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 Degree Discipline: Special Education
The Impact of Teacher Perception of Cultural Competence on the Instructional Decision Making of English As Second Language (Esl) Students
Recent research suggests that culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices have the potential to increase student educational outcomes, as well as to reduce unnecessary or inappropriate placement referrals. Examination of the core components in CRT, teacher efficacy and cultural competence, is proposed to be a critical step to reduce unwarranted referrals of culturally and linguistically diverse students. However, there is limited empirical support for the relationship between CRT and instructional referrals, and even among existing studies there is inconsistency regarding the relation of these constructs. The purpose of this study is to examine teacher factors (i.e., teacher role, degree earned, years of teaching, ESL certification held, language proficiency and ethnicity) as a predictor of teacher competence, and the role these factors play in teachers’ referral decision making. To investigate these relationships, a national sample of elementary teachers (N = 258) completed a survey addressing their background, profession endorsements, sense of teaching efficiency, and the instructional decisions they would make in the scenarios presented. The results of this study revealed that teacher role (i.e., general, ESL or special educator) and ESL certification were important predictors of teacher competency. A statistically significant mean difference in teacher competency was found between teachers with and without ESL certification, indicating ESL certification as an important factor in deciding the level of teacher competency. Finally, teacher competency was found to improve teachers’ instructional decision making in scenarios in which the students displayed linguistic difficulties. The findings provide valuable insights to teacher training programs and other professional development entities regarding how to prepare educators to work more efficiently with ESL students. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc499978/
Educational Experiences of Youth with And/or At-risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Residing in Foster Care Settings
Research examining the academic experiences of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) residing in foster care (FC) is scarce. Research is warranted to understand the academic strengths, weaknesses, and school disciplinary experiences of youth with EBD residing in FC. Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being II (NSCAW II) included data on eight participants classified as EBD. Having a limited number of participants classified as EBD in the data set, I used participants’ scores on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to classify participants who may be at-risk for EBD. Analyses were conducted to determine if significant relationships existed between participants’ internalizing and externalizing scores on the CBCL and their (a) scores on assessments of academic achievement and (b) behavior problems leading to suspension or expulsion. Results indicated that participants’ scores on the CBCL were not predictive of their academic achievement or of their numbers of behavior problems leading to suspension or expulsion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500118/
A Study of Novice Special Education Teachers’ Preparation to Teach Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
The purpose of this study is to identify novice teachers’ perception of their preparedness to teach a class designed for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) after graduation from a traditional university-based special education program or from a special education alternative certification program. Teacher preparedness and the need for highly qualified teachers of students with ASD are relevant topics, as the prevalence rate of ASD continues to increase. This phenomenological qualitative study explores novice teachers’ perceptions of preparedness to teach students with ASD and their knowledge about teaching students with ASD. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with six novice special education teachers of students with ASD. Results indicated that novice teachers of students with ASD have knowledge of autism and evidence-based practices (EBP), which they ascertained primarily through experiences such as; working directly with students with ASD, however, preservice education programs provided the participants with cursory information related to knowledge of ASD and EBP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500121/
Exploring General Education Pre-service Teachers’ Levels of Concern Regarding the Implementation of Response to Intervention
Schools are increasingly challenged to respond to educational initiatives, implement accountability measures, and incorporate standards-driven curriculum changes introduced by laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004. IDEIA signified a shift in the field of education and intensified practitioners’ concerns about the identification and instruction of students with learning disabilities (LD). The revisions to IDEIA proposed alternative models for the evaluation and identification of students with LD, such as response to intervention (RTI). RTI is an educational framework that supports students at-risk for academic failure by focusing on preventative measures. As teachers’ roles evolve in response to innovations such as RTI, teacher preparation programs must adjust their focus and curriculum accordingly. A parallel mixed-methods design was used to explore 100 general education pre-service teachers’ levels of concern regarding the implementation of RTI based on the concerns based adoption model. The sample for the study integrated general education pre-service teachers enrolled in professional development schools (PDS) at two levels of candidacy, PDS1 and PDS2. Data collected was analyzed utilizing canonical correlation analysis (CCA), multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), descriptive statistics, and thematic analysis. Results explain general education pre-service teachers’ levels of knowledge had a negative relationship with the levels of concern, as these appeared to be higher due to teacher candidates’ lack of knowledge. Qualitative findings supported this statement. Contributions to the literature are presented and may guide teacher preparation programs as they assess the readiness of their pre-service teachers to effectively implement RTI. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500138/
Examination of Contributing Factors for Successful Postsecondary Transitions to Institutions of Higher Education for Youth with High-incidence Disabilities
Transitions are a natural part of life. Youth grow and develop physically, socially, psychologically, and intellectually during primary and secondary school years. The transition from secondary to postsecondary education is an important transition as youth not only move from high school to college, but also from adolescence to young adulthood. It is a time when young adults naturally desire to become more independent in pursuit of their personal dreams and aspirations. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that academic, psychological, and social factors on youth with high-incidence disabilities as they strive to make successful postsecondary education transitions. Current trends indicate youth with high-incidence disabilities are graduating from high school and are attending vocational schools, colleges, and universities in increasing numbers. Transition barriers still limit many youth who could otherwise attend institutions of higher education regardless of disability type. Findings suggest academic and psychological factors most significantly predict successful postsecondary education transitions. Recommendations for improved transition planning and parental training are suggested. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500112/
The Use of a Stimulus Control Transfer Procedure to Teach Spontaneous Manding to Children with Autism
Current research indicates that the inability to spontaneously communicate needs or wants may result in the acquisition of unconventional forms of requesting such as aggression and tantrums. This in turn limits the amount of access that students with autism have to neurotypical peers and social environments. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of using a stimulus control transfer procedure on the acquisition of spontaneous mands. Four school-aged children with autism, two boys and two girls, participated in the study. A multiple baseline design across participants was utilized to demonstrate a functional relation between the stimulus control transfer procedures and the rate of spontaneous mands. Measurement variables included the frequency of spontaneous versus multiply-controlled mands during discrete trial training on a variety of verbal operants. Effectiveness of the intervention was analyzed through visual analysis and the magnitude of effect was assessed through effect size. Visual analysis indicated that three of the four participants learned to spontaneously mand for items out of view and demonstrated generalization across targets, staff and environments. The effect size for three participants were large (d = 1.94; d = 2.2; and d = 1.4), whereas the outcome of intervention for one participant (d = 0.98) indicated moderate effect. The overall (d = 1.15) outcome demonstrated a large effect of the intervention on the rate of mands. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that early and intensive behavior intervention programs for children with autism incorporate this type of procedure for socially significant outcomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407751/
The Extent of Autism Knowledge of Novice Alternatively Certified Special Education Teachers in Texas
An increase in the prevalence rate of autism is not necessarily matched by a concurrent increase in the rate of highly qualified special education teachers. The low ratio of highly qualified teachers to the number of students with autism has resulted in chronic teacher shortages in this area. Alternative certification is used as a mechanism to alleviate the demand for highly qualified teachers in special education. However, alternative certification routes have often left novice teachers underprepared for teaching students with autism, more specifically in the implementation of evidence-based practices necessary for instructional effectiveness. The purposes of the study were: a) to assess the knowledge of novice alternatively certified (AC) teachers in the area of autism education; and b) to determine the extent to which age, credit hours of instruction, formal hours of instruction, amount of professional development, and number of students with autism predict the variance in knowledge scores. Participants included all novice (i.e., first-and second-year) alternatively certified special education teachers in the state of Texas. Data were collected through an electronic survey instrument disseminated state-wide to approximately 33 individuals. Multiple regression was conducted in order to determine the strongest predictors of autism knowledge scores. In addition, a multi-way ANOVA was performed to identify differences between groups. The largest predictor of knowledge of autism was hours engaged in self-directed learning. Overall, AC programs in Texas need to provide basic and core content in the area of autism to increase the knowledge of novice teachers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407790/
Preschool Teachers' Self-reported Levels of Preparation for Classroom Behavior Management
Research indicates that serious behavior problems begin during the early childhood years. The study examined the perceived preparedness of teachers related to behavior management as well as preschool teachers' usage of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. The data indicates that preschool teachers feel prepared for managing aggression in their classrooms and report utilizing evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies regularly. Additionally, the data shows a weak relationship between teacher variables and the likelihood of feeling prepared for managing aggression or utilizing evidence-based strategies. The results can be used to gain a better understanding of special education preschool teachers' training needs in regard to behavior management and managing behavior problems in the preschool classroom. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283797/
A Longitudinal Study of Graduation, Retention, and School Dropout for Students in Regular and Special Education
This study examined differences in retention, graduation, and dropout between students in grades 9-12 in special education and regular education in the state of Texas for school years 1992-93 through 1995-96. The purpose was to gather information regarding the possible adverse effects of increased academic standards and mandatory testing on students with disabilities. The results indicate that when compared to students in regular education, students with disabilities are significantly more likely to be retained and are not experiencing the same decline in dropout rates as regular students. There is no indication that students with disabilities have been adversely affected by school reform but the size of the school district may play a significant role in whether or not students with disabilities dropout of school. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279003/
Reliability of Authentic Assessment in Fourth-Grade Narrative and Descriptive Written Language for Students with and without Learning Disabilities
The purpose of this study was to determine reliability estimates of authentic assessment for fourth-grade narrative and descriptive writing samples for students with and without learning disabilities. Three types of reliability estimates were established: (a) inter-rater, (b) score stability, and (c) alternate-form. The research design involved 40 teachers, trained in holistic scoring by Education Service Centers 10 and 11 in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, who scored 16 writing samples. Approximately 2 weeks later the teachers rescored 8 of the same writing samples. In addition to scoring the writing samples, the teachers also completed a demographic questionnaire. The writing samples, which consisted of eight narrative and eight descriptive writings, were selected based upon teachers' holistic scores and scores from 1993 writing sample of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. Based upon these scores, two narrative and descriptive writings of above-average, average, and below-average writings were selected. In addition, two narrative and descriptive writing samples of students with learning disabilities in written language were selected. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278748/
Problem-Based Learning for Training Teachers of Students with Behavioral Disorders in Hong Kong
This study attempts to explore the perceived value of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in training teachers of students with behavioral disorders (E/BD) in Hong Kong. It represents an effort to improve the predominately lecture focussed approach adopted in many preparation programs. Data on the training needs of Hong Kong teachers were also acquired and 31 knowledge/skills areas related to teaching students with E/BD were identified. Subjects viewed the PBL approach as dynamic, interesting and incentive driven. It develops skills involved in group learning, self-directed learning, use of information resources and problem-solving. Most important, teachers felt they were supported to explore the practical problems they personally encountered in the classroom and actions they could take to resolve them. Difficulties in using PBL included a lack of resources and the tendencies of most Chinese students to accept rather than challenge others' ideas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278904/
Inclusion of Children and Youth with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders into the General Education Classroom Setting: Survey of General Education Classroom Teachers' Beliefs Regarding Expected Knowledge/Skills
This study identified the expected knowledge/skills needed for working with children and youth with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) in general education classroom settings, as identified by general educators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278925/
