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- 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.
- A Qualitative Research Study of How Extended Field Experience Prepares Special Education Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- A well-prepared and qualified special education teacher is crucial to the performance of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The prominent educators and federal government encourage the use of extended field experiences in preparing qualified special education teachers. The study examined the strengths and weaknesses of extended field experience in terms of the perceptions of the prospective teachers and teachers of students with EBD. Both individual interviews and a focus group were used to collect data. The results revealed that extended field experience benefits prospective teachers in showing the reality of the teachers' world, self-motivation assessment, and professional development. However, there were some improvements that could be made, including more placement selections and more practical knowledge.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A qualitative analysis of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia interfering with academic and social success, and the exacerbators and diminishers of those symptoms.
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that public schools provide appropriate school programs and transition services for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD), and the law specifically names schizophrenia as a disability for which services are to be provided. To date, little, if any, research has been conducted on schizophrenia in the field of special education. New antipsychotic medications for schizophrenia are controlling the positive symptoms of hallucinations, illusions, and the severest of delusions, thus enabling these students to remain in school. However, many interfering negative symptoms remain (e.g., loss of goals, loss of former interests, cognitive regression). The purpose of this qualitative research study was to identify the negative symptoms of schizophrenia that interfere with a student's academic and social success, primarily within a school setting, but also as they affect functioning within the family and the student's transition into the community. In addition, specific factors that act as exacerbators or diminishers of these symptoms were identified through this study. Research participants included 5 students who developed schizophrenia from the ages of 12 to 22, their parents, and their teachers. They were interviewed using a semi-structured approach resulting in over 30 hours of taped interview data. Data were then analyzed for commonalities, patterns, and data triangulation among the participants. Significant similarities among interfering symptoms and factors that exacerbate and diminish symptoms were identified among the participants, resulting in study findings of potential use for future researchers and professionals in the fields of special and general education, counseling, and psychology. The study results include lists of symptoms, exacerbators, and diminishers, and explanations of the significant findings. Findings from this study provide information necessary for the development of effective interventions in academic remediation, social skill training, counseling, and transition planning for this special education population. Knowledge of symptoms interfering with school success and factors that exacerbate or diminish the interfering symptoms is necessary for school professionals to conduct manifestation determinations, and functional behavioral analyses (FBA), and to create individualized education plans (IEP), and individualized transition plans (ITP).
- An inquiry into the factors influencing the development of the field of Behavior Disorders: A qualitative approach
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This dissertation has explored the origins of the field of Behavioral Disorders via a qualitative approach. In order to collect data, interviews were conducted with respondents who were selected via purposeful sampling. All respondents have had a significant impact on the field of special education as evidenced by scholarship and leadership throughout their careers. Data analysis of the interview transcriptions was accomplished through the utilization of computer software. The data indicated six areas/topics that were seen among respondents as being significant to the development of the field of Behavioral Disorders.
- 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.
- State and local level implementation of schoolwide positive behavior support: An examination of the Texas Behavior Support Initiative (TBSI).
- This study examined the current status of schoolwide positive behavior support efforts in Texas. The study specifically (a) examined the impact of statewide positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) training on the rates of discipline records, in-school ¬suspensions, out-¬of¬-school suspensions, disciplinary alternative education placements, and expulsions of public schools in Texas; (b) investigated the overall effectiveness of schoolwide positive behavior support; and (c) determined the differences between rates of discipline records, in-school ¬suspensions, out-¬of¬-school suspensions, disciplinary alternative education placements, and expulsions in schools participating in the Texas Behavior Support Initiative (TBSI): Schoolwide PBS Project when compared with matching schools who did not participate in the project. This study demonstrated that schools can significantly reduce problem behavior in their schools when implementing PBIS with fidelity. Creating effective systems of PBIS required training, coaching, and on¬site technical assistance by trained and experienced PBIS facilitators.
- Female adolescents identified with emotional disturbance and adjudicated female adolescents: A comparison of self-concepts.
- This study addresses the academic, social, and self-image self-concepts of females ages 13-17 who are labeled emotionally and behaviorally disordered by their public school systems and are in residential treatment, and females ages 13-17 who are adjudicated, or labeled “juvenile offenders” and are involved with the juvenile justice system. The purpose of this study is to examine and compare the self-concepts of these populations of adolescent females. Research questions focus on whether or not there is a difference in the confidence scores of self-image, academic, and social self-concepts, the importance scores of self-image, academic, and social self-concepts, and the confidence composite and outcome composite scores among female adolescents according to whether or not the female is adjudicated. Results show no statistically significant differences on seven of the eight measures. On the eighth measure, a statistically significant difference was found, with the non-offenders having a higher Outcome Confidence Composite score than the offenders.
