Term of Award

Fall 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

Brenda Marina

Committee Member 1

Angelia B. Davis

Committee Member 2

Hsiu-Lien Lu

Abstract

Alternative teacher preparation programs make both positive and negative contributions in producing classroom teachers. Principals are the key evaluators in determining the teachers' success. Principals are essential evaluators because they serve as the immediate supervisors of the program and help determine the certification process of the alternatively prepared teachers. Teachers are being hired to teach from traditional and alternative teacher preparation programs. This study was essential in determining the impact of the alternative teacher preparation programs in producing needed teachers for the classroom. The study focused on alternatively prepared teachers meeting the shortage areas in Georgia schools. "A teacher shortage means that the number of effective teachers the district wants to employ is greater than the number of effective teachers who are willing and able to work at a given salary (Jacob, 2006, p. 6)." This study revealed the perceptions of principals as related to the performance of the alternatively prepared teacher in regards to content knowledge, classroom management, and carrying out their teaching duties. Content knowledge influences student achievement, but no evidence is present that content knowledge is the only requirement for students' success (Kaplan & Owings, 2002). In fact, classroom management is an essential tool teachers need to ensure optimal levels of learning experiences. In order to discover the impact alternatively prepared teachers made in the Middle Georgia area, face-to-face interviews were conducted with high school principals. An interview guide was developed based on the information highlighted in the literature. The researcher organized, analyzed, and transcribed the data into emerging themes and patterns to reflect the final results of the research. Eight high school principals participated in a semi-structured interview. The findings of this research suggest that the Middle Georgia area is not experiencing any shortage of teachers at the time of the study. Although no teacher shortages were evident, through interview data, the principals revealed that more alternatively prepared teachers are teaching in the content areas of mathematics and special education. The strengths noted in this study were the alternatively prepared teachers' content knowledge and life experiences enrich the learning opportunities in the classroom. The weaknesses identified in this study are the lack of classroom management skills and pedagogy skills that were evident during the first semester or the first year of teaching. Implications for future research and practices were also discussed in this study. The results of this study will add to the available research on the principals' perceptions of the benefits and challenges Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy Program (GA TAPP) teachers' performance in the classrooms at the high school level located in Middle Georgia.

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