Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Colwell, William

Second Advisor

Dilley, Patrick

Abstract

ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF Nancy Negley Brodbeck, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration, presented on (DATE) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: TEACHER RECERTIFICATION: A HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ILLINOIS PROCESS MAJOR PROFESSORS: Brad Colwell, Ph.D., J.D. and Patrick Dilley, Ph.D. License renewal and recertification have long been standard practice in service professions. Ten years ago, a new law called for policy revision and mandated that Illinois teachers acquire continuing professional development to maintain certification. This study provides a historical perspective of the Illinois teacher recertification process, exploring its genesis and its metamorphosis. The nine stakeholders interviewed in this study represent different levels of responsibility in state education agencies, ranging from state to local level involvements. An online search of each of the fifty states' department of education websites yielded certification information or contact information to state certification divisions. Each state's certificate renewal requirements were secured and printed, and when not available online, were solicited through telephone contact and received by mail. A review of literature led to the comparison of certificate renewal to that of other professional relicensure practices. The American Medical Association and the American Bar Association were researched to determine what types of continuing education are required to maintain licensure in the fields of medicine and law. Telephone interviews were conducted with nine people, six of whom helped design and write the Illinois Certificate Renewal Manual (2000). The other three interviews were conducted with representatives of those responsible for implementing and overseeing the teacher recertification process at the regional and local levels. Study participants were selected from urban, suburban, and rural areas from northern, southern, and central Illinois. Two dominant themes emerged from the interviews. First, the initial recertification plan was time consuming. Teachers were spending considerable time with paperwork, which took time away from instructional preparation. Second, the process was labor intensive, involving layers of increased bureaucracy, reporting, and record keeping. The research completed in this study confirms the need for change to the initial recertification process that occurred in 2004. While these changes were viewed positively by teachers and the state agencies responsible for monitoring the process, they lessened the connection between classroom instruction and relevant professional development activities. Implications for administrative roles in teacher recertification are noted, and recommendations for a best practice model of teacher recertification are suggested.

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