- Perceptions of importance of diagnostic competencies among educational diagnosticians.
- This research was two-fold in its purpose: the first purpose being to assess the perceived relevance of the current state competency standards adopted in Texas by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) as they apply to the work of the educational diagnostician and the second being to examine the diagnostician's perceived ability of training institutions to prepare professionals for the field of special education evaluation. This study examined the perceptions of educational diagnosticians (N = 432) through the use of a survey instrument. Specifically the survey instrument was designed to assess diagnosticians' perceptions of importance of the SBEC competencies to special education evaluation in general, and to their practice in particular; the frequency with which they use the competencies; and their degree of training to meet the demands of the competencies through their preparatory program. Results indicate variability with regard to the perceived importance of the competencies and the degree of preparation to meet the demands of the competencies in practice.
- The historical significance of professional contributions of a leader in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders in special education: A qualitative case study of Richard J. Whelan.
- Historical documentation of the impact of PL 88-164 on the field of emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) and the development and implementation of teacher-training programs for children and youth identified as E/BD is limited. This study was designed to document the historical significance and professional contributions of Dr. Richard J. Whelan, Professor Emeritus, University of Kansas and his work in the development of teacher preparation training programs in the field of E/BD in institutions of higher education (IHE). The second purpose of this study was to document the legislative and program initiatives that have impacted the services, education, teaching, and research initiatives in the field of E/BD as interpreted by Dr. Whelan. The final purpose of this study was to examine the views of Dr. Whelan regarding the need for future developments in the field of E/BD. Legislative and policy efforts continue to change the climate in which children are educated. The field of special education relies on the efficacy of the training programs in IHE to provide appropriate teaching and research efforts in a manner that is consistent with the current needs of students with E/BD, their families, and the schools in which they seek to be educated. As this study revealed, understanding the history of the field, the foundational framework from which research and evidence-based practices have emerged, is paramount to forward movement in the field and necessary to the measurement of effective interventions and strategies in support of the students, their families, and those who choose this field as their lifework. It is the foundation from which educational theory is developed, researched, revised, and reflected.
- 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.
- 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%).
- Social Skills Intervention for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders Aged Six through Twelve Years: A Combination of a Literature-Based Curriculum and Telecommunications
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Researchers have noted that by providing formal and informal social skills training (SST), the school can become a potential optimal setting that fosters the development of social competence in students with behavioral problems. Indeed, learning to get along with people is one of the most important skills that we can teach students. In order to maximize its effectiveness, SST must be motivating and personally relevant enough for students to want to use the skills. In addition, it must provide opportunities for learned skills to be practiced under varying conditions and in as close to natural situations as possible in order to enhance the transfer of training. The purpose of the study was to investigate the social competence of students aged from six to twelve, diagnosed with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) in a public self-contained school setting, and to increase the students' social competence by using a literature-based method that employs multiage grouping, impersonation, and telecommunications. By providing intensive, literature-based training in a multiage classroom, the SST gave students opportunities to practice skills in a natural, real-life environment and, therefore, increased the likelihood of generalizing these skills in other settings. The employment of impersonation and telecommunications also enhanced students' acquisition of social skills and their interests to learn.
- 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.
- Technology-mediated distance education used to prepare special education personnel.
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This study examined how technology-mediated distance education is used in special education courses in teacher preparation programs. The data are based on a 30-item survey administered to members of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, who identified themselves as serving in an instructional capacity within institutions of higher education. Technology-mediated instruction was characterized in terms course delivery methods and program attributes. An analysis of instructional design processes revealed that most instructors are largely autonomous and do not rely on a team-based approach. Most make use of course-design and management software. Training is linked to course strategy and evaluation, while experience is associated with implementation. Respondents emphasized communication and student feedback. While both users and non-users of distance education technology foresaw the increased use for course delivery in the future, a notable percentage (13%) of current users indicated a desire to discontinue use.
- Reading and Math Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- Helping youths acquire educational skills is one of the most effective approaches to the prevention of delinquency and reduction of recidivism. Access to a high-quality education is particularly important for the growing number of youth committed to juvenile corrections, especially for those who have been diagnosed with a disability. Research has shown a tremendous gap about the academic outcomes of incarcerated juveniles with emotional disabilities. Thus, the focus of this study was to examine the academic outcomes in reading and math for youth with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) released from Texas Youth Commission (TYC) programs between September 2003 and September 2004. The study examined if the rate of academic growth in reading and math as indicated by pre- and post-test scores on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), are different for youth with E/B as compared to youth with other disabilities and youth without disabilities who were adjudicated in TYC programs.
