This study has been completed.
September 2011 – October 2019
Title II, Part A, the Improving Teacher Quality State Formula Grants program, is the primary federal funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to improve teacher quality. Research has shown that, on average, novice teachers are less effective in improving student achievement than their more experienced peers. This is particularly an issue given that new teachers tend to be concentrated in high-poverty schools with lower-performing students. Little research exists, however, to inform how best to prepare novice teachers for the classroom. This study explored the variation in teachers' preparation experiences. It also examined whether the experiences that novice teachers have in their certification programs are associated with teachers' effectiveness in the classroom. The study defined novice teachers as those in their first three years in the profession.
Approximately 3,300 novice elementary school teachers participated in this descriptive study. The teachers were surveyed once, in spring 2015. The survey asked teachers about their experiences learning specific teaching strategies across two categories of classroom instruction: "Creating a productive learning environment" and "Promoting analytic thinking skills." For each strategy, teachers reported how often within their preparation they engaged in four different ways of learning them: coursework, observation of other teachers, practice within a classroom setting, and instructor feedback on their classroom practice. The study describes the frequency of these experiences and which experiences may matter for teachers' effectiveness in improving student test scores.
The study report, titled Teacher Preparation Experiences and Early Teaching Effectiveness, was released in September 2019.
A restricted-use file containing de-identified data is available for the purposes of replicating some study findings and conducting secondary analyses. Due to data use agreements with study sites, only teacher survey responses and district and school demographic data from the Common Core of Data are included in the file.