Sudha Swaminathan, Tanya Moorehead, & Leah Barbuto. (2021). Study of The Impact of Educator Preparation Programs Through Research with Teacher Candidates

Accreditation calls on educator preparation programs to determine their program impact by evaluating the teaching effectiveness of program completers and to measure these completers’ impact on their P-12 students’ learning and development. In an innovative twist and taking a more democratic and scholarly approach, we conducted our self-study by engaging our graduate teacher candidates in a qualitative research study of our completers. Four completers, representing each of our programs, participated in the study. Their teaching competencies and impact on their student learning were measured against the four domains of our program’s candidate learning outcomes: Intentional teaching, data literacy, cultural competence, professional practice and leadership. Teacher candidates collected data on demonstration of these four domains through focused interviews and classroom observations of program completers and through surveys of their employers. Consolidated data analyses were conducted to determine key findings and to extract implications. Findings highlighted the strengths of our program to be intentional teaching, cultural competence, and professional practice and leadership. Greater focus on data literacy emerged as an area for improvement. Conducting the study of our program impact as a research project opened another avenue for development of professional knowledge and research skills in teacher candidates. It also established the viability of such studies for determining program impact.

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