An analysis of the perceptions of teacher trainees, practicing teachers, college educators, and public school administrators regarding the effectiveness of undergraduate teacher preparation programs at Ball State University and Western Michigan University.
The purpose of the study was to analyze the perceptions of teacher trainees, first and second year practicing teachers, college educators, and public school administrators regarding the effectiveness of the undergraduate teacher preparation programs at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana; and Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. The analysis of the programs may possibly be applied to teacher preparation programs in Sierra Leone, West Africa.In the study an attempt was made to discover new concepts and practices and potential approaches that would strengthen the undergraduate teacher preparation programs at Ball State University and Western Michigan University. To secure evidence concerning the existing conditions, the following population was randomly selected.(a) Two hundred teacher trainees, two hundred first and second year practicing teachers, fifty-five college educators, and fifty-five public school administrators from Ball State University.(b) Two hundred teacher trainees, two hundred first and second year practicing teachers, fifty college educators, and fifty public school administrators from Western Michigan University.The questionnaire method for obtaining data was determined to be the proper technique and some direct observation of each program was also made. The sampling included every third person in all four main groups. Based on the number of returned and usable questionnaires,(a) the perceptions of one hundred and sixty-five teacher trainees, one hundred first and second year practicing teachers, fifty-one college educators, and fifty-four public school administrators from Ball State University were tabulated, computed, described and analyzed.(b) the perceptions of seventy-nine teacher trainees, forty-eight first and second year practicing teachers, twenty-two college educators and eighteen public school administrators from Western Michigan University were tabulated, computed, described and analyzed.Significant variables also included sex, professional experience, and teaching/administrative positions.The results of the findings revealed that despite the varied expectations of what constitutes an effective teacher preparation program, a high degree of consensus was obtained among the respondents that most of the activities and practices carried out at Ball State University and Western Michigan University were effective. In most instances, the respondents indicated the items as outstanding and/or above average.Supportive and favorable remarks were expressed for specific programs such as special education programs for the handicapped and the disabled; the TOD programs; the multi-cultural programs; and the adult and continuing education program at Ball State University.Based on the findings of the study the following conclusions were made:1. The instructional programs in terms of the curricular content and instructional strategies or modules were effective.2. The supervisory and other related activities such as classroom observation, testing, grading, communication patterns in the pre-student and student teaching in-service programs were effective.3. The personal relationship between the teaching staff and the students was effective.4. The college policies and administrative procedures were effective.5. The motivation, rewards, and sanctions provided forpersonal and institutional growth were effective.6. The evaluative process in terms of staff and studentratings was effective and consistent in general.7. The total evaluative program in terms of the mechanisms of adaptability and flexibility was effective.8. The teaching, research and public services providedwere effective.Areas of concern that may need some examination were general studies; micro-teaching and laboratory experience; student advising in the area of course selection; the selection process in the pre-student and student teaching stages; activities relating to sensitivity/group dynamics; understanding the relationship with the opposite sexes; learning and respecting other cultures; student involvement in the selection of courses; and, communication patterns between college staff, students and teaching staff and the administrative staff.