into challenges, benefits, and barriers that arise through this non-traditional route to licensing. As more information is known about those participating in alternative licensing programs, questions can be answered on teacher success, teacher satisfaction, and teacher retention. Without question, effective teachers positively impact student success (Sanders and Rivers, 1996). Few investigations have systematically examined this issue of alternative licensing over a considerable period of time. Relevance: This proposal relates to the following two perspectives: (a) using qualitative or quantitative evidence to inform policy or practice and (b) successful (exemplary) practices. Findings from this study will contribute to the increasing body of knowledge on options for providing a highly qualified teacher in every classroom. Findings will also provide insight into successful strategies employed by alternative teachers to ensure their success. For instance, how does a new teacher who is also participating in an alternative licensing program balance the time and energy demands of her/his classroom while meeting the added demands and requirements of the alternative preparation program? This study will investigate this challenge and data collected will be used to identify successful practices employed by these new teachers. Implication for action: The alternative licensing routes were created to address teacher shortages. While favorably addressing the issue of teacher shortage, questions have been raised on the highly qualified nature of these alternatively licensed teachers. Data compiled through this investigation will address these issues and will identify strategies for improvement for those schools and teachers that have chosen to pursue this route for alternative teacher preparation. The expectation that alternative licensing teachers can “do the job” and assume the full responsibility of professional educators has created the need to assess and ensure that, indeed, these alternative programs are working. It is indeed a “brave new world” for teacher preparation programs. Yet, armed with new understandings and with the tools to effect positive change, the ultimate outcome of producing more quality teachers for today’s schools can be achieved. References: Barnes, S., Salmon, J., & Wale, W. (1989, March). Alternative teacher certification in Texas. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 307 316). Coloradoan. (January 9, 2000). Nation needs more good teachers, education chief says, p. A6. Darling-Hammond, L. (1999, Fall). Solving the dilemmas of teacher supply, demand, and standards. NCATE Quality Teaching, 9 (1), pp. 13-4. Evertson, S.C., Hawley, W. D., & Zlotnik, M. (1985). Making a difference in educational quality through teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 36(3), 2-12. Goodlad, J. (1990). Teachers for our nation’s schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Haycock, K. (1998). Good teaching matters…a lot. Thinking K-12, 3(2), 3-14.

Authors: Whaley, David. and Lofquist, Peggy.
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Alternative Licensing 2
job?” and c) “What is the effect of maturity and prior work experience in enhancing one’s preparedness to
be an effective teacher?”
Contribution:
Given the attention focused on preparing highly qualified professionals by No Child Left Behind
and by state and local policy makers, this investigation provides opportunities for better understanding the
effectiveness of teachers trained through non-traditional licensing routes. These findings also provide
insight into challenges, benefits, and barriers that arise through this non-traditional route to licensing. As
more information is known about those participating in alternative licensing programs, questions can be
answered on teacher success, teacher satisfaction, and teacher retention. Without question, effective
teachers positively impact student success (Sanders and Rivers, 1996). Few investigations have
systematically examined this issue of alternative licensing over a considerable period of time.
Relevance:
This proposal relates to the following two perspectives: (a) using qualitative or quantitative
evidence to inform policy or practice and (b) successful (exemplary) practices. Findings from this study
will contribute to the increasing body of knowledge on options for providing a highly qualified teacher in
every classroom. Findings will also provide insight into successful strategies employed by alternative
teachers to ensure their success. For instance, how does a new teacher who is also participating in an
alternative licensing program balance the time and energy demands of her/his classroom while meeting
the added demands and requirements of the alternative preparation program? This study will investigate
this challenge and data collected will be used to identify successful practices employed by these new
teachers.

Implication for action:
The alternative licensing routes were created to address teacher shortages. While favorably
addressing the issue of teacher shortage, questions have been raised on the highly qualified nature of these
alternatively licensed teachers. Data compiled through this investigation will address these issues and
will identify strategies for improvement for those schools and teachers that have chosen to pursue this
route for alternative teacher preparation.
The expectation that alternative licensing teachers can “do the job” and assume the full
responsibility of professional educators has created the need to assess and ensure that, indeed, these
alternative programs are working. It is indeed a “brave new world” for teacher preparation programs.
Yet, armed with new understandings and with the tools to effect positive change, the ultimate outcome of
producing more quality teachers for today’s schools can be achieved.
References:
Barnes, S., Salmon, J., & Wale, W. (1989, March). Alternative teacher certification in Texas. Paper
presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco,
CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 307 316).
Coloradoan. (January 9, 2000). Nation needs more good teachers, education chief says, p. A6.
Darling-Hammond, L. (1999, Fall). Solving the dilemmas of teacher supply, demand, and standards.
NCATE Quality Teaching, 9 (1), pp. 13-4.
Evertson, S.C., Hawley, W. D., & Zlotnik, M. (1985). Making a difference in educational quality through
teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 36(3), 2-12.
Goodlad, J. (1990). Teachers for our nation’s schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Haycock, K. (1998). Good teaching matters…a lot. Thinking K-12, 3(2), 3-14.


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