Middle School Teacher Preparation : Indiana

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy


The state should ensure that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content.

Nearly meets goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Middle School Teacher Preparation : Indiana results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/IN-Middle-School-Teacher-Preparation--6

Analysis of Indiana's policies

Indiana requires an "early adolescent generalist" certificate (grades 5-9) for all middle school teachers. Candidates must earn a concentration in two content core subjects from the four core subjects: language arts, science, social studies and mathematics.

All new middle school teachers in Indiana are also required to pass a single-subject Praxis II content test to attain licensure; a general content knowledge test is not an option.


Recommendations for Indiana

Differentiate between single and multiple subject middle school teachers.
Although Indiana is commended for not allowing middle school teachers to teach on a K-8 generalist license, it should allow middle school candidates who intend to teach a single subject to earn a major in that area.

State response to our analysis

Indiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that forthcoming licensing regulations will address this issue.

Research rationale

A report published by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP) concludes that a teacher's knowledge of math makes a difference in student achievement. U.S. Department of Education. Foundation for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education (2008).

For additional research on the importance of subject matter knowledge, see Dee and Chodes, "Out-of-Field Teaching and Student Achievement; Evidence from Matched-Pairs Comparisons." Public Finance Review (2008); as B. Chaney, "Student outcomes and the professional preparation of 8th grade teachers," in NSF/NELS 88: Teacher transcript analysis (Rockville, MD: Westat, 1995); H. Wenglinsky, How Teaching Matters: Bringing the Classroom Back Into Discussions of Teacher Quality (Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service, 2000). For information on the "ceiling effect," see D. Goldhaber and D. Brewer, "When should we reward degrees for teachers?" in Phi Delta Kappan 80, No. 2 (1998): 134-138.