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Saudi Mothers' Perspectives on the Influence of Acculturation on their Childrearing Beliefs and Behaviors of their Children
There are a considerable number of Saudi Arabian students who attend U.S. schools. To date, no published studies exist that relate to the Saudi Arabian students, their families, and how they acculturate to the American society. Acculturation affects parents and children in different ways, and it can affect the way parents raise their children. Using semi–structured interviews, this study examined Saudi mothers' perspectives on acculturation to American society and how those perspectives affect their childrearing beliefs and their children's behaviors. The descriptive qualitative study acknowledges mothers' perceptions about adaptation of Saudi children to American society and if those parents observe behavioral changes in their children. The results showed there are some changes that occurred regarding parental beliefs of parents due to acculturation, but there were not any behavioral problems caused by acculturation to the American culture in the Saudi children.
Applied Use of Video Modeling in Educational and Clinical Settings: A Survey of Autism Professionals
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display deficits in communication and social interaction that can impact their ability to function in daily environments. To remediate these deficits, it is critical for professionals to use effective interventions. While there are many evidence-based practices (EBPs) identified for ASD (e.g., video modeling), the adoption of these EBPs may not occur automatically. Existing research suggests professionals have a generally favorable impression of video modeling. However, little research has examined opinions and applied use of video modeling, which was the purpose of the present study. Using survey methodology, data were collected from 510 professionals in various disciplines (e.g., special educators, speech-language pathologists [SLPs], and behavior analysts [BCBAs]). Data were analyzed primarily via factor analysis and multiple regression. Factor analysis was used to examine the underlying structure of the instrument, revealing two predominant factors: (1) interest in and (2) perceived accessibility of video modeling. Multiple regression was used to examine which demographic characteristics (e.g., age and years of experience) were associated with each factor. Results indicated that BCBAs and SLPs perceived video modeling as more accessible. In terms of interest, professionals who worked with preschool-aged students, who worked in a suburban location, and who had an extended family member with ASD showed higher interest in video modeling. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
Culturally Competent Evaluations
Significant growth in the number of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. schools is anticipated to continue, demanding that educators and evaluators have the skills necessary to distinguishing language difference from disability and provide appropriate services to these students. However, little research exists examining the role of evaluator's cultural competence in evaluating ELLs for special education; furthermore, what does exist shows that many evaluators report low levels of self-efficacy as it relates to assessing ELLs. The first chapter of the dissertation reports on a review of 21 articles conducted to address best practices for evaluating culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners, evaluator self-efficacy, and recommendations for conducting culturally competent assessments and evaluations. The majority of the articles identified in this review focused on recommendations for best practices for conducting evaluations rather than reporting empirical findings related to the topic. Only one study was identified that focused on appropriate training needed by evaluation staff to effectively discriminate between language difference and a disability. Based on the findings of this review, additional research, using a rigorous methodology is needed. Addressing that need, the second chapter reports the results of a study conducted to examine the effectiveness of Project PEAC3E (Preparing Evaluators to Accurately Conduct Culturally Competent Evaluations), a reform-oriented professional development model, using case-based activities designed to increase evaluators' sense of self-efficacy, cultural competence, and the accuracy of evaluator eligibility decisions for English language learners (ELLs). The study found that Project PEAC3E was effective in increasing evaluator self-efficacy.
Special Education Teachers Self-Reported Use of Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Autism in Texas Public Schools
Currently there is extensive literature on evidence-based practices (EBP) for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there is limited research on whether or not these practices are implemented in the classroom by teachers serving students with ASD. Special education teachers are responsible for the learning outcomes of students across a range of ages and disabilities. This study investigated teachers' self-reported use of EBP and what factors influence implementation. Participants included 129 special education teachers in Texas public schools. Data utilizing descriptive statistics and logistic regression was conducted to determine what factors (i.e., education, employment, teaching experience and training methods) predicted implementation of a particular practice. Although 67% of teachers reported using EBPs, teachers' employment and training experiences did not predict the implementation of a particular practice. Information from this study can be used to enhance professional development for teachers serving students with ASD.
