New Jersey's Provisional Teacher Program: Participants' perceptions of qualitative characteristics of teacher training

Isabella Marcotrigiano, Fordham University


This study investigated the formal instruction and training provided provisional teachers participating in New Jersey's Provisional Teacher Training Program from 1985 through 1987.^ Perceptions were surveyed of provisional teachers, principals serving as chairpersons of teacher support teams, and experienced teachers serving as mentors to provisional teachers representing 38 public school districts. Three provisional teachers from varying socio-economic communities were selected as representational of the provisional teachers surveyed and became the subjects of intensive case study interviews.^ The individual case studies verified the survey data findings. They provided specific qualitative assessments of the extent and nature of pre-service and in-service training, the value of school district support teams and mentors, and the attainment of policy goals and objectives espoused by the New Jersey State Department of Education in permitting local school districts to recruit, train, and employ alternate route teachers outside of official teacher certification channels.^ Findings and conclusions indicated an array of program requirements, training specifications and formats, monitoring responsibilities, and overall evaluations of provisional teacher pre-service and in-service experiences need greater attention and tighter control by local and state authorities charged with the induction of teachers into the profession as alternate route provisional teachers. In general, recommendations include: the strict implementation of specified hours of formal instruction in the art and science of teaching/learning processes, stricter adherence to prescribed mandates calling for experienced teacher mentors and professional support teams for the training and supervision of provisional candidates, on-going formal evaluations of provisional teachers during their 1-year induction period, and greater input by principals as instructional leaders to direct the improvement of the performances of provisional teachers.^ Also recommended are new instructional formats and training modules for provisional teachers as reflected by national reports calling for reforms to teacher education curricula. Likewise, there exist critical needs for university, foundation, and government research funding to assess current provisional and alternate route teacher certification programs and to identify new and more effective means to train and evaluate new teachers outside of formal state certification channels. Such research must focus on the roles state governments, teacher training institutions, and professional teacher groups should play in this new and quite radical teacher induction process now controlled solely by widely disparate local school authorities. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Marcotrigiano, Isabella, "New Jersey's Provisional Teacher Program: Participants' perceptions of qualitative characteristics of teacher training" (1990). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9226429.