An Examination of Regular Education Elementary Teachers' Attitudes Toward Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
This study examined the attitudes of regular education teachers at the elementary school level, toward mainstreaming students with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) and identified variables which were correlated with those attitudes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279382/
Rural Shared Service Arrangements: An Analysis of Perceived Responsibilities / Roles With and Without Site-Based Decision-Making
This study examined the perceptions of school superintendents of districts and building principals of schools within selected shared service arrangements in the state of Texas who receive services from the cooperative, and selected directors of rural shared service arrangements pertaining to the responsibilities and roles of shared service arrangements when site-based decision-making (SBDM) was used as the guiding philosophy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279153/
The Impact of Word Processing on the Written Expression of Students with Learning Disabilities in the Area of Written Expression
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of word processing on the quality of written expression of students with learning disabilities identified in the area of written expression. A examination of existing research revealed that most studies do not focus on word processing independent of writing instruction. Therefore, the consensus among researchers that word processors make a difference is limited by the influence of instruction within the research setting. Therefore, this study sought to determine the impact made solely by word processing by controlling for instruction. The 75 students who participated in the study represented three groups--students with learning disabilities identified in the area of written expression (LD-W), students with learning disabilities identified in an area other than written expression (LD-O), and general education students (NA). Each student completed four writing samples: (a) descriptive - handwritten, (b) informative - handwritten, (c) descriptive - word processed, and (d) informative - word processed. The writing samples were scored according to the TOWL-3 on the three Spontaneous Composite subtests (e.g., Contextual Conventions, Contextual Language, and Story Construction). In addition, Word Perfect 6.1- Grammatik was used to determine the number of syllables, words, and sentences in each writing sample. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used in the analysis in conjunction with univariate F-Tests and Tukey's Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) test. General education students scored consistently higher than LD-W on all subtests even when handwriting and word processing were considered. They also generated more syllables, words, and sentences than students with learning disabilities. In addition, all students scored higher on subtests when writing descriptive samples rather than writing informative samples. No practically significant results were determined for the effect of word processing. Therefore, word processing alone does not have an impact on students' quality of writing. It is simply a tool in the writing process. These results do not suggest that schools disregard the use of technology. Rather, teachers must continue to use word processors during writing instruction but should focus on providing good writing instruction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279365/
Investigating the Selected Validity of Authentic Assessment in Written Language for Students With and Without Learning Disabilities
This research study was designed to investigate whether authentic assessment in written language is a valid assessment tool for students with and without learning disabilities. Teacher judgements were used to evaluate students' authentic writing assessments gathered from the classroom. Students' report card grades, authentic writing assessments, and two standardized writing assessments, the Test of Written Language- Revised and Written Language Assessment, were correlated to provide evidence of the validity of authentic assessment practices in written language. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277937/
The Effects of Supplemental Performance and On-Task Contingencies on the Acquisition of Math Skills for Elementary School Students with Behavioral Disorders, Students with Attention Deficit Disorders, and Students without Disabilities
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of supplemental on-task and performance contingencies on the acquisition of math skills for elementary school children identified as seriously emotionally disturbed/behaviorally disordered, attention deficit disordered, and students without disabilities. Three experimental conditions were utilized, involving teacher-directed instruction with (a) no contingencies, (b) contingencies for academic performance, and (c) contingencies for academic performance and on-task behavior. The study was designed to measure the effects of these contingency conditions on the number of math problems solved accurately by the study's participants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278442/
A Comparison of Knowledge/Skills Statements Needed by Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and Teachers in Juvenile Correctional Special Education Settings
This study had a two-fold purpose. The first purpose was to compare the rankings of a set of knowledge/skills statements as reported by teachers of students with emotional behavioral disorders and teachers in juvenile correctional special education settings. A survey instrument designed to measure the importance, proficiency, and frequency of use of clusters of knowledge/skills statements was administered to 123 teachers in juvenile correctional special education settings in state institutions. Mann Whitney U analyses were calculated to compare the mean rankings of the two groups of teachers. The findings indicated that teachers in juvenile correctional special education settings and teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders were very similar as to which knowledge/skills clusters were important to their job performance, which clusters they were most proficient at using, and which clusters they utilized most frequently. The second purpose was to compare the teachers in juvenile correctional special education settings and to determine whether their mean rankings of the knowledge/skills clusters varied when analyzed by differing categories of age, type of certification held, years of teaching experience, and level of the teachers' education. Analysis of variance revealed no significant difference in the mean rankings in any of the comparison groups. Therefore teacher age, level of education, type of certification held, or years of teaching experience yielded no significant differences on the mean rankings of the knowledge/skills clusters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278049/
Stress and Job Satisfaction Among Special Education Teachers in Urban Districts in Texas
The purpose of this study was to explore the correlation of stress and job satisfaction among urban special education teachers. A stress inventory, Maslach Burnout Inventory, a job satisfaction questionnaire, Minnesota Job Satisfaction Questionnaire, and a demographic profile were used to survey 292 special needs teachers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278208/
The Developmental Characteristics of Young Children Prenatally Substance-exposed
The purpose of this study was to explore the developmental characteristics of young children (ages 11-60 months) with prenatal substance-exposure. A developmental rating scale, the Developmental Checklist (DC) of the Developmental Observation Checklists (DOCs) was utilized. The DC measures the domains of language, motor, social/behavioral, and cognition, as well as overall developmental status. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278190/
Preservice Teacher Attitudes towards Nonvocal Individuals using High Technology Augmentative Communication Devices versus Low Technology Communication Boards
