Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Kirby, Peggy

Second Advisor

Reidlinger, Brian

Third Advisor

Oescher, Jeffrey

Fourth Advisor

Haydel, Juanita


In response to increasing attention to the issues of teacher quality, quantity, and the mandate for highly qualified teachers, alternative approaches to teacher certification have become widespread. Alternative certification allows individuals who typically posses an undergraduate degree in a field other than education to participate in shortened training and/or on- the- job learning experiences that lead to full certification. The number of alternatively certified teachers in urban hard to staff schools is growing. There are many debates as to the effectiveness of alternative certification. At the core of the arguments are issues surrounding teacher pedagogy, classroom management, and knowledge of the teaching and learning experience in general. This study sought to determine public school principals' perceptions of alternatively certified teachers. The study asked principals to compare alternatively certified teachers to those teachers who have participated in a traditional university based teacher education program. Both groups of teachers had one to three years of experience in the classroom. Survey research was used to compare the effectiveness of alternatively certified teachers to traditionally certified teachers based upon principals' perceptions. There were five survey domains, including (1) content knowledge, (2) classroom management, (3) instructional planning, (4) human relations skills, and (5) professionalism. Results of this study indicated that principals perceived that alternatively certified teachers were perceived as slightly less effective than traditionally certified teachers. Teachers trained in the traditional teacher education programs were viewed as more effective with regard to content knowledge, classroom management, instructional planning, and professionalism.


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