Teacher Preparation Does Matter: Relationships between Elementary Mathematics Content Courses and Graduates' Analyses of Teaching

Siobahn Suppa


In the United States, teacher preparation programs are under increased pressure to demonstrate their effectiveness in producing graduates’ with knowledge, abilities, and competencies to be quality teachers. However, very little research shows this kind of evidence. In a rare exception, Hiebert, Miller, and Berk (in press) found significant positive results of the influences of an elementary teacher education program on graduates’ knowledge. Due to the rarity of these kinds of findings, we replicated their analyses with a different cohort of graduates from the same preparation program. Graduates completed a video analysis task correlated with high quality mathematics teaching for topics taught during the program and topics not taught during their program. Our results corroborate theirs, showing that graduates performed better on topics taught during their program versus topics not taught. These findings suggest that teacher education programs can have a significant positive and lasting effect on graduates’ knowledge several years after graduation.

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