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First 11 Years: 25 Exemplar Alternate Route and College-Prepared K–12 Teachers

by Karen Zumwalt, Judy Randi, Alison L. Rutter & Richard Sawyer - 2017

This longitudinal study follows 25 exemplar elementary, secondary English, and math teachers prepared in New Jersey’s alternate route program (AR) or college-based programs (CB) for 11 years. Half of the AR and CB teachers entered teaching in their early/mid 20s; the others were older beginners. The 12 AR teachers included four males and three teachers of color; all 13 CB teachers were White females. Initial and subsequent teaching placements were critical in what teachers learned and how long they stayed in a particular job and in teaching. Four AR teachers’ placements did not match their stated interest or undergraduate major. Quantity and quality of supervision varied for AR teachers. Five AR teachers, but no CB teachers, began teaching in low-wealth districts. Ten CB and two AR teachers taught in the same school district for the first six years. Six-year retention was 25% for AR teachers and 85% for CB teachers. Eleven-year retention was 42% for AR and 62% for CB. No AR math teacher lasted more than four years. Age at entry, match between setting and teacher, and classroom focus were related to retention. Considering those with school-based administrative jobs, jobs supporting K–12, and those on child leave breaks, CB retention was 100%, and AR retention was 67%, including all entering teachers of color.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 14, 2017, p. 1-32
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22221, Date Accessed: 2/27/2021 11:30:58 PM

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About the Author
  • Karen Zumwalt
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    KAREN ZUMWALT is Edward Evenden Professor Emerita in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University. Following public school teaching in Cleveland, Ohio, and Glencoe, Illinois, she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She worked as a teacher educator at Smith College (Massachusetts) for three years and at Teachers College for 37 years. Her writings and research have focused on curriculum and teacher education. She won AERA’s first Interpretive Scholarship Award in 1983 for her NSSE Yearbook chapter on policy implications of research on teaching.
  • Judy Randi
    University of New Haven
    E-mail Author
    JUDY RANDI is professor of education at the University of New Haven. Her research program focuses on teacher innovations. She has collaborated with teachers to document their innovative teaching practices, including adaptive teaching, self-regulated learning, writing instruction, and visual literacy.
  • Alison Rutter
    East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
    E-mail Author
    ALISON RUTTER is associate professor and special assistant to the dean for Professional Development Schools, Early Childhood and Elementary Education Department, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. She earned her M.A., M.Ed., and Ed.D. in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to having taught in elementary school, she has worked as a teacher educator at Teachers College, Muhlenberg College, and East Stroudsburg for a total of 20 years. Her writings and research have focused on professional development schools and teacher leadership.
  • Richard Sawyer
    Washington State University Vancouver
    RICHARD SAWYER is professor of education at Washington State University Vancouver. His areas of study are curriculum theory with an emphasis on teacher epistemology and imagination, teacher leadership, duoethnography, and aesthetic curriculum. He recently published Duoethnography: Understanding Qualitative Research, published by Oxford University Press, for which he received the AERA Division D Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award, and “Tracing Dimensions of Aesthetic Currere: Critical Transactions between Person, Place, and Art” in the Currere Exchange Journal.
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