Dr. Castro examines teacher preparation pathways

Spotlight on SOE faculty research

Dr. Andrene Jones Castro, visiting assistant professor and member of VCU's iCubed scholar program.
Andrene Castro, Ph.D.

The amount of knowledge being generated by VCU School of Education faculty in published research goes beyond merely enhancing the school’s reputation – it is helping to shape the future of education itself. One recent example of this is the study below, co-authored by Andrene Castro, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, which looks at teacher innovation in the Texas Teacher Preparation pipeline.


Castro and co-author Wesley Edwards, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of North Texas, explore the dynamic landscape of Texas Teacher Preparation pathways. Drawing on theories of innovation related to the dimensions of organizational structure, processes and outcomes, Castro and Edwards analyzed Texas state and national data across a three-year period as well as content from 30 sample teacher program websites.

For the purpose of this study, innovation represented new and creative ideas that challenge the conventional wisdom and interrupt the established practices within a specific context – which, in this case, is teacher preparation that prepares teachers to serve all students they teach. To fully examine aspects of organizational innovation, the analysis focused on the program characteristics of enrollment trends and demographics (with special attention on the enrollment of teachers of color), program completers and supervision.

The content analysis showed that few teacher preparation programs in Texas signaled innovation related to program, teacher and workforce characteristics. Instead, organizational assimilation emerged as most common across websites with programs adopting similar features to remain competitive. The authors recommend that programs collect and analyze additional data points that could signal innovation.


Castro, A.J., & Edwards, W. (2021). Innovation to what end? Exploring the dynamic landscape of Texas teacher preparation pathways. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(63). https://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/6217