An Analysis of Student Concern Forms in One Teacher Education Program

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The purpose of this study was to examine the challenges that limit the development of preservice teachers through an analysis of concern forms submitted by instructors to the Teacher Education Unit’s Student Support Committee at Calvin College. Our method involved coding statements from student concern forms, analyzing candidates’ grade point averages (GPAs), and examining faculty participation in the process. The codes (N = 22) reported most frequently were (a) completing work, (b) academic ability, (c) attendance, (d) content or pedagogical knowledge, and (e) academic quality. Further analysis resulted in dividing the codes into two classifications—student behaviors (n = 11) and student characteristics (n = 11). We also found that few faculty members from outside the Education Department participated in the support process, and that candidates receiving concerns held substantially lower GPAs compared to all students in the teacher education program and the institution at-large. This study produced findings that hold implications for current policy and procedures in the Teacher Education Unit at Calvin College and may serve as a model for similar research at other institutions.


This paper was presented at The 2012 Biennial Conference of the International Christian Community for Teacher Education and The 2013 Symposium on Music Teacher Education, Azusa, California, and Greensboro, North Carolina.