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Traditional vs. Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs: A Meta-Analysis


A meta-analysis is presented of the academic achievement effects on students taught by teachers from alternative teacher preparation (ATP) programs, compared to students taught by teachers from traditional teacher preparation (TTP) programs. The literature has indicated mixed results on the student-level academic outcomes of ATP programs. Findings from this meta-analysis indicate an overall statistically significant, yet small, difference in ATP and TTP programs (g = 0.03; 95% CI = 0.01, 0.04, p = 0.001), with the mean achievement of students who had ATP teachers was about 0.03 standard deviations above that of students who had TTP teachers. Further, there were differences in student achievement by type of ATP program, school level, and academic subject area. These results, as well as implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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Correspondence to Denise K. Whitford.

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Whitford, D.K., Zhang, D. & Katsiyannis, A. Traditional vs. Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs: A Meta-Analysis. J Child Fam Stud 27, 671–685 (2018).

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  • Meta-analysis
  • Teacher preparation
  • Traditional
  • Alternative
  • Student academic achievement