EVALUATING SELECTED PERCEPTIONS OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS IN AN ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
In 2003 the University of Missouri (with the aid of US National Science Foundation funding) initiated an alternative certification program (ACP) to address the well-documented need in the US for increasing the quantity and quality of mathematics and science teachers for the middle and secondary levels. Nationwide current certification programs do not provide the quality and quantity of mathematics and science teachers needed in schools. As a result most American states have begun to experiment with ACPs as a way to address the shortage of math and science teachers. To evaluate the success of this program, we collected data from ACP participants regarding perceived preparation, self efficacy, and outcome expectancy at three time points in the program. State standards for beginning teachers were used to construct a perceived preparation instrument. Analysis of data suggests that over time, ACP participants exhibited an increasingly positive view toward their preparation for classroom teaching, as well as increased self efficacy. However, there was little change in the students’ outcome expectancy over time. In this article we share details of the unique ACP program and we describe steps taken to collect and evaluate a project data set. Our work provides useful guidance to researchers and practitioners in the field of science and mathematics teacher education.
KEY WORDSACP alternative certification instrument design mathematics education mathematics preservice teacher preparation national standards Rasch Rasch measurement science education science preservice teacher preparation self-efficacy state standards Winsteps
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