Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Nancy I. Latham


Much demand remains for teacher education programs to produce highly qualified teachers. Current trends show that almost half of today's preservice teachers are considered nontraditional in terms of age and life experience. The purpose of this study was to determine whether secondary education teacher preparation programs should differentiate curriculum and instruction for traditional and nontraditional preservice teachers. Research questions incorporated four variables of professional demeanor, teaching and learning, interpersonal skills, and time management. Data was collected through a presurvey at the beginning of the student teaching semester and a postsurvey at the end of the semester, as well as an analysis of student teachers' Student Teaching Assessments. Forty-three preservice student teachers responded to the presurvey; of those forty three, twenty-two responded to the postsurvey. Of those twenty-two respondents, fourteen allowed access to their Student Teaching Assessments. About half of the respondents were considered nontraditional according to their birthdates. Data was averaged and then compared using a two-sample t-test. While the sample was very small, differences between the two groups did emerge. The nontraditional group performed better on the teaching and learning part of their evaluations than the traditional group. In addition, the nontraditional group had less trouble with classroom management than the traditional group. Interestingly, while the nontraditional group managed their time better than the traditional group, they underestimated the amount of time they would spend on student-teaching tasks outside the school. Implications for future research include a retest to attempt a larger sample size, a test of elementary preservice teachers, and a test at another teacher education program. Additionally, the nontraditional group can be investigated more closely to determine whether further differentiation would be beneficial for preservice teachers who are parents or had served in the military.


Imported from ProQuest SchairerKessler_ilstu_0092E_10038.pdf


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