Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. William Schlinker (Director), Dr. Janet Tassell, Dr. Kyong Hee Chon,

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


The method selected to prepare and certify teachers continues to be a widely debated issue. Advocates for alternative certification (AC) contend that allowing content specialists from fields outside of education into the classroom will help meet the demand for teachers in hard-to-fill areas like math, science, and special education. Proponents of traditional teacher certification (TC) programs maintain that placing individuals without strong backgrounds in teaching methods, learning strategies, and child development will impede student achievement.

This study compared the levels of teacher efficacy, job performance and job satisfaction of teachers between AC (N = 164) and TC (N = 960) in 32 school districts in south central and western Kentucky. Teachers self assessed on items related to teacher efficacy, job performance, and job satisfaction. Additionally, this study compared principals’ (N = 106) ratings of teachers’ job performance based on teachers’ selected route to certification.

Results from the teacher responses indicated no difference in the levels of teacher efficacy, job performance, and job satisfaction between the two teacher groups. The demographic data of teacher age and teaching experience did produce some predictive value on job performance and satisfaction. However, the principals’ ratings of teacher job performance produced significant levels of difference between teachers with alternative and traditional certification, especially in the areas of classroom management skills and instructional planning.

Implications for alternative certification are that there must be sustained effort to ensure that teaching candidates have the necessary skills in classroom management and instructional planning prior to completion of an alternative certification program. An unanticipated implication was the emergence of an apparent divide between teachers’ perceptions of their job performances contrasted with the perception of job performance as defined by a building principal. It is essential that administrators, especially at the building level, accurately communicate their expectations regarding effective teaching. Vague generalities and “catch phrases” regarding quality teaching will not help teachers improve their teaching and student learning. Regardless of the method selected to achieve teacher certification, principals must articulate what good teaching is and what it looks like in practice.


Educational Administration and Supervision | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration