Landscape in Secondary Teacher Preparation

The National Council on Teacher Quality has followed its study of undergraduate elementary teacher preparation programs with a new study focused on secondary teacher preparation,  Landscape in Teacher Preparation:  Undergraduate Secondary Education.

Since rules and procedures for selectivity in admissions, student teaching, and classroom management cut across teacher prep programs at an institution, whether preparing elementary or secondary teachers, NCTQ did not find many notable differences between elementary and secondary programs. There was, however, a difference in the quality of content preparation. In spite of the challenges programs face in the broad categories of science and social studies, undergraduate teacher prep programs deliver better content preparation to secondary teachers than they do to elementary teachers. In any given subject area, the number of programs that deliver strong content preparation ranges from a low of 65 percent for social studies to a high of 99 percent for English and math at the secondary level. This is significantly higher than content preparation in the elementary grades, where only 13 percent of programs provide the preparation elementary teachers need in mathematics, and only 5 percent provide a well rounded liberal arts education.

However, not all the news for secondary teacher preparation is good.

Fewer than half of teacher prep programs (44 percent) evaluate student teachers on their ability to apply effective strategies for managing student behavior.

In addition, NCTQ discovered significant shortcomings in the student teaching experience in nearly all programs.

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