Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Teacher certification is a regulatory measure to ensure a minimal skill level for teachers. Implicit in the definition is the nuance that the certifying agency warrants that the teacher is qualified. Current certification practices focus on ensuring competence in subject matter and pedagogy, often by means of testing. In addition, the certification process allows the certifying agencies to examine certification applications for individuals with prior criminal records. The certifying agency may require periodic reapplication, continued professional development, and an established level of acceptable behavior for the teacher to maintain certification. This entry looks at the development of traditional teacher certification programs and briefly describes recent alternative strategies. The first school designed for the training of teachers, the normal school, began operation in Massachusetts in 1839. The practice of teacher preparation was slow to spread, and the system did not become commonplace until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Lacking ...