PRE-CONCEPTIONS OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICES AND DESIRED PROFESSIONAL QUALITIES FOR NOVICE TEACHERS
Ismayil, Gulmira 1972-
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The call for educational reform that focuses on teachers’ academic and instructional skills and content knowledge has been of great interest for many educational scholars (Danielson, 2008; Marzano, 2003). The concern for such reform is even more critical in the case of novice teachers. High rates of teacher attrition and job dissatisfaction – particularly among those within their first and second years of teaching – have prompted studies aimed at identifying issues and recommendations for analyzing and improving teacher preparation programs. This study discussed two aspects of knowledge. First, it investigated whether novice teachers feel competent in being evaluated under the Professional Development Appraisal System (PDAS) instrument, an appraisal system applied in most school districts in Texas. Utilizing the novice teachers’ perceptions, this study explored which competencies they considered to be the most essential in each domain of the PDAS. Secondly, it also investigated the perceptions of novice teachers regarding the two types of teacher preparation programs (Alternative Certification Programs and University-based Programs) from which respondents graduated. The study used a survey instrument to gather data. Likert scale and open-ended questions were included. The survey was mailed to first- and second-year teachers in two public school districts in a large metropolitan area through their district staff development offices. Descriptive analysis computed mean scores and standard deviations for individual items in each domain of the survey to identify the extent to which respondents felt their program prepared them to fulfill each of the 50 competencies of PDAS. Group means were analyzed using an independent-groups t-test, which was used to compare the responses from University-based programs and ACP programs to see whether the response patterns of the new teachers varied relative to their perception of adequacy of their preparation. Lastly, frequencies were computed to identify the most important teacher competencies as perceived by the novice teachers. The results from the quantitative analyses revealed that teachers from both types of programs perceived their preparation to be adequate and there was no statistically significant difference found between the teachers’ views of the two programs. However, results from qualitative data showed that there were areas where teachers thought they were less competent in terms of their preparation. Participants suggested some areas of improvement needed for teacher preparation programs. Most importantly, they stressed the importance of field experience.
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