Teacher Education and PK Outcomes: Are We Asking the Right Questions?

Author: Kimber Bogard, Fasaha Traylor, Ruby Takanishi - Foundation for Child Development

Published: September 2007

This commentary by FCD staff, published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, challenges recent research that finds no relationship between PreK-3rd teacher qualifications (degree, major, or certification) and child outcomes.

These findings are aimed (or aim) to inform policymakers who make decisions about the qualifications of PreK-3rd teachers, based on costs of PreK-3rd programs and the jobs they provide. Staffing is the major part of the costs of providing PreK-3rd programs.

The authors argue that researchers are not asking the right questions about the relationship between PreK-3rd teacher qualifications and child outcomes. The preparation of PreK-3rd teachers varies by states as do PreK-3rd teacher certification requirements. Given that fact, the authors question whether measures of PreK-3rd teacher qualifications can be meaningfully related to child outcomes.

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