The attitudes of preservice teachers towards individuals who are nonvocal and using either a high technology augmentative communication (HAC) device or a low technology communication board were investigated. A rating scale was devised, consisting of three sub-scales. The three sub-scales measured preservice teachers' estimates of intelligence, academic potential, and social acceptance in the regular education setting. Reliability and validity were established through a pilot study. Preservice teachers viewed videotapes of children using either high technology or low technology augmentative communication devices and subsequently completed the rating scale based on the videotapes. Results indicated that preservice teachers perceived the same child as having greater academic and social acceptance potential when using high technology augmentative communication. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277750/
A Correlational Study Using the Behavior Dimensions Rating Scale & the Behavior Assessment System for Children with Two Groups of Elementary School-Aged Students in Special Programs
This study examined the correlation between two commercially available behavior rating scales. The two scales used were the Behavior Dimensions Rating Scale (BDRS) and the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC). Students from a special education behavior management class (primarily students with emotional disabilities) were rated on the two scales and students from a general education behavior management class (primarily students with conduct problems without disabilities) were rated on the two scales. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277634/
Paraeducators' Attitudes Toward Students with Disabilities: Implications for Staff Development
This study identified the attitudes of paraeducators toward students with disabilities and the implications for staff development. The purpose of this study was to survey attitudes of paraeducators toward students with disabilities. The attitude and demographic information obtained through the survey were analyzed for its implications for staff development with paraeducators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278007/
Young Children's Attitudes Regarding Ethnicity and Disability
The purpose of this study was to examine the social perceptions of young children with disabilities and young children of color. Further, an attempt was made to determine whether differential rates of acceptance were experienced by either group, or by the group of children who were of color and also had a disability within integrated classrooms. Young children (age 5.0 through 6.11) were studied in intact groups (N=120) from child care centers in the Texas counties of Denton and Dallas. Three measures of social perceptions were implemented: (a) a forced choice (multiple alternative) technique using dolls of a variety of ethnicities and ability statuses in which children must select dolls they feel represent a list of positive and negative attributes; (b) social distance theory as measured by children's artwork; (c) a sociometric rating. The results of this study showed significant areas (p< 05) of stereotype and bias in the perceptions of young children toward ethnicity, disability and gender. Implications for further research into the efficacy of multicultural and anti-bias education programs is recommended. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278337/
Risk Factors for Delinquency among Adolescent Males with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, Learning Disabilities and their Nondisabled Peers: a Comparison
Recent research in juvenile justice has focussed on identifying precursors of delinquency, which are referred to as "risk factors." These are biological or psychosocial conditions that increase the probability of an individual developing problem behaviors. Delinquency prevention and intervention programs are adopting a risk-focussed approach which attempts to reduce targeted youth's exposure to risk factors. Limited attention has been paid to investigating whether commonly accepted risk factors are equally relevant across various subtypes of juvenile offenders. Two subgroups of offenders deserving of special attention by virtue of their extremely high prevalence rates in the juvenile justice system are those with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) and those with learning disabilities (LD). The purpose of this study was to determine the relevance of specific individually-, family-, and school-based risk factors for delinquency across three specific groups of juvenile offenders: (a) those with EBD, (b) those with LD, and (c) those who did not qualify as disabled under the definition of disability used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Individual risk factors that were measured included aggressive/acting-out behaviors, irresponsible/inattentive behaviors, fearful/anxious behaviors, social withdrawn behaviors, age at first arrest and history of substance use. School-based risk factors examined were students' reading and math scores and attitude towards and involvement in school. Attachment to family, parental discipline style, and level of supervision provided by parents were the family-based risk factors examined. Discriminant analysis procedures indicated that juvenile offenders with EBD, juvenile offenders with LD, and nondisabled offenders differed significantly in their demonstration of aggressive/acting-out behaviors, irresponsible/inattentive behaviors and fearful/anxious behaviors. In contrast, no significant differences were found across family-, and school-based risk factors. This implies that until research demonstrates the existence of unique risk factors or a difference in the magnitude of risk factors experienced by juvenile offenders with EBD and LD, it would be premature to develop and implement differential delinquency prevention and intervention programming for these subgroups of offenders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278113/
The Use of Self-Management Strategies in the Treatment of Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of self-management strategies as a means of reducing off-task and disruptive behaviors of elementary school children identified as emotionally disturbed or behavior disordered (E/BD). This study provided a practical approach for classroom teachers to implement self-management strategies in classes that include children identified as having E/BD. Five elementary school children who were formally evaluated and enrolled in a special education classroom for students with E/BD were selected to participate in the study. The study also examined the effects of the self-management procedures when targeted behaviors were monitored by peers. Four resource students from the regular education class served as peer monitors. An ABAB reversal design was used to assess the effectiveness of the self-management strategy in the special education classroom. A behavior rating scale was used at the beginning of the study to develop a baseline of student behavior and during the final phase of the intervention to measure progress. The data indicated that the self-management strategies decreased the levels off-task and disruptive behaviors for all participating students. The findings of this study substantiates previous research that suggests self-management techniques help student to manage their own behaviors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278089/
A Follow-Up Study of the Subsequent Educational Placement and Categorical Classification of Preschool Early Childhood Special Education Students in Selected Rural and Urban Settings
Proponents of special education early childhood interventions programs have promoted the assumptions that these programs: (a) will have a positive effect on the long-term outcomes of preschool children with disabilities; (b) will result in some children no longer requiring special education services throughout their elementary school years; and (c) will facilitate the need for fewer services for those students who do remain in special education programs throughout their education. The purpose of this follow-up study is to identify and describe the placement decisions and the changes of exceptionality classification for children identified as special education early childhood students over the course of six follow-up years. This study (a) identifies 108 children from rural and urban school settings who were enrolled in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) programs in 1990-91, (b) documents their categorical label and educational placement six years later, and (c) then determines the differences in the number of hours rural and urban students receive special education and/or related services in 1996-97. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278450/
Effects of a Prototypical Training Program on the Implementation of Systematic Observational Data Collection on Iep Objectives for the Core Deficits of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Legal mandates and best practice recommendations for the education of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) emphasize the importance of systematic, ongoing observational data collection in order to monitor progress and demonstrate accountability. The absence of such documentation in decision-making on instructional objectives indicates a weakness in bridging the research-to-practice gap in special education. Utilizing a multiple baseline design across participants, the current study evaluated the effects of a prototypical teacher training program (i.e., workshop, checklist, in-classroom training with feedback, and maintenance with a thinned schedule of feedback) on the frequency of data collection on core deficits of ASD and the use of data-based decision-making. Results indicate increases in daily mean frequency of data collection following intervention. Maintenance and generalization indicates variable responding across participants. Effect size (Cohen's d) indicates a large, clinically significant effect of the training program. Results are discussed in relation to training models, maintenance, and future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271829/
The Use of Evidence-based Practices in the Provision of Social Skills Training for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: a National Survey of School Psychologists' Training, Attitudes, and Practices
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine school psychologists' use of evidence- based practices (EBP), in general, and more specifically in the area of social skills training (SST) for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Study participants, consisting of 498 school psychologists from across the nation, participated in an online survey that gathered information about their training, attitudes, and practices. The frequency with which specific EBP practices for social skills training for students with ASD was examined, as was prediction of use of these practices. Multiple-regression analyses revealed multiple independent variables that were predictors for overall use of EBP. Results indicated that over half of the participants provide SST for students with ASD. Although the majority of participants indicated that their graduate program included at least one course with information about ASD and EBP practices, in general, nearly half indicated that their coursework did not include any courses that directly addressed social skills training for students with ASD. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to determine the extent to which the data fit the factor model. Participants' perception of the importance placed on EBP by their school district, scores on the openness subscale of the Evidence Based Practices Assessment Scale, perception of how well their graduate program prepared them in the EBP process, perception of whether they were adequately trained in the area of SST for students with ASD, and having a caseload evenly divided among settings were significant predictors of overall use of EBP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177174/
Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders’ Perceptions of Professional Standards of Practice
In recent decades, there has been renewed interest in examining the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs. Unfortunately, researchers have found that there is limited empirical research on the effectiveness of quality special education teacher preparation programs, specifically those programs specializing in the education of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest special education organization, conducts research on the standards needed by teachers who serve children and youth with exceptionalities. These CEC standards are recommended to serve as a guide for teacher preparation programs in special education. Utilizing the CEC standards delineated for preparation programs in EBD, the present study sought to determine how graduates of one program perceived the importance of the standards and their perceived proficiency in using the standards in their work with students with EBD. Results indicated that graduates viewed the standards as Important to their work with students with EBD. Further, they viewed their proficiency in using the standards to be above average. In addition, the present study examined the relationship between graduates perceived importance and perceived proficiency in using the CEC standards. Results indicated that graduates who had higher score ratings on their perceived importance of the standards tended to have higher ratings on their perceived proficiency scores. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149634/
The Effect of Naturalistic Behavior Strategies on the Quality of Social Interactions for Children with Autism
Autism is primarily a social disorder and deficits in social?orienting may be responsible for the failure of children with autism to initiate critical social behaviors. The purpose of this research was to improve the quality of social interactions of children with autism by implementing naturalistic behavior strategies intervention utilizing a multiple baseline design across four participants. Naturalistic behavior strategies comprised a comprehensive package of integrated components including: (a) intervention in the child’s natural environment; (b) child-initiated play activities ; (c) prompts to emit language; (d) shaping for all vocal approximations and (e) delivery of natural reinforcement with embedded social interactions to maintain learned behavior. In addition to intervention, generalization of child behaviors was assessed across untrained parents and/or caregivers in the same environment. Results indicated the effectiveness of naturalistic teaching strategies package in increasing (a) the frequency of vocal mands for all children, (b) the number of times that children initiated social engagement during manding, and (c) intervals of nonverbal dyadic orienting. These skills generalized across two untrained caregivers in the same clinical setting without any training from the interventionist. Two parents required training during the generalization phase in order for their child’s behaviors to maintain at levels demonstrated during the intervention phase. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149644/
Teacher Perceptions of Inclusionary Practices for Students with Emotional/behavioral Disorders
The present study examined variables affecting teachers’ perceptions of inclusionary practices for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) in three areas: inclusion of students with E/BD, behaviors of students with E/BD, and teacher efficacy. Teachers listed in the database of one Education Service Center located in north central Texas which represented 66 school districts, completed the online Survey on Teacher Perceptions of Inclusionary Practices for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders. Findings of the study showed that (a) teaching experience was a significant predictor of teacher’s perceptions regarding the inclusion of students with E/BD, (b) student age was a significant predictor of teachers’ perceptions regarding behaviors of students with E/BD, (c) special education teachers are more likely to have a higher degree of perceptions on the subscale that measures their efficacy than general education teachers, and (d) the number of special education courses taken by general education teachers did not have a significant effect on teachers’ perceptions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149629/
Teacher Educators: What Motivates Them to Choose Academe?
Currently, there is a shortage of professors preparing personnel to teach in high need areas (e.g., special education, English language learners) at institutions of higher education (IHE). The purpose of the present study was to examine the motivations or influencers that impelled individuals to pursue careers in IHEs as professors in personnel preparation. Data were collected using Motivations for Choosing Academia as a Profession (MCAP) and a 10-item Big Five Inventory (BFI-10). Two hundred eighty-nine professors of education representing the four U.S. census regions participated in the present study. The MCAP is a 25-item instrument designed to measure retrospective motivation of faculty decisions to enter the professoriate. The development of the MCAP is described and an exploratory factor analysis was employed to examine the psychometric validity of the instrument. Three factors emerged and implications are discussed. Data were analyzed using logistic regression with the dichotomous outcome variable being the area of education in which the professor works (i.e., general or special education). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149568/
Service Provisions for Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Youth with emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD) have poorer outcomes compared to their peers with and without disabilities. As a result, the federal government has mandated transition services to improve supports and ultimately student outcomes. Using data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS-2), this secondary analysis looked at services provided to youth with EBD (n = 410). The purpose of the study was to show a relationship between utilization of multiple services and the attainment of paid employment, and/or attending post-secondary education. Results indicate relationships between receiving financial services, tutoring and educational services and vocational services with attending a post-secondary institution. Logistic regression indicated a relationship between time, age and amount or services with paid employment. These results indicate the need for continuous, systematic and linked services for youth with EBD well into their twenties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149580/
Personnel Preparation in Special Education: An Exploration of Autism Spectrum Disorders Programmatic Changes in Institutions of Higher Education Teacher Training Programs
Programmatic change related to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) training in special education teacher education programs across the U.S. and institutional variables that influenced change were examined. Variables included institutions’ current coverage of autism content in coursework and institution enrollment. One faculty member from each identified institution was invited to participate in the study. Data were collected from 136 special education faculty using an exploratory survey instrument, the National Survey on ASD Preparation in Undergraduate Special Education Teacher Training Programs (NSAP). This study was designed around themes which emerged from empirical and pragmatic research findings conceptualizing prevalent issues in personnel preparation for ASD including critical knowledge and skills needed by teachers to effectively serve students with ASD. Results indicated a significant number of programmatic changes (66%) remain to be implemented in undergraduate special education programs at institutions participating in the study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84239/
The Roles Elementary School Counselors Perform in the Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
This nation-wide study investigated elementary school counselors (ESC) self-reported: (a) professional background and training; (b) general knowledge of autism spectrum disorders (ASD); (c) attitudes towards ASD; and (d) roles performed with students identified with ASD. Also investigated was the predictive relationships between professional background, training, knowledge, and attitudes on roles (counseling, consultation, curriculum, and coordination) performed with students identified with ASD. Descriptive statistics were utilized to address professional background, training, knowledge, attitude and characteristics of ESC participants. These variables were also examined in relationship to the four role types. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) and Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to test for significant relationships. A series of four multiple regression analyses predicting each of the total roles scores for counseling, consultation, curriculum, and coordination were also conducted. Results of the study suggest (a) ESC have limited training experiences of ASD, leading to self-education about this population of students, (b) ESC possess general knowledge about ASD, (c) overall, ESC have positive attitudes towards ASD, and (d) ESC perform all conceptualized roles in the education of students with ASD. Regression models revealed eight predictors found to influence roles: total knowledge, attitudes, geographic setting, U.S. region, years practiced, conference training, self-education, and ASD caseload. Significantly associated with performing roles across all four domains was the number of students with ASD on ESC caseload. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84253/
Teachers' Perspectives on Student Problematic Behavior and Social Skills
The research investigation reported herein examined program outcomes of student problem behavior and social skills, based on teachers' perspectives, before and after early behavioral intervention services. The study targets students in kindergarten through grade five who are identified by the school system for being at-risk for being labeled with emotional and behavioral disorders. Students identified received early intervention services based on individualized positive behavioral supports (i.e., social skills training, functional behavioral assessment, and team collaboration). Teachers completed a teacher form of the Social Skills Rating System before and after the student received program services to determine differences in social skills and problematic behavior pre- and post- program early intervention services. An analysis was also made of the differences among gender, ethnicity, and grade according to the teachers' perspectives. Data indicated statistically significant results in the area of social skills and problem behavior. The results indicate early intervention services that teach social skills and use functional behavioral assessments to deal with problem behavior are beneficial to children displaying behavior challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68039/
Knowledge and Training in Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Special Education Administrators.
A significant rise in the number of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) served in today's schools requires special education administrators to possess knowledge in this area. The purpose of this study was to determine the general knowledge of special education administrators concerning ASD and knowledge of educational programming, to explore their educational training and professional development experiences in ASD, to identify the training needs of special education administrators in ASD, and to determine if knowledge, training and experience in ASD predict litigation. Using survey methods, data were collected from a sample of 106 special education administrators in Texas. Data revealed special education administrators were most knowledgeable of general characteristics, common myths, and instructional strategies, and less knowledgeable of eligibility criteria. Knowledge regarding educational programming for learners with ASD produced mixed results. Logistic regression analysis revealed general autism knowledge, knowledge of educational programming, training, and experience in ASD were not factors predicting litigation. Although results indicated none of the factors explored in this study were predictors of litigation, areas of need regarding professional development were identified. Implications for future research are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33169/
Effects of the Why Try Social Skills Program on Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders at an Alternative Campus
Approximately 20% of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) are sent to an alternative campus for their lack of social competence. Social skills training (SST) is an evidence-based intervention to help increase social competence for students with E/BD, but there is limited research that addresses SST for students with E/BD at alternative campuses. A mixed-methods design was utilized to examine SST at an alternative campus for students with E/BD. Pre-intervention data were collected for students' attendance, grades, office disciplinary referrals, and behavioral rating scales, after which, the Why Try SST program was implemented. Following the intervention, the same type of data were collected. Nonparametric statistics guided the quantitative analysis, because of the small population being studied. Differences from pre- to post-intervention were examined. Triangulation methods drove the qualitative data collection and analysis through observations, student interviews, and teacher interviews. Students exhibited significant differences from pre- to post-intervention in the number of office disciplinary referrals and several areas on the behavioral rating scales. Important insight into motivation and perceptions was gained through the observations and interviews. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33212/
Knowledge and Confidence of Speech-Language Pathologists Regarding Autism
The increased prevalence rate of autism has immense implications for speech language pathologists (SLPs) who are directly involved in the education and service delivery for students with autism. However, few studies have documented the effectiveness of the knowledge and confidence of SLPs regarding autism. The purpose of this study was to measure the knowledge and confidence of SLPs regarding autism and the extent to which their educational and professional training prepared them to work effectively with this population. An online survey was administered to and returned by 336 SLPs nation-wide. Two multiple linear regressions were conducted to determine the variables that explained overall knowledge and confidence. The number of students with autism on one's caseload explained most of the variance. Independent sample t-test results depicted knowledge and confidence scores of SLPs who were behaviorally trained versus those who were not behaviorally trained. SLPs who were behaviorally trained had higher mean scores on measures of knowledge and confidence when compared to those without formal behavioral training. Finally, a bivariate correlation was conducted to explore the relationship between knowledge and confidence of SLPs, however, results were not statistically significant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33197/
Educators' Perceptions of the Importance of Selected Competencies for Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and their Perceptions of Personal Proficiency
This study investigated educators' perceptions of the importance of competencies for teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders and their own proficiency in the competencies. Participants included educators who had completed university-based coursework on emotional and behavioral disorders. Competencies from the Qualification and Preparation of Teachers of Exceptional Children study were correlated with CEC's content standards and knowledge skill sets for special education teachers of individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders. Participants ranked 88 competencies on importance and proficiency. Results revealed that educators' proficiency in competencies, their years of experience, and level of education contribute a significant percentage of variance in their ratings of the importance of competencies. Implications for further research are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33210/
Programming for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders: The Importance, Usage and Preparedness for Implementation of Evidence-Based Interventions Based on Practitioner Perceptions
Implementation of evidence-based practices in Texas schools was examined through a survey disseminated through 495 special education directors in 20 state educational service centers. The district-level directors were asked to forward the survey to all personnel providing direct or indirect services to students with EBD. Survey participants were asked to rate 27 evidence-based interventions for students with EBD in three categories on a 5-point Likert scale: (a) importance of the intervention; (b) frequency of use of the intervention; and (c) preparedness to implement the intervention. With a response rate of 32% and representation from all 20 educational service center areas, data were analyzed through simple frequency statistics to determine that most respondents were public school special educators who had been in their current position for 5 years or less. They identified a climate that supports successful teaching and learning and clear rules/expectations as very important. They reported using procedures for the use of physical restraint most frequently, and being most well-prepared to implement clear rules/expectations. A canonical correlation analysis revealed an inverse relationship between importance ratings of tertiary level interventions and frequency of use and preparedness to implement primary level interventions which implies that while practitioners rate tertiary level interventions as important, they are more likely to be well-prepared to implement primary level interventions and to do so with more frequency. Additionally, a review of literature is provided and results and analysis of the survey are discussed as well as recommendations for the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30462/
Alternative Certification: A Comparison of Factors Affecting the Motivations of General and Special Educators
This study was developed to examine the motivations of individuals who chose alternative routes to teacher certification and what they believe were the strengths and weaknesses of their alternative certification preparation (ACP). Data accrued from this study were based on a 55-item online survey and participant information from an online focus group. The study compared the differences between general and special educators in regards to the motivating factors affecting the decision to become a teacher, remain a teacher, and in choosing a non-university-based ACP, as well as the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the ACP. The results from the survey suggest there are differences in the motivating factors affecting general and special educator's decision to become a teacher and to remain a teacher. Additional survey results suggest there are no differences in the reason these two groups chose a non-university-based ACP. The results of the survey and the online focus group were comparable for these two groups. The remainder of this dissertation includes a review of literature related to teacher shortages and teacher preparation including alternative certification. Additionally, information on the results and analysis of the study are discussed, as well as recommendations for future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30467/
