How Different Are They? Comparing Teacher Preparation Offered by Traditional, Alternative, and Residency Pathways



Nontraditional teacher preparation pathways were designed to offer different forms of preparation meant to attract different populations of teachers; however, prior literature suggests they may not provide as much of an alternative as initially intended. Drawing on surveys of nearly 800 preservice student teachers and their mentor teachers, we offer a descriptive overview comparing traditional, alternative, and residency pathways preparing teachers in Chicago Public Schools. Our study provides evidence that nontraditional forms of teacher preparation in Chicago do indeed provide unique routes of entry into the profession. We find substantive differences in the kinds of preparation that these pathways offer, including features of preparation such as program and student teaching duration and methods course load, which are often assumed to differ. We also find differences in features not historically studied including mentor characteristics and experiences, types of mentoring provided, and supports received by mentors.
Date made available2021
PublisherSAGE Journals

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