Research Supporting the Effectiveness of Teacher Preparation


Two recent reviews by noted educational researchers demonstrate that there has been insufficient research on what contributes to high quality teacher preparation. NCATE agrees; much more research would help to improve the nature and quality of the enterprise. However, a substantial amount of research has been carried out and most of the findings are consistent with educators' experience and common sense.

  • Well-prepared teachers produce higher student achievement.

  • Well-prepared teachers are more likely to remain in teaching

  • Teacher preparation helps candidates develop the knowledge and skill they need

  • NCATE improves teacher preparation

In other words, research supports the idea that teacher preparation is important. The research is not conclusive but it is suggestive. There is evidence that well prepared teachers outperform those who are not prepared. Available evidence is consistent with the prevailing practice that preparation is helpful. It certainly does not support the idea of no preparation.

In no complex human enterprise is research conclusive. In real life, government, business, and schools must operate in the absence of complete knowledge of the consequences of organizational and personal action. The expectation that research will determine what organizations and individuals will do is inconsistent with common experience and observation. Were an enterprise to wait for research to determine action it would never act. In that spirit, we offer a review of research bearing on teacher preparation and proudly announce that NCATE will always seek to align its policies and practices with contemporary knowledge and be prepared to modify them when indicated by new knowledge.

Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations From the Nation’s Top Scholars

As noted in the title, these references are supportive of the need for high quality teacher preparation. They have been compiled to assist institutions and others in the education community to generalize beyond their own experiences when speaking with and making presentations to policymakers, foundations, and corporate leaders. The references are supportive of the key conclusions that teachers and teacher educators should communicate to policymakers and funders when the topics of teacher quality and teacher preparation and development are discussed, and the references are accordingly organized around the key conclusions:

Conclusion 1:

High Quality Teacher/Educator Preparation Makes A Difference in Student Achievement: Student Performance Increases When Teachers Are Prepared

Conclusion 2:

Teacher Preparation Increases Beginning Teacher Retention

Conclusion 3:

Teacher Preparation Works: It Helps Candidates Acquire Essential Knowledge and Develop Teaching Skill

Conclusion 4:

NCATE Makes A Difference in Teacher Preparation