Comparing the Effects of Home Versus Clinic-Based Parent Training for Children with Autism
Research with parents on managing child problem behavior typically measures either child or parent behavior. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of training parents to implement a function-based behavior intervention plan (BIP) in a non-trained natural environment utilizing a Multiple Probe Design across Participants. Participants included four parent-child dyads. Measurement variables included parents' use of effective and ineffective strategies and child problem behavior. Intervention involved training parents to understand and implement the BIP using effective strategies, modeling the effective procedures, and providing feedback following parent implementation of procedures. Results showed that the intervention was very effective in promoting skill generalization of parents and decreasing child problem behavior. The findings have implications for research and clinical practice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28408/
Cyberbullying: Responses of Adolescents and Parents toward Digital Aggression
Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12215/
Analysis of School Discipline with a Focus on Characteristics of Hispanic Adolescents with Learning Disabilities from a Low-Socioeconomic Area
The research reported herein examined the emotional and behavioral characteristics of adolescent Hispanic students with and without learning disabilities from a middle school in north central Texas. The data were based on all students enrolled at the campus (N = 986), but focused on 55 students of Hispanic descent with learning disabilities and 55 students without. The data accrued for this study utilized a school discipline database. In addition, a 43-item behavioral rating scale was completed on each student of the more focused group. Methods of data analysis were derived from descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, and multiple regression measurements. The results indicate that Hispanic students with learning disabilities often exhibit more disruptive behaviors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12126/
An Analysis of Job Satisfaction for Special Educators Who Instruct Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders: How Working Conditions Impact Commitment.
Teachers of students with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) find that myriad concerns for effective teaching (e.g., salaries, increased paperwork, classroom management) challenge their ability to meet personal and professional needs. The push for certified teachers and limited training to work with students with special needs create stressors that can prohibit effective teaching in the workplace. Teacher moral drops and half of newly hired employees leave the profession. Equally important, student outcomes are affected. Demographic information, program practices, and commitment information from special education teachers across the country were examined in this study. These areas of study helped to determine the best indicators for teacher job satisfaction and barriers that threaten satisfactory working conditions. An online survey was designed to capture 29 areas to explore qualifications and working environments for these teachers. Of the 600 targeted teachers, 332 individuals participated in Likert-like scales to determine their degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction for working conditions, use of intervention strategies, and areas of commitment. Closed-ended and multiple-choice questions were used. Descriptive analyses and tables aided in understanding this study. The resulting factors indicated that, although some respondents pointed to job dissatisfaction within the subset of questions, participants who worked for more than 6 years were less likely to vacate their positions than teachers working for less than six years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12067/
The Effects of Positive Behavioral Supports in Schools since the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 based on 2001 SLIIDEA Data
Congress in 1997 recognized that there were some issues and concerns that had emerged surrounding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and sought to address these issues and concerns by mandating a national evaluation on the implementation and progress toward improving outcomes for students with disabilities. The Study of the State and Local Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was designed to address how the amendments of IDEA were being implemented by states, school districts, and schools. This mixed methods study examined the first year of data collected from the six-year Study of the State and Local Implementation of IDEA (SLIIDEA) and analyzing 20 case studies that used interviews of special education personnel and principals, conducted at the local school level. Data from the national survey were examined in light of findings from the case studies. The case studies brought out the varying opinions on implementation success at the local level. Further case studies for each year of the study would be helpful in determining the level of implementation locally and the significant insights of local school personnel on whether these initiatives have worked. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11021/
Frequency and quality of the implementation of functional behavioral assessments as reported by educators.
The research investigation reported herein examined the quality and experience of the functional behavioral assessment (FBA) process as reported by educators working with students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD). The data accrued is based on a 30-item survey and participant telephone interviews examined the overall knowledge of the FBA process by educators and their general experience when conducting a FBA, specifically the procedural timeline, types of education professionals involved, and typical outcomes and results. Survey responses indicated two common barriers in the FBA implementation which often inhibit best practice: lack of true collaborative teamwork and insufficient communication among FBA team members. Survey responses also indicated a level of statistical significance from education professionals working in elementary school settings who self-rated positively higher when conducting a FBA than those education professionals working on either a secondary or special campus. Additionally, participant interviews indicated a growing awareness of the advantages of using the FBA as an early intervention process when dealing with challenging behaviors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9749/
A follow-up study of a masters program for teachers of students with emotional/behavioral disorders.
Educators today are faced with a worthy goal. Every student, including those with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), must be taught by a qualified teacher. However, recruiting, training, and retaining quality special education teachers continue to confound the field. The purpose of this study was to determine if the completion of a NCATE/CEC (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for Exceptional Children) approved masters program specializing in EBD from a well-known university increased the confidence in knowledge and skills of special educators, the numbers of special educators, and/or the retention of special educators working with students with EBD. The sample in this study was composed of 199 students who had completed the master's degree in special education who specialized in emotional/behavioral disorders from 1985 to 2005. Data were compiled from 80 students at a response rate of approximately 40%. Additionally, five respondents participated in face-to-face interviews. The data did not lend themselves to the quantitative analysis and thus pose a limitation to the generalizability of this study. However, combined with the qualitative analysis, the study provided a rich analysis of a program whose graduates stay in the field of special education providing services to students with EBD. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9014/
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