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Abstract

High quality teachers make a difference. Marzano notes, “the single most influential component of an effective school is the individual teachers within that school” (2007, p. 1). There are a multitude of considerations that impact the effectiveness of an individual teacher, but arguably the quality of a teacher’s educational training program is of paramount importance. The initial theory and practical training that pre-service teachers receive not only prepare educators to enter the classroom but can have a profound impact on their later growth and development as a professional. However, despite the impact that pre-service teacher training may have on developing effective teachers, what constitutes a quality teacher education program is not commonly agreed upon. As Linda Darling-Hammond (2000) comments, “Education schools have been variously criticized as ineffective in preparing teachers for their work, unresponsive to new demands, remote from practice, and barriers to the recruitment of bright college students into teaching” (p. 166). Educational programs can be considered fragmented, with various aspects of the content, pedagogical coursework and field experienced viewed as disconnected, with a divide existing between university and school based training (DarlingHammond, 2000). The research objectives of this paper are to examine: (1) the pre-service education model developed at one Alberta, Canada university, an undergraduate program that strives to achieve program coherence between the teaching skills required by provincial legislation, course content and field experiences; (2) the government standards for beginning teachers, (3) student personal responses of their sense of readiness compared to the government standards (comparing the education program to government requirements), and (4) potential use of a reflective tool shared in further forging program coherence. The results show a clear-headed view of the students’ own “sense of preparedness.” They can distinctly see where they have strengths and where they have areas that they intend to work on.

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http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/25283

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