Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard

Second Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Third Advisor

Elvin Gabriel

Abstract

Problem. The education system in this 21st century is faced with numerous challenges that, quite often, leave administrators and classroom teachers bewildered in their quest for effective solutions. In light of these challenges, this study investigated three exemplary pre-service teacher education programs in Jamaica and Michigan in order to provide an account of how these are structured in different contexts of tertiary institutions and, in addition, to identify how these programs ensure that their graduates are prepared to function effectively in today’s schools.

Method. A qualitative case study design was used in this study. Five categories of stakeholders in the three institutions were interviewed regarding their perception and expectations of pre-service teacher education in general as well as in the context of their program. The responses from these persons were described in narrative form then analyzed and compared based on the similarities and differences that existed among them. The analysis led to the emergence of various themes across the three institutions, and these were used to draw conclusions relative to the structure of pre-service teacher education.

Results. There are certain distinguishing features of exemplary/effective pre-service teacher education programs whether they are university- or college-based. Programs of this sort will bear eight basic features: (a) coherent program vision, (b) cultural competence, (c) collaborative partnership, (d) contextualization, (e) quality standards, (f) well- planned and implemented field experiences, (g) continuous assessment, (h) experienced committed faculty, and (i) a harmonious blend of theory and practice. These features enhanced the performance of graduates from these institutions.

Conclusions. To be effective, pre-service teacher education programs have to prepare prospective teachers to adequately meet the challenges o f teaching in the schools and classrooms of today. The programs’ structure may vary according to their institutions’ guiding principles, beliefs, and vision o f teaching and learning. However, there are certain basic features that will characterize all programs that are operating to prepare the caliber of teachers that the society demands. To effect change, quality teachers are needed, and to produce quality teachers, quality preparation is a necessity.

Subject Area

Teachers--Training of--Jamaica, Teachers--Training of--Michigan, Education--Study and teaching--Jamaica, Education--Study and teaching--Michigan.

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