- Measurement and Utility of Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans in Classrooms for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- This research study examined how education service providers conduct functional behavioral assessments and utilize behavior intervention plans to address the social and emotional needs of students with challenging behaviors. The data are based on a 20-item survey administered to educators who identified themselves as working with students diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders. The results and implications of the survey are discussed and evaluated to the review of literature conducted prior to the study. Recommendations for future research are also explored.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Perceptions of parents of students with autism towards the IEP meeting.
- The purpose of the study was to investigate how parents of students with autism perceived individualized education program (IEP) meetings. I determined factors that contributed to the belief held by parents that their children were or were not being properly served by IEP meetings. Parental relationships with educators, IEP meeting experiences, IEP outcomes, and treatment by educators were revealed through participant input. Parents were asked to share their experiences of previous IEP meetings. Additionally, parents provided input regarding practices that school districts could take to improve IEP meetings, and actions that parents could take to serve as better advocates for their children. Research findings indicated that parents did not perceive themselves as being treated as equals during IEP meetings. Parents believed that their input was not valued or welcomed by educators. Not having an equal voice toward their child's education prevented parents from positively influencing outcomes in their child's IEP meetings in terms of obtaining quality services and building positive relations with educators. Parents further revealed that educators failed to implement proper IEP protocol. According to parents, student objectives agreed upon in IEP meetings were often not always fully implemented for students receiving special education services. Research findings concluded that parents new to the IEP process often experienced difficulty understanding special education law, and were unaware of services that school districts should provide for their children.Suggestions for improving IEP meetings include: educators valuing parents as equal partners during IEP meetings, educators properly adhering to IEP objectives set forth in IEP meetings, and both educators and parents taking measures to becoming more knowledgeable of special education law and the IEP process.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Emotional/behavioral disturbance and speech/language disorders: Prevalence of the dual diagnoses in a school-age population
- The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of the comorbidity of emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) and speech/language disorders among those students identified as under The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act criteria as emotionally disturbed and speech impaired. The literature reviewed included clinical and school settings that examined a cooccurrence of language disorders in the EBD population. Other research reported a lack of routine involvement of speech/language therapists in the assessment of the EBD population. Implications from clinical studies suggested a need for greater attention to language disorders in a multi- and interdisciplinary assessment. This study investigated the prevalence of the dual occurrence of EBD and speech/language disorders in Grades 2 through 6 in Texas schools in light of the known research. Relationships in ethnicity and socioeconomic status were examined using chi-square test of independence. Aggregate data were obtained from the database of the Texas Pupil Information Management System and from survey questionnaire responses provided by speech therapists in selected districts. The literature review focused on the impact of language in the development of appropriate personal interactions and communication skills, especially those relevant to pragmatic language factors and the implications of language competency in successful personal living and career roles and supported the importance of language as an important contributor to a person's life success and the correlation of EBD disabilities and speech/language disorders. Social skills instruction, the relationship of language, especially pragmatics, and social competencies for this population are included. The results revealed a relationship between ethnicity and speech/language disorders among the students identified with EBD. In considering the population of students identified as EBD and language disordered, a significant relationship was found between ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Recommendations include suggestions for future research, assessment procedures, classroom interventions, and data collection methods.
- Teacher Turnover among Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders
- The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that compel teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) to quit or stay in their job. Invitations to participate in the study were sent to a sample of educators from each the four census regions of the United States who currently work or have worked in the past worked with students with E/BD and have participated in one or more of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD) professional development events. A total of 156 educators responded to the online survey and 9 participated in the focus groups. Quantitative information generated from the survey was analyzed using frequency distributions and ANOVA, whereas, qualitative information were analyzed by summarizing and sorting information into different categories. The results were presented in narrative and tabular form and organized in response to each of the research questions. The projected high teacher turnover as depicted in the findings, were mainly attributed to workplace variables and classroom conditions. Both variables are likely to be associated with high levels of dissatisfaction and lack of commitment eventually leading to decisions by teachers of students with E/BD to leave their job. Most respondents perceived themselves as being adequately prepared for responsibilities associated with teaching students with E/BD. The low variances associated with the grouping variable, career decisions did not explain a significant amount of variance in perceived levels of preparedness with regards to implementation of various program components and instructional activities. Hence, teacher qualifications and perceptions did not play a significant role in career decisions made by teachers of students with E/BD. In addition, findings reveal the need for all future teachers regardless of their certification to take specialized courses in special education to ensure that all teachers understand the unique characteristics and needs of students with E/BD. Respondents recommended that all pre-service teachers would benefit from actual hands-on training through structured field experiences and practicum.