Traditional Bullying and Cyberbullying in Korean Children and Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities: Examination of Contributing Factors
Children and Adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD) are often involved in aggression, acting out, bullying, violence, substance abuse, and juvenile crime. However, the limited Korean studies have focused primarily on bullying of students with developmental disabilities or intellectual disabilities. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore contributing factors to traditional bullying and cyberbullying in Korean children and adolescents with EBD. The current study surveyed 112 students with EBD between ages of 10 and 15 and their parents (guardians). The results revealed that internalizing problem behaviors including anxious/depression, withdrawal/depression, and somatic problems significantly affected traditional bullying victimization of Korean students with EBD. The peer support was a significant factor affecting cyberbullying victimization. Furthermore, the maternal psychological control was a meaningful factor affecting perpetration at school and in cyber world. Based on the findings, the present study described implications regarding prevention and intervention programs for addressing traditional bullying and cyberbullying victimization and perpetration.
Teaching Children with Autism to Vocally Mand for Others to Perform an Action
Mand training is a very logical and natural procedure to begin teaching communication skills to individuals with autism. Existing research has documented strategies for teaching children with autism to mand for preferred items, although there are fewer high quality studies on teaching children to mand for other people to perform an action. In addition to improving the general mand repertoire, teaching children to mand for others to perform an action is important because it allows children with autism to communicate ways in which another person could improve their environment by performing a simple action. The purpose of this study was to document a functional relation between mand training and acquisition and generalization of unprompted mands for another person to perform an action. Using a multiple-baseline design across participants, four children with autism were taught to mand for an adult to perform a variety of actions (e.g., to open a container so the child could obtain a preferred item). Results showed that the intervention produced an increase in unprompted mands for actions for all participants. Additionally, all participants demonstrated unprompted mands at or above mastery criteria during all generalization sessions in a different setting and different interventionist. The magnitude of effect was also large for all participants. This study extends the research on mand training by demonstrating a procedure that can be used to teach children with autism specific mands for actions. Additionally, this study will contribute to a body of strong and adequate studies that will eventually lead to mand training being considered an evidence-based practice.
Resilience Among Graduates From Alternative Education Programs
Research has shown that students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) typically have poor life outcomes. Students with EBD who are placed in an alternative education setting are likely to continue a path toward failure without carefully designed effective services. Existing studies have independently examined resilience in children and youth and alternative education settings. However, there is a gap in research examining resilience in students who have graduated from alternative education settings. Using semi-structured interviews, the present interpretive and descriptive qualitative study sought to explore factors of resilience in individuals who graduated from alternative education settings. The study sought to identify elements, specific to alternative education settings, that have contributed to resilience in young adulthood and to further our understanding of how alternative education placements have contributed to the participants’ current life status. Findings revealed three themes specific to alternative education settings that contributed to participants’ resilience: teachers who show that they care about their students, a positive learning environment, and a small student-teacher ratio where participants were able to get more one-on-one instruction. Additionally, two other themes arose from the data: having a supportive family and an innate sense of self.
Computer Assisted Instruction to Improve Theory of Mind in Children with Autism
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show significant deficits in communication, emotion recognition, perspective taking, and social skills. One intervention gaining increased attention is the use of computer assisted instruction (CAI) to teach social, emotional and perspective-taking skills to individuals with ASD with the purpose of improving theory of mind skills. This study evaluated the effectiveness of CAI for improving theory of mind skills in four children with high functioning autism ages 5 to 12 years. A single-subject multiple baseline research design across participants was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of CAI. The software contained 22 instructional scenarios that asked participants to identify emotions of characters based on situational cues displayed in line drawn pictures and audio feedback for correct and incorrect responses. Mind-reading skills were assessed using ten randomly selected scenarios for various emotions and no audio feedback. Visual analysis of the data revealed that all four participants increased mind-reading skills during the CAI condition. Additionally, this study evaluated levels of task engagement during experimental conditions. Three of the four participants showed an increase in task engagement during CAI compared to paper-based social stories used during baseline. Generalization of skills was assessed through the use of social scenarios acted out by family members of participants. All four participants were able to correctly identify emotions displayed in generalization scenarios. Results demonstrated that CAI was an effective and socially viable method for improving ToM skills in children with autism and they could generalize their skills to untrained settings.
