Developing high quality teachers through professional pre-service teaching opportunities

Based on the reform movements over the past two decades, it is evident that while effective teachers are critical to student learning, not all teachers are coming to the profession highly qualified. Policy and research continue to highlight the need to reorganize and refocus teacher preparation programs to produce higher quality teachers ready to meet the demands of the classroom from day one of employment. This study focuses on the enhancement of traditional preparation programs in public Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) as this continues to be the context for which most teacher candidates come to the profession. Using a six-group, four measure mixed-methods design, the objective of the study is to determine the impact California Teaching Fellows Foundation (CTFF), a preservice teaching and learning opportunity for future teacher candidates, has on developing higher caliber teachers prepared in a traditional University-based teacher preparation setting. Through the use of an online survey, interviews, and focus groups, the relationship of CTFF participation to teacher efficacy before, during, and after traditional preparation participation is examined and explored from the perspective of teacher and supervisor. Unexpected findings show that CTFF participation has a relationship to decreased Teacher Efficacy for teacher candidates and CTFF is not creating a significant pipeline to teaching as proposed, leading to questions for further study.