- Parental Understanding of Discipline Issues, Functional Behavioral Assessment, and Behavior Intervention Plans: Using a State-wide Survey to Examine Parents' Reports Related to Discipline
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandated that each child who qualifies for special education must have an individualized education program (IEP). Disciplinary issues and procedures under IDEA have been a source of concern among parents, schools, and advocates from disability groups. At issue are fundamental concerns about the protection of rights for students with disabilities, which must be balanced with the ability of school personnel to maintain safe school environments that benefits all students. This research examined the four survey questions related to discipline from a state-wide survey conducted by Education Service Center (ESC) Region 9 through a comparison of selected disability categories as they compare to the responses received from parents of students with the disability category of emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD). In addition, the research examined the open-ended questions from surveys to determine the types of concerns reported by parents. Data accrued from a focus group of parents receiving special education services are also reported. Parents of students identified as having an E/BD rated their understanding of the school's discipline policy lower than parents of students from other eligibility categories. Almost 67% of parents of students identified as having E/BD stated that they knew that their child might be eligible for alternative discipline procedures. Parents of students identified as E/BD reported at a much higher percentage that they were aware that services must be continued if the child was removed from the instructional setting for discipline problems. In a focus group discussion, a majority of the parent's (67%) responded that they felt like they understood the school's discipline policies. When given a chance to respond through an open-ended questionnaire, parents addressed a variety of problems, such as children being continually suspended for behaviors related to their disability or the behavior intervention plan not being implemented.
- Distance Education in the Preparation of Special Education Personnel: An Examination of Videoconferencing and Web-based Instruction
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This study examined the effectiveness of employing videoconferencing and Web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel. Due to the acute shortage of special education personnel, it was anticipated that the use of videoconferencing and online instruction would provide a convenient way for students to attend class without having to travel to the actual location of the educational site. Further, it was believed that this initiative would result in higher student enrollment in special education teacher certification programs, consequently leading to an increase of personnel in the field. Moreover, the increase in personnel would enhance the ability of educational institutions to address the dismal academic, social, and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities. Information for the study was collected from surveys that investigated how students perceived the use of videoconferencing and web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel. Ninety-four graduate students responded to the videoconferencing surveys while 88 responded to the Web-based instruction surveys. Six respondents were randomly selected to participate in face-to-face interviews designed to investigate the effectiveness of both approaches. Findings indicated that videoconferencing and Web-based instruction are convenient ways for students to attend class although videoconferencing sites may not be conveniently located to all learners. Furthermore, the effectiveness of these media depends on several factors: the instructor, the course structure, the learners' learning styles, the quality and quantity of interaction between learners and the instructor, and whether technological problems interfere with the learning process. The study determined that the more structured and organized the course, the more significant the learning outcomes. Also, the maturity level of the students lends itself to accountability toward achieving the desired learning goals. Technological problems and the lack of user-friendly technology lower the effectiveness of videoconferencing and Web-based instruction. Further research will be valuable in improving theories and approaches currently used in the application of videoconferencing and Web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel.
- Descriptive Analysis of Comments Obtained during the Process of Regulating the Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004
- This study examined the comments submitted by the public to the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Office of Special Education Programs, in response to the 2004 amended IDEA, prior to the development and publication of proposed regulations under 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 300 and 303 to implement programs under IDEA. Specifically, this study analyzed the types of individuals (e.g., parents, advocates, administrators, lawyers, support staff personnel) and interest groups along with the number of submissions, types of comments made, and specific provisions in the legislation that received the most comments during the period open to the public prior to the publication of the proposed regulations. In addition, an exploration of the existence of differences in comments submitted by states and regions was analyzed in terms of types of individuals, interest groups, types of comments, and specific provision of the 2004 amended IDEA. Content analysis approach utilizing qualitative data collection and analysis procedures was used for this study. The sample consisted of 2,199 comments submitted to the USDE via the U.S. Postal system, e-mail, and verbal testimony transcripts obtained during one of the public meetings held throughout the United States during the 60 day period open for commenting. The findings of this study revealed a large number of a particular type of respondent types, the majority of the comments were neutral in nature, and the largest percentage of comments received were directed at one particular section of the Act.
