Innovation to what end? Exploring the dynamic landscape of Texas teacher preparation pathways




Teacher education and preparation, program innovation, teacher education policy


The teacher education and preparation marketplace is a complex mix of traditional and alternative programs. Though prior studies have identified a great deal of variation across these programs, an analysis of innovation has been limited. Drawing on theories of organizational innovation, and specifically, dimensions of innovation related to organizational structure, processes, and outcomes, we conduct an exploratory study of innovation in Texas’ teacher preparation marketplace. This descriptive study of teacher preparation programs includes an analysis of state and national data across three years (2014-2017). Data also include results from a content analysis of 30 sample program websites. Although most programs met accountability requirements, we found few programs signaled innovation related to program, teacher, and workforce characteristics. Rather, we identified organizational assimilation as programs adopted similar features to remain competitive. Our analysis suggests programs should critically unpack what it means to be innovative in a dynamic and competitive teacher preparation marketplace.


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Author Biographies

Andrene J. Castro, Virginia Commonwealth University

Andrene J. Castro is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and

faculty scholar at the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry, and Innovation at Virginia Commonwealth

University. Castro’s research explores two educational policy areas: 1) policies and leadership practices shaping teacher recruitment and retention with a particular focus on teachers of color; and 2) school reform policies impacting neighborhood-communities.

Wesley L. Edwards, University of North Texas

Wesley Edwards is an assistant professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration at the University of North Texas. His research interests include teacher and school leader career trajectories, school organizational work environments, and the politics and policy of educational leadership.




How to Cite

Castro, A. J., & Edwards, W. L. (2021). Innovation to what end? Exploring the dynamic landscape of Texas teacher preparation pathways. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(January - July), 63.