Identification of Professional Competencies Required by the Generic Special Educator
The problem of this study was to identify professional competencies considered essential for the generic special educator. The purpose of this study was to identify competencies essential to the successful performance of a generic special educator to be used in the development of special education personnel. The identified competencies were utilized in the newly developed competency-based generic special education program at North Texas State University. To accomplish this study, a non-proportional stratified random sample of fifty-one school districts was selected from Regions VII, VIII, X, and XI. An instrument was developed, pilot tested, and revised. The instrument was administered to the sample of selected professional personnel within each selected school district. Descriptive data from the questionnaire were compiled and presented in tables by position and sub-group. The Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient was applied as a measure of association among the various sub-groups on the basis of the rank ordering of items. In order to determine significant differences among sub-groups on the variable of importance of competency item, analyses of variance were calculated. Trainability ratings were analyzed using the chi square test of independence to test the degree of agreement of training environment among the four sub-groups.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Examination of the Behavioral Dimensions of Behaviorally Disordered Students Across Grade Levels Utilizing Confirmatory Factor Analysis
A review of the literature regarding behavioral characteristics and underlying factors for behaviorally disordered (BD) students revealed that both elementary school aged and secondary school aged BD students may be able to be described by a similar factor structure. Utilizing ratings obtained on a national sample of BD students with the Behavioral Dimensions Rating Scale (BDRS). Research Edition, the pattern of item ratings for students in grades kindergarten through five (K-5) and grades six through eleven (6-11) was examined to confirm this literature-based theory. Multigroup simultaneous confirmatory factor analysis using maximum likelihood estimation procedures was utilized to compare the covariance structures of students in grades K-5 and grades 6-11. A goodness-of-fit index revealed that the covariance matrices of the two groups were invariant. Since the same factor structure could be used to describe BD students in grades K-5 and grades 6-11, the means for the two groups were compared using Hotelling's T^2 statistic for two independent samples. The analysis resulted in finding a significant difference between the two groups' means. A univariate F test was conducted for the behavioral dimensions to locate the source of the mean difference. A significant difference was found only for Factor I: Aggressive/Acting Out, indicating that teachers perceive these types of behavior to be more problematic for students in grades K-5. No significant differences were found between the two groups' means on Factor II: Socially Withdrawn, Factor III: Irresponsible/Inattentive, or Factor IV: Fearful/Anxious. This investigation has demonstrated that teachers can use the BDRS, Research Edition with confidence when assessing the behaviors of both elementary and secondary school aged students. Areas for further investigation include an examination for invariance across (a) more narrowly defined grade distributions, (b) gender, and (c) socioeconomic status.
An Analysis of Critical Skills Used by Correctional Education Personnel
A review of the literature indicated that critical skills needed by educators to work with adjudicated youth in correctional settings had not been sufficiently identified or analyzed. Research efforts using survey instruments appeared to offer a method for gathering data in order to develop and study a comprehensive list of critical skills of correctional educators. A survey instrument was developed in bifurcate format that required respondents to rate 135 skill items according to Importance and Proficiency. Two parallel Likert-type scales were provided so that respondents could rate items according to their perceptions of Importance and Proficiency, The instrument was mailed to three groups consisting of educators in youth correctional facilities, state level administrators of youth corrections, and college/university faculty in correctional education preservice teacher preparation programs. A total of 366 surveys were mailed with 183 (50%) returned. Four hypotheses and eight corollaries were developed. Data were analyzed using MANOVA to test for significant differences among all groups and within subjects for one group (correctional educators). The findings did not support the hypotheses or corollaries. Therefore, all hypotheses and corollaries were rejected. However, ANOVA and Chi-Square procedures revealed significant differences among groups and within Group 1, correctional educators. The findings suggested that educators tended to differ from state level administrators in regard to Importance and Proficiency for certain skill items. Differences were also found within the correctional educator group nationwide and across regions for certain skill items. Recommendations for correctional education preservice programs and state level inservice training programs were developed that may have importance for the education of adjudicated youth. Recommendations included an emphasis upon federal legislative guidelines for education of incarcerated youth, development of educator's skills in communication and interaction with facility administrators, parents, and local community agencies, and inclusion of vocational/career development and transitional programs in correctional settings. ...
