Morale of Beginning Secondary Science Teachers: A Comparative Analysis of Teacher Preparation Programs

  • Gary Alger Quinnipiac University
  • Claire Norman-Gloria Fairfield Public Schools
Keywords: job satisfaction, morale, beginning teacher, teacher preparation, teacher retention


This paper examines the morale of beginning secondary science teachers who attended one of three types of teacher preparation programs: 1) traditional undergraduate, 2) post-baccalaureate certification, or 3) alternative route to certification. One-hundred one secondary science teachers (grades 7-12) who were completing their second year in a Connecticut public middle or high school were surveyed to determine their levels of morale using the Purdue Teacher Opinionaire. Findings indicated that teachers trained via alternative route certification and post-baccalaureate programs were significantly less satisfied with their salary and their status as teachers compared to those trained at traditional undergraduate programs. The results of this study have implications for public school administrators hiring beginning science teachers and institutions certified to prepare them, particularly in terms of how to recruit, select, train, and retain them in the teaching profession.

Author Biographies

Gary Alger, Quinnipiac University
The author is currently the director of educational leadership at Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut. Prior to this position, Alger was an assistant professor at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. He completed thirty-one years of public school service, holding positions as an elementary teacher, building principal and central office administrator. His current research interests focus on the unique contributions of teacher leaders to improving schools and student achievement.
Claire Norman-Gloria, Fairfield Public Schools
Dr. Claire Norman-Gloria is currently a secondary science teacher in Fairfield, Connecticut. She teaches courses in Biology and is a trained mentor and assessor for the Connecticut Beginning Educator Support and Training Program. Her research interests include effective strategies to recruit and retain highly qualified math and science teachers.
How to Cite
Alger, G., & Norman-Gloria, C. (2009). Morale of Beginning Secondary Science Teachers: A Comparative Analysis of Teacher Preparation Programs. Current Issues in Education, 12. Retrieved from