Term of Award

Spring 2008

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

Sonya Shepherd

Committee Member 2

Russ Marion

Abstract

This study examined the perceptions held by beginning Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (GA TAPP) teachers, beginning traditionally certified teachers, and their school administrators from three high schools in the Northeast Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) district in the state of Georgia during the 2007-2008 school year. The study sought to identify specific skills and common characteristics of beginning teachers from GA TAPP and traditionally certified teachers that may contribute to beginning teachers performance in the classroom setting. A face-to-face interview was conducted with three beginning teachers from the GA TAPP program, three beginning teachers from the traditionally certified programs, and four school administrators from three different high schools in the Northeast RESA district. The data for this study were collected using a self-generated questionnaire for interviewees developed from several components of the Danielsons Framework for Teaching (1996). This study generated ten case studies to compare responses relating to skills, experiences, and common characteristics of beginning teachers from alternatively and traditionally certified programs. Data were organized, analyzed, and transcribed into emerging themes and patterns to produce the written research. Study results indicated that beginning teachers' skillsets, characteristics, and the school context affect the performance of classroom teachers whether they are from the alternatively certified program or traditionally certified programs. The researcher also discovered that there are more similarities than differences in the skills and characteristics found among beginning teachers from the alternatively certified program and the traditionally certified program. Each beginning teacher brings to the teaching profession their motivation, previous experiences or lack of experience, knowledge, and aspirations for a long-term career in education. It becomes equally important to provide beginning teachers with the resources, professional development opportunities, and support from mentors, school and district administrators, and policy makers to help strengthen those skills and address the weaknesses to create more effective teachers in our nations classrooms.

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