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A Comparative Analysis of Two Teacher Preparation Programs

Helfrich, Sara Rachel (2007) A Comparative Analysis of Two Teacher Preparation Programs. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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A mixed methods study design was employed to determine what differences in knowledge of reading instruction and perceived preparedness to teach reading exist between two groups of teacher candidates enrolled in different teacher preparation programs offered at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, this study investigated which components of such programs - coursework, field experience, reflection, or collaboration - teacher candidates perceived as preparing them to teach reading. Data regarding teacher candidates' perceived preparedness to teach reading were collected once upon completion of their preparation program and again after obtaining full-time teaching experience in order to record changes over time.Data collection consisted of the Knowledge Inventory, Survey of Perceptions, Follow-up Survey of Perceptions and telephone interviews. Background information regarding teacher candidates was also collected. It was hypothesized that teacher candidates from the Masters of Arts in Teaching program would obtain higher scores on the Knowledge Inventory and perceive themselves as more prepared to teach reading than those enrolled in the Professional Year program, which would be attributable to their extended amount of time spent in the field. An analysis of the data revealed that few significant differences existed between teacher candidates from the two programs. Based on Knowledge Inventory scores, teacher candidates had a rudimentary knowledge of reading instruction. Undergraduate GPA, PRAXIS scores, age and gender were not factors in knowledge of reading instruction. There were no differences in knowledge of reading between teacher candidates from the two programs based on amount of time spent in the field or grade-level placement. Teacher candidates from both programs perceived themselves as being prepared to teach reading; however, their perceived level of preparedness was somewhat lower after gaining teaching experience than it was immediately upon completing their respective program. Teacher candidates from both programs perceived their coursework and field experience to be the most valuable components of their program. Despite this overall sense of readiness to teach reading, teacher candidates had specific areas of concern in which they would benefit from further instruction, including: spelling and writing instruction; differentiating instruction based on assessment results; and differentiating instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Helfrich, Sara Rachelsrh9@pitt.eduSRH9
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBean, Rita
Committee MemberPerfetti, Charles
Committee MemberBeck, Isabel
Committee MemberKucan, Linda
Committee MemberLazar, Meryl
Date: 27 June 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 30 March 2007
Approval Date: 27 June 2007
Submission Date: 3 April 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: perceived readiness to teach; reading instruction; reading knowledge; teacher preparation; teaching reading
Other ID:, etd-04032007-141651
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:33
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:38


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