Perspectives on Teach For America from Current and Past Corps Members
2 Background Teach For America
1989 - Wendy Kopps Senior Thesis
Goal Close Achievement Gap
One day all the children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
In its 16 year history 17000 teachers have been sent to urban and rural areas throughout the US.
TFA is a heavily publicized organization that has a significant social impact.
TFA funds numerous research projects regarding its effectiveness but there is a noticeable lack of information published that reflects the sentiments of the actual teaching staff.
Personal Significance Educational Studies
4 Research Question
How do the Teach For America program participants (specifically the teachers) view their experience Why
10 structured interviews with TFA corps members
7 current members
3 past members
Interview with 2 current TFA recruiters
Attended TFA information sessions
6 Secondary Sources
A Survey of Principals in Schools with Teach For America Corps Members.
Kane Parsons Associates (2005)
Who Will Speak for the Children How Teach for America Hurts Urban Schools and Students.
Linda Darling-Hammond (1994)
Teaching in Under-Resourced Schools The Teach For America Example.
Edith S. Tatel (1999)
7 The TFA Debate
Significant civil debate regarding TFA
2 Key Points
Is the training sufficient
Are the TFA corps making an impact
Believed that this would tie into my research question factors leading to overall satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
8 Debate What Research Suggests
Is the Training Sufficient
The Summer Institute
Just 8 weeks of trainingmay be long enough to train neighborhood clean-up workers or even police auxiliaries but it isnt enough for teachers - Darling-Hammond (1994).
In reality neither traditionally or alternatively certified teachers are prepared to meet the challenges of teaching in our most needy schools - Tatel (1999).
9 Debate What My Respondents Said
Is the Training Sufficient - Yes!
It is impossible to learn everything that you will encounter on the job in the summer institute. They do a great job for the task that they are presented with. 1998-2000 TFA Corps Member
It was very organized and they probably covered as much as they could have given the time and amount they needed to address.
2002-2004 TFA Corps Member
10 Debate What Research Suggests
Are they Really Making an Impact
TFA is bad for the children because they are often poorly taught. They often lack continuity in instruction and are frequently exposed to counterproductive teaching techniques that can destroy their inherent desire to learn
- Darling-Hammond (1994).
Citing corps members hard work dedication to teaching and ability to learn quickly principals in a national study confirmed that TFA teachers effect great gains in the classroom
- Klane (2006) citing Kane Parsons and Associates (2005)
11 Debate What My Respondents Said
Are they Really Making an Impact Yes!
I am definitely making an impact. I am one of the only consistent supporters in their lives and just being there for them each day makes a real difference.
2005-2007 Corps Member
I do everything I can to push my kids forward. I cant reach all 28 of my students in the same way but I can contribute to the movement of bettering education and thats what it is all about to me.
2005-2007 Corps Member
Most corps members view their involvement with TFA as a positive experience.
Most TFA members attribute their satisfaction with TFA to the relationships that they build with their students.
Most TFA members attribute their dissatisfaction to their own unique experiences relating to the broader societal issues that plague our school system today.
13 Findings Reasons for Satisfaction
One of the most rewarding aspects of my experience is my kids. Day to day it changes from I love teaching to I hate teaching but it is always the students that bring you back and reaffirm why you are doing this.
2005-2007 TFA Corps Member
When asked about the most gratifying aspect of her experience one TFA corps member said
My kids. They are really challenging at times
but when they really get something
when it clicks there is no better pay off.
14 Findings Reasons for Dissatisfaction
Broader Social Issues
The hard part was dealing with everything around my studentsthe violence in the home coupled with the fact that many parents were never home because they held multiple jobs left these kids without a solid home life or any real role models at all.
- TFA corps member 03-05
I often wondered to myself How am I supposed to teach these kids fractions when they are too worried about having their classmates hear their rumbling bellies
- TFA corps member 04-06
How are we as a society going to combat the problems that are riddling our national educational system
PowerShow.com is a leading presentation/slideshow sharing website. Whether your application is business, how-to, education, medicine, school, church, sales, marketing, online training or just for fun, PowerShow.com is a great resource. And, best of all, most of its cool features are free and easy to use.
You can use PowerShow.com to find and download example online PowerPoint ppt presentations on just about any topic you can imagine so you can learn how to improve your own slides and presentations for free. Or use it to find and download high-quality how-to PowerPoint ppt presentations with illustrated or animated slides that will teach you how to do something new, also for free. Or use it to upload your own PowerPoint slides so you can share them with your teachers, class, students, bosses, employees, customers, potential investors or the world. Or use it to create really cool photo slideshows - with 2D and 3D transitions, animation, and your choice of music - that you can share with your Facebook friends or Google+ circles. That's all free as well!
For a small fee you can get the industry's best online privacy or publicly promote your presentations and slide shows with top rankings. But aside from that it's free. We'll even convert your presentations and slide shows into the universal Flash format with all their original multimedia glory, including animation, 2D and 3D transition effects, embedded music or other audio, or even video embedded in slides. All for free. Most of the presentations and slideshows on PowerShow.com are free to view, many are even free to download. (You can choose whether to allow people to download your original PowerPoint presentations and photo slideshows for a fee or free or not at all.) Check out PowerShow.com today - for FREE. There is truly something for everyone!