Date of Award:

1977

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Advisor/Chair:

L. Gail Johnson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the teacher education program in the Department of Elementary Education at Utah State University. The program has been in effect for only a few years and the department desired that an evaluation b e conducted to determine its present strengths and weaknesses.

The procedure used to collect data for this study involved several instruments. Letters were sent to 150 universities in the United States to determine what they had done to evaluate their teacher education programs. Questionnaires were sent to 399 graduates from 1974, 1975, and 1976 to ask their opinions of the program. Questionnaires were also sent to 101 principals of these graduates asking them to evaluate the graduates as products of the program. Visits were made to a random sample of 20 graduates and principals. Recommendations for the program were requested of the graduates and principals on the questionnaires and during visits.

The results of this study showed strengths in the program in the subject areas of language arts, math, and social studies. Weaknesses were found in the areas of art, music, physical education, reading, and science.

In the teaching competencies major strengths were found in the areas of positive personality traits, capturing interest and attention, encouraging creative activity, collecting and using media and materials, and gaining trust and building student self-concept. Major weaknesses were found in the areas of helping students of varied ethnic backgrounds, correlating curriculum with that in the grades preceeding and following, making interest centers and learning stations, caring for health, safety, and muscle coordination, helping students to use inductive and deductive thinking, and helping students develop visual and auditory perception.

It was also found that the principals feel differently about graduates' performance than the graduates do. The principals rated the majority of the graduates slightly above average compared to other beginning teachers, while the graduates rated themselves above or below their principals' ratings. The correlations of individual pairs of graduates and principals were, therefore, very low.

The overall ratings of graduates and principals, obtained through the questionnaires and interviews, were similar. The college supervisors and cooperating teachers also showed agreement. However, the graduates and principals did not agree with the college supervisors and cooperating teachers in their ratings.

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