Redesigning Teacher Education

Opening the Door for New Recruits to Science and Mathematics Teaching

by Linda Darling-Hammond, Lisa Hudson, Sheila Nataraj Kirby


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Over the last several years, there has been growing concern about shortages of qualified mathematics and science teachers. This report describes a number of special teacher preparation programs designed to attract individuals to mathematics or science teaching from such nontraditional pools as retirees, homemakers, career switchers, and recent college mathematics and science graduates. The programs are divided into three categories: (1) nontraditional recruitment programs, which do not require changes in state policies on teacher training and licensing; (2) alternative certification programs, which prepare teachers to meet revised state certification requirements; and (3) retraining programs, which help teachers in other fields acquire certification in mathematics or science. The indicators available in this study suggest that nontraditional programs are supplying a nontrivial number of mathematics and science teachers to school systems in their areas. The study also indicates that, for all their promise, nontraditional teacher preparation programs cannot fully overcome other attributes of teaching that make recruitment and retention of teachers difficult.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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