Graduates' perceptions of the teacher education program at Central American Union Seventh-day Adventist College (Costa Rica)

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of teacher preparation areas (student teaching, methods courses, early field experiences, major field of study, and other courses in education) to the development of professional competencies as perceived by Central American Union Seventh-day Adventist College (CADES) graduates from 1981 through 1984. The study also investigated the extent to which teachers perceived they possessed selected competencies listed in the survey instrument. Graduates surveyed were also requested to evaluate the adequacy of their orientation in teacher preparation areas.

Procedures: Data were gathered by survey questionnaires from graduates from CADES' teacher preparation program. From a total population of 80, 78.8 percent usable questionnaires were returned. Statistical procedures used to analyze the seven hypotheses of this study included ANOVA, t-tests, and correlation matrices. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and means were also used. Hypotheses were accepted at the .05 level of significance.

Findings: A difference was found to exist among the teacher preparation areas in their contribution to the development of professional competencies within competency categories (planning and organization, instructional techniques, spiritual integration, classroom management, and professional growth). Graduates perceived student teaching as contributing most to the development of professional competencies. Graduates rated methods courses second in value of contribution; early field experiences, third; major field of study, fourth; and other education courses, fifth. Graduates rated their competency in all categories as good to excellent. Most respondents rated themselves as excellent in spiritual integration; following next in respondents' self-rating was planning and organization. No one perceived himself as being very poor in any of the competency categories. The majority of graduates rated the adequacy of their orientation in their teacher preparation as good. Student teaching was the area in which the highest percentage of graduates rated themselves as excellent. Secondary education graduates perceived their preparation in major fields of study as less effective than their preparation in other areas.

Conclusions: Following are some conclusions drawn from the findings: (1) Graduates credit the teacher preparation program at CADES with contributing substantially to the development of their professional competencies; and (2) Secondary education graduates are not satisfied with the contribution of their major fields of study to the development of professional competencies.

Licence Type:
Publication Date:
Myrtle L Sawyers de Penniecook
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Full text not available online. Database: ProQuest Digital Dissertations. Completed through Loma Linda University.
Resource Type:
Papers & Plans
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Religious Origin:
Seventh-day Adventist