- Meta-Analysis of Reading Interventions for Students with Learning and Emotional Disabilities
- Developing effective literacy skill has become an increasingly critical skill in today's information age. Students with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) routinely lack these skills and are not being taught how to read effectively. The field of special education needs more comprehensive and specific information about how to most effectively teach reading skills to students with E/BD. When reading interventions are conducted using student with E/BD, the interventions are generally drawn from the LD field. The assumption is that the reading interventions that have worked with students with LD will work equally well with the E/BD population. This study performed a meta-analysis to examine whether reading interventions are equally effective on the E/BD and LD populations. In addition, it will examine whether the instruction mode (e. g., peer, self, or teacher directed), gender, or grade group affects the success of the intervention. The meta-analysis found that the reading interventions for both disability groups had high effect sizes. In addition, neither disability group, teaching method, gender, nor grades were predictive of the variance in the effect size. These results indicate that reading programs that have been designed for students with LD are also effective for students with E/BD and furthermore, reading programs can improve the academic achievement of students with behavioral disorders. Recommendations for teacher training and future research are given based on these results.
- 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.
- An examination of factors related to the cognitive and affective empathy levels of adjudicated youth
- With the advent of increased juvenile delinquency in our nation, the need for prevention and rehabilitation is paramount. Juvenile delinquent acts are becoming more serious and violent with offenders perpetrating at younger ages. Analysis suggests an increase in juvenile crime in the near future (Stone, 2000). Pinpointing the cause of delinquency is an arduous task because of the many contributing factors (e.g., impulsivity, aggression, low intellect, poor family attachment, drug, and alcohol abuse). By changing the emotional deficits found in beginning delinquency, the likelihood of developing delinquent behavior may be impeded. Research indicates that adolescents who commit crimes are lacking in empathy (e.g., Aleksic, 1975; Cohen & Strayer, 1996; Ellis, 1982; Gibbs, 1987; Marcus & Gray, 1998), thus, promoting empathy may be an avenue for prevention and rehabilitation. This study examined the levels of empathy of adjudicated youth in four juvenile correctional facilities in Texas. Using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), empathy levels of 170 youth were examined. Youth in the study demonstrated low levels of empathy. The study found that empathy levels of adjudicated youth were differentiated by incarcerating facility, IQ, type of offense, disability status, and phase level of a re-socialization training program. Age was not found to be a significant factor for differentiating empathy levels. Youth demonstrated similiar empathy levels at three of the four incarcerating facilities. However, empathy scores were still below average. IQ ranges were differentiated by the IRI, and found to be lower than normed scores. Type of committing offense was discriminated and found to indicate low empathy levels. Youth without an identified disability scored lower than subjects with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) and youth with learning disabilities (LD). This may reflect the pattern of underidentification of juveniles in correctional facilities (Nelson, Rutherford, & Wolford, 1987). Phases of Re-socialization is an instructional therapuetic program with an empathy component used at the Texas Youth Commission correctional facilities. Data from the study indicated that youth at higher phase levels demonstrated increased empathy. Much of the data are inconsistent, thus establishing the need for further research. A deeper understanding of the impact of each factor (e.g., incarcerating facility, age, IQ, type of offense, disability status, phase) may be accomplished by further research. However, data from this study is consistent with previous research (e.g., Daberman, 1999; Ellis, 1982; Gibbs, 1987; Lee & Prentice, 1988), indicating a link between juvenile delinquents and empathic deficits.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Parental Understanding and Satisfaction with Special Education Services in the State of Texas
- Parental participation in educational issues is relevant in assisting parents in understanding and becoming satisfied with their child's educational experience. Parental involvement is not only an ethical issue for teachers, but mandates have been established for special educators through various public laws. When involving parents in their children's education, it is relevant to consider various factors associated with students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Parental satisfaction plays an important role in many cultures in obtaining parental involvement in decision-making meetings. If parents experience negative interactions, parental participation can be diminished. In other cultures, the satisfaction level raises parental trust in allowing school staff to make the appropriate choices for their children. Family values and beliefs among the various cultures should be a consideration when encouraging parents to participate in their child's educational process. Several barriers exist when involving different cultural groups; therefore, it is essential for educators to become aware of these barriers and learn strategies to overcome them. This study addresses parental understanding and satisfaction among ethnic group and throughout various disability groups by evaluating parental responses from a statewide survey and three focus groups.
- 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.