Exploring Teacher Perceptions of Efficacy in Career and Technical Education Courses in



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Background: As of 2018, more than one-third of all Texas teachers were certified through an alternative certification program (ACP), including Career and Technical Education (CTE)teachers. ACPs are shorter programs that often omit the student teaching portion that serves as a capstone to the traditional university-based programs. At the same time, the state of Texas has emphasized the importance of Career and Technical Education by including a career readiness component (measured in part by Career and Technical Education student achievement on industry certification examinations) into its high school accountability system. This component, coupled with school districts’ ability to hire teachers alternatively certified or exempt from portions of the Texas Education Code (under the District of Innovation), provides the opportunity for gaps to develop in teacher efficacy. Many Career and Technical Education teachers possess knowledge and skills derived from their experiences in their former workplace and often not from an educator preparation program. Compounding this lack of an educator preparation program, often Career and Technical Education teachers are faced with teaching higher concentrations of at-risk students who are trying to acquire a certification for a career after high school. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the challenges Career and Technical Education teachers face when they become teachers of record on a high school campus. This study answered the following Research Question: What are the challenges Career and Technical Education teachers face when they become teachers of record on a high school campus. Method: This study used a qualitative case study that also incorporated a constructivist approach. Participants were five Career and Technical Education teachers who were chosen using convenience sampling from the researcher’s professional/social network. Participants engaged in two individual semi-structured interviews that the researcher conducted, with the second individual interview also serving as a member check to ensure data validity. The participants also participated in a focus group interview. Data were thematically coded and analyzed using the Data Analysis Spiral method described by Creswell & Poth. This spiral process allowed the researcher to address several facets of analysis rather than move in a linear pattern, allowing themes to emerge. This method allowed the researcher to begin the process of “generating specific analytic outcomes” between interviews rather than waiting until all data were collected. Following data analysis, an educator familiar with Career and Technical Education checked for researcher bias. Findings: After analyzing responses from five current Texas high school CTE teachers, four themes emerged: (1) there are varied beliefs regarding the purpose of CTE programs, (2) the participants perceive a divide between CTE and core subjects on their campus and want to collaborate, (3) the participants have differing views of professional development, and (4) COVID-19 has affected the CTE classroom in positive and negative ways. Conclusion: The perceptions of CTE teachers in this study indicate the following: (1) there is a need for school districts to create a well-defined purpose for their CTE programs, (2) schools should designate time for CTE teachers to collaborate with their core subject peers, (3) schools should offer more opportunities for CTE professional development to address their individual needs.



teacher efficacy