Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Rick Bragg

Primary Subject Area

Education, Administration; Education, General; Education, Teacher Training

Keywords

self-efficacy, teacher education, teacher preparation, teacher quality

Disciplines

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Abstract

The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study is to give teachers a voice to express their self-efficacy beliefs, their opinions about the content and the effectiveness of their teacher preparation programs to facilitate student learning, and to hear their suggestions for improving teacher education to enable future educators to achieve that goal. The advent of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 2002, referred to as No Child Left Behind, has reframed the debate on teacher quality. Across the board, from scholars to government officials to private foundations, there is a call for reform of schools of education. It is these schools which are responsible for preparing teachers to educate students who will succeed in the globalized society of the 21st century; yet the voice of the classroom teacher is nearly absent. In this transcendental phenomenological study, I collected data from a sample of 25 educators who have been teaching in schools between 5 and 10 years. An online survey, face-to-face interviews, and one focus group was used to address the topic of how to improve teacher education to best meet the educational needs of a diverse student population. While nearly all participants expressed positive self-efficacy beliefs and an overall satisfaction with the quality of their respective teacher education programs, each reported deficiencies in preparation. Participants expressed concern in the areas of content knowledge, special education, teaching English language learners, using instructional technology, classroom management, and building relationships with families.