Characteristics of Teacher Educators in Career and Technical Education

Publication January 2001

The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of teacher educators in Career and Technical Education programs, including the following: teacher educator demographics; professional development activities of teacher educators; and the methods, models, and approaches currently used within teacher preparation programs. In this time of educational reform, coupled with a changing workplace, the data showed that CTE teachers were being prepared for public schools in a very traditional manner. Additionally, the decline in the number of CTE teacher preparation programs across the nation contrasts sharply with the growing number of public-school and postsecondary teaching positions.

Three hundred and fifty-nine teacher educators from institutions of higher education across the U.S. responded to this study. Demographically, CTE teacher educators are similar to other teacher educators. Ninety percent of teacher educators in this study were white, four percent African American, and three percent Hispanic. The percentage of minority teacher educators has not increased in 10 years, although the percentage of women CTE teacher educators has increased during the same period. The average age of a CTE teacher educator was slightly more than 50 years, and more than half were tenured at their institutions. A large percentage of the teacher educators’ professional time was spent teaching. Female faculty tended to spend more of their professional time teaching, compared with their male counterparts. The number of adjunct faculty increased by 10 percent, compared with 10 years ago.

Respondents indicated that traditional approaches, such as university course work, coupled with local school-based teaching/learning centers, solution-oriented investigations, and seminars were the most effective approaches toward developing future secondary teachers and, therefore, were most used in practice. Generally, teacher educators had mixed opinions as to the effectiveness of Web-based and other technology-based courses in the preparation of new teachers. Adjunct faculty and/or non-tenure-track faculty in higher education participated in almost as many professional development activities as did their tenure-track colleagues.

Bruening, T. H., Scanlon, D. C., Hodes, C., Dhital, P., Shao, X., & Liu, S.-T. (2001). Characteristics of teacher educators in career and technical education. St. Paul, MN: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Minnesota.

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