The Early Literacy Development of Young Mildly Handicapped Children
The purpose of this study was to describe the extent and quality of prior knowledge, transactional nature, and social context of literacy knowledge demonstrated by young mildly handicapped learners. The study was based on current theories of literacy which view literacy growth as part of the total language system development, and ethnographic methods were used to gather and analyze qualitative data. Language and literacy events were observed in three special education classrooms including 43 students ranging in age from 4 years 1 month to 9 years 11 months. Major findings of the study included: (a) The children in this study demonstrated prior literacy knowledge much like that of non-handicapped peers, (b) Demonstrations of oral and written language system transactions decreased after students received formal instruction in reading and writing. And (c) children's ability to interpret print depended greatly on the presence or absence of context with the print.
Perceptions of Temperament Characteristics of Children Classified as Learning Disabled
This study addresses how the temperament characteristics of seven year old learning disabled students are viewed in relation to those of the normally achieving students. Teacher perceptions, parent perceptions, and teacher versus parent perceptions are examined utilizing the six dimensions (activity, adaptability, approach/withdrawal, intensity, distractibility, and persistence) and the three factors (emotionality, sociability, and persistence) of the Temperament Assessment Battery.
Academic, Behavioral, and Social Competency Characteristics of Non-Handicapped, Learning Disabled, and Emotionally/Behaviorally Disordered Adjudicated Juveniles
The juvenile justice system is society's response to juvenile misconduct. In spite of numerous federal, state, and local programs, the problem of juvenile delinquency persists. An increasing number of juveniles are being taken into custody and placed in institutional settings. Although juvenile delinquents share a number of common general characteristics (e.g., sex, minority, lower socioeconomic status, a history of school failure), they are not a homogeneous group. Effective educational interventions with delinquent juveniles can meet their unique academic, vocational, and social skills deficits. Handicapped juveniles are disproportionately represented among juvenile correctional facility populations. The identification of handicapped juveniles among delinquent populations is compounded as they share many of the same general characteristics. Federal statutes require individualized educational programs for all handicapped juveniles. This research investigated academic, behavioral, and social competencies of non-handicapped and handicapped adjudicated youth. Specifically, this investigation assessed measures of academic performance, classroom behavior, self-esteem, and social behavior. ANOVA indicated statistically significant differences between non-handicapped, learning disabled, and emotionally/behaviorally disordered adjudicated juveniles in reading achievement, mathematics achievement, and teacher generated measures of classroom behavior.
The Perceived Role of the Post-Secondary Transition Team Leader in Special Education in Texas
The role for the transition team leader (TTL) has not been formalized at the state level in Texas. The purpose of this study was to determine the current perceptions of the public school superintendents in Texas for the roles, responsibilities, and functions of the TTL. The framework of the survey questionnaire was based on eight categories of expertise for the TTL derived from a review of the literature and from professional experience in preparing handicapped individuals for the world of work. The findings are listed as desirable and undesirable characteristics for the role or job description of the TTL. The desirable characteristics for the role of TTL were viewed as: (a) having experience with handicapped populations, (b) having skills to supervise others, (c) being a liaison between agencies, (d) making program adjustments as needed, (e) providing training, (f) knowing how to explain the transition program to staff, (g) being a liaison with parents, (h) being a liaison with community employers, (i) knowing pertinent regulations, (j) knowing the characteristics for each of the handicapping conditions, and (k) knowing the options and barriers to transportation for handicapped individuals in the community. The least desirable characteristics identified with the role of the TTL were: (a) The need for certification of the TTL, (b) making curricular changes at the elementary level, (c) the TTL as the Educational Diagnostician, (d) the TTL as a parent of a handicapped individual participating in the transition program, and (e) the TTL encouraging severely handicapped individuals to remain in the public schools until the maximum age of 21. These categorical data were grouped by ESC area with urban, suburban, and rural demographics. These data were analyzed by a three-way ANOVA design and significant differences were found by category, by ESC area, and by population designation. The public school superintendents ...
The Prevalence of Specific Learning Disabilities in School-Aged Hearing Impaired Children
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the prevalence of specific learning disabilities in school-aged hearing impaired children based on the proposed theoretical definition of the National Joint Committee for Learning Disabilities (1981) and the theoretical definition constructed by the Canadian Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities (1981). The operationalization of these theoretical definitions, coupled with the current operational definition issued by the Texas Education Agency (1983), formulated the investigative framework.
Analysis of Critical Skills Used By Educators of Students With Autism
A review of the literature indicated that critical skills needed by educators of students with autism had not been sufficiently identified. Research efforts using survey instruments appeared to offer a method for gathering data in order to develop and analyