Review of Research on Teacher Preparation

Principal Investigators

Suzanne Wilson, Michigan State University
Robert Floden, Michigan State University
Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Michigan State University


The team assembled over 300 research studies from various sources and reviewed them during Fall 2000. Working from research literature published over the past two decades in peer-reviewed outlets, the synthesis team developed a report detailing major findings, research gaps, and recommendations for further research on teacher preparation programs and policies that support them. Guided by a six-member technical working group, which helped shaped the criteria for the review and commented on the draft report, the research review used strict standards of rigor, including only studies that had undergone scientific scrutiny and which conformed to standards in the relevant research traditions. The review also sought to provide guidance to USED/OERI regarding the quality of the research it has supported regarding teacher preparation and outlining targets for future research it might undertake.

Main Research Questions

  • What kinds of subject matter preparation, and how much of it, do prospective teachers need?
  • What kinds of pedagogical preparation, and how much of it, do prospective teachers need?
  • What kinds, timing, and amount of clinical training ("student teaching") best equip prospective teachers for classroom practice?
  • What policies and strategies have been used successfully by states, universities, school districts, and other organizations to improve and sustain the quality of preservice teacher education?
  • What are the components and characteristics of high-quality alternative certification programs?


Document review


Research Completed


Hint! Click on a title to see more information about it. Click on that title again to hide the information.

  1. Teacher Preparation Research: Current Knowledge, Gaps, and Recommendations
    A Research Report by Suzanne M. Wilson, Robert E. Floden, and Joan Ferrini-Mundy, February 2001.

    The Research Report summarizes what research has to say about five key issues in teacher preparation: subject matter preparation, pedagogical preparation, clinical training, preservice teacher education policies, and alternative certification. The report was prepared for the U.S. Department of Education and the Office for Educational Research and Improvement by CTP in collaboration with researchers at Michigan State University. An executive summary of the report is also available.

    PDFExecutive SummaryOriginal Study