The role of the Troops to Teachers program as participants transition into the classroom
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This dissertation studied the Troops to Teachers (TTT) program at one university in the Midwest. Specifically, it explored the extent to which the TTT program contributes to the preparation of its students. This study looked at participants' perspectives of the quality of their teacher preparation during pre-service and in-service training by identifying how the TTT program helps develop skills and knowledge for teaching. Additionally, this research studied to what extent the TTT program helps facilitate transition from the military into the classroom and the level of support provided through the first year of teaching. Finally this study explored how, and in what ways, military experience contributes to successful teaching in the classroom. In this qualitative case study, participants who had earned initial teacher certification by completing one specific TTT program were identified and interviewed. Document review and interviews with the program's coordinator and instructors provided additional information. Results indicated that TTT participants enter teacher certification programs with substantial content knowledge and life experience from military careers. Participants identified a need for more pedagogical training and classroom management skills. This research identified ways professional development impacts TTT participants' transition into the profession and the first year of teaching. Implications for future TTT participants, TTT program coordinators, and public school administrators are provided. Suggestions for further study include participants' reflections during subsequent years in the classroom, comparing and contrasting other TTT programs throughout the state and nation, and TTT effectiveness as measured by student achievement.
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