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