Term of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 1

Teri Denlea Melton

Committee Member 2

Paulette Harris

Abstract

This study examined the beliefs held by school administrators regarding the effectiveness of alternatively certified teachers in the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP). The study sought to identify specific strengths and weaknesses of alternatively certified teachers. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with eight public school administrators, four from the middle school level and four from the high school level, in an eastern Georgia county. The interview questions were developed using the categories of evaluation outlined in the Georgia Teacher Observation Instrument. A demographic questionnaire was also given to enrich the data in this study. This study generated data from eight administrators regarding the effectiveness of alternatively certified teachers in the areas of providing instruction, assessing and encouraging student progress, and managing the learning environment. Data were transcribed, organized, and analyzed into emerging patterns and themes to produce the written research. Study results indicated that administrators believed alternatively certified teachers were strong in content knowledge, student engagement, and use of time. Additionally, they found that alternatively certified teachers brought valuable life experiences to education. All the participants in this study said that they felt confident in the work of the alternatively certified teachers who they currently employed. The weaknesses of alternatively certified teachers most often identified in this study were a lack of instructional strategies, using assessment to guide instruction, and adjusting to the rigors of teaching. Of the three most glaring weaknesses, only the adjustment to teaching was found to be more of a problem for alternatively certified teachers than traditionally certified teachers. The overall perception of administrators in this study is that success in the classroom is not a function of certification, but a function of individual characteristics.

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