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- Choice for All? Charter Schools and Students with Disabilities
- In order to assess the extent and quality of special education services in charter schools in north Texas, the researcher examined data submitted to Texa Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS), and conducted qualitative interviews with selected charter school administrators. Five cornerstones of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): zero reject, individualized education program (IEP), appropriate assessment, free appropriate public education (FAPE), and least restrictive environment (LRE), were utilized in the assessment of quality. Levels of expertise in federal disability law and fiscal barriers were explored, as well.
- Cyberbullying: Responses of Adolescents and Parents toward Digital Aggression
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Cyberbullying is a category of bullying that occurs in the digital realm which affects our students at astonishing rates. Unlike traditional bullying, where displays of aggression may be evident to bystanders, the ramification of cyberbullying occurs through unconventional ways (e.g., text messaging; online weblogs; video sharing), which results in many cases being camouflaged by the advancement in technology. Nonetheless, the effects of this digital form of peer aggression can be as detrimental as face-to-face bullying. The characteristics of cyberbullying and its influences on adolescents and parents of adolescents were examined. The data accrued is based on an anonymous survey through one of the following methods: (a) paper-pencil survey for adolescent group with 37-question items on the adolescent questionnaire and (b) web-based survey for the parent group with 22-question items on the parent questionnaire. Each survey was systematically coded according to the participating group and assigned code numbers (i.e., 1 represents adolescent group and 2 represents parent group) was provided to ensure confidentiality of the study. Survey examined individual variables among the two target groups: (a) adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age and (b) parents of adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age. Specifically, individual variables examined include (a) demographics, (b) personal experiences, (c) vicarious experiences, and (d) preventative resources. A total of 137 participants (62 adolescents; 75 parents) responded to the survey. Results indicated that 90% of the participants from the adolescent group have reported to experience either as victims or as bystanders of cyberbullying. In addition, 70% of the victims have been cyberbullied 1 to 2 times within a month period and 50% of the victims did not know the perpetrator. Secondly, 89% of parent participants indicated to be knowledgeable about the issues relating to cyberbullying and 89% reported to have no knowledge if their child has or has not been a victim of cyberbullying. Furthermore, qualitative findings of personal perspectives toward cyberbullying from each participating group are discussed. A review of literature is provided and results and analysis of the survey are discussed as well as recommendations for future research.
- Evaluating Quality Standards for Teachers in the Field of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- The purpose of this study is to determine quality indicators in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders based on six empirically validated standards outlined by the Council for Exceptional Children. Invitations to participate in the study were disseminated to a randomized selection of members within the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. Respondents (N = 199) included teachers (n = 128) and related service personnel (n = 71) who directly and indirectly work with students with emotional and behavioral disorders throughout the United States. A rank order list of the most important knowledge and skills to teachers with regard to demographic characteristics (i.e., types of communities, educational settings, or years of experience) was developed. Additionally, a rank order list was developed to determine which knowledge and skills related service personnel felt should be most important to teachers. Level of agreement was determined between teachers and related service personnel and variances among the rank order lists were examined. Results of the study revealed statistically significant variances in the rank order of knowledge and skills among educational settings of teachers (i.e., self-contained, resource, and general education/inclusion) across the standard of Learning Environments and Social Interactions. Rank orders in two knowledge and skills (i.e., assistive technology and structure) were significant. When rank order was compared between teachers and related service personnel, level of agreement was low within the standards of assessment (58%) and collaboration (63%).
- Impact of Absent Father-Figures on Male Subjects and the Correlation to Juvenile Delinquency: Findings and Implications
- This study was predicated on the belief that a father brings something unique to the family, thus, making irreplaceable contributions to the life of a child. Fathers are unique in that they provide something different from mothers. They are irreplaceable because when they are absent, children are said to suffer emotionally, intellectually, socially, and behaviorally. The contributions of fathers to a child's well being cannot be fully replaced by better programming, ensuring child support programs, or even by well-intentioned mentoring programs. A review of literature relevant to delinquency and adolescent behavioral and academic success revealed that there may be a correlation between a male role-model and the teaching of self-control and socially appropriate behaviors. Indeed, much of what the large body of research pertaining to fatherhood reveals is that, compared to children raised in two-parent homes, children who grow up without their fathers have significantly worse outcomes, on average, on almost every measure of well being (Horn, 2002). In addition, an understanding of the factors that may influence delinquent behaviors, in particular within the family unit, can better equip parents and educators to support those who may be exhibiting the beginning signs of delinquent behavior. This study was designed to determine the influence of, or correlation between, juvenile delinquency and the presence or absence of a father-figure in a child's life. Responses made on the Delinquency Check List between two sample sets, delinquent and non-delinquent adolescents, were examined. The study attempted to determine if delinquent activity among adolescents was differentiated by the absence or presence of a father-figure in a child's life. This study also investigated the frequency and severity of delinquent activities between adolescents in the determined sample groups.
- Knowledge and attitudes of preservice teachers towards students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.
- The study used a survey design to ascertain the levels of knowledge and attitudes of special education and non-special education preservice and inservice teachers towards students with different sexual orientations. The results of this study are based on 408 responses from preservice and inservice teachers enrolled at seven institutions of higher education within North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia offering teacher training programs in regular and/or special education. Two previously developed instruments were used to measure dependent variables in this study. Koch's modified version of The Knowledge about Homosexuality Questionnaire developep by Harris, Nightengale & Owen was used to measure the dependent variable of the preservice and inservice teacher's knowledge about homosexuality. Herek's Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) measured the dependent variable of attitudes towards homosexuals. The study found no significant differences reported mean scores for knowledge or attitude of homosexuality among the teacher groups surveyed: (a) special education preservice teachers, (b) non-special education preservice teachers, (c) special education inservice teachers, and (d) non-special education inservice teachers. Neither gender nor age were found to be factors in measures of knowledge or attitude of preservice or inservice teachers. Receiving prior instruction in serving the needs of GLBT students, or with a focus GLBT issues, contributed to higher levels of knowledge and more positive attitudes. This research identified current levels of knowledge and attitudes of preservice and inservice teachers towards GLBT youth, and this information may help outline areas of possible changes necessary in teacher preparation programs, research, and policy.
- Personality Type Preferences of Juvenile Delinquents
- The purpose of this study was to identify and explore personality characteristics of juvenile delinquents, to compare those characteristics with those of the general population, and determine if there are significant differences, as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), between the personality characteristics of juvenile delinquents and the general population. Juvenile delinquents who were adjudicated into a Texas Youth Commission facility in North Texas were subjects for this study. Participants included 186 males who ranged in age from 14 years to 20 years. Statistical analyses were performed for each of the research questions. When comparing MBTI scores of juvenile delinquents to the general population, significant differences were found on the dichotomous scales, temperaments, function pairs, and types. All type preferences are represented within the juvenile delinquent population. The MBTI can be useful in responding to the education and rehabilitation needs of juvenile delinquents. Knowledge of personality type can help caregivers meet the needs of juvenile delinquents. Understanding personality type preference can serve to provide a deeper understanding of the behaviors that lead to adjudication of juvenile delinquents. A discovery of the types of adolescents who are adjudicated could lead to preventive measures, early detection, and early intervention for students at risk of becoming juvenile delinquents.
- Social skills and problem behavior assessment of general and special education vocational students
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The purpose of this study was to analyze students' specific ITP-related social skills goals, student self-reported social skills, and the relationship between teacher and employer ratings of vocational students social skills and problem behaviors. This study examined (48) vocational students, (24) general education vocational students and (24) special education vocational students in grades nine through twelve. The students' vocational teachers and employers also participated in the study. This represented (144) individual assessment of social skills and problem behaviors utilizing the Social Skills Rating System -Student version (SSRS-S) and the Social Skills Rating System Teachers -version (SSRS-T). The findings indicated no specific social skill goals were deliminated in the students' ITP's. However, the findings did indicate the general education vocational students rated themselves higher, on average, on the empathy subscale than did the special education students. The analysis of data comparing standardized social skill scores, social skill subscale scores, standardized problem behavior scores, and standardized problem behavior subscale scores between teachers and employers for general and special education vocational students indicated employers rated special education students higher on the cooperation subscale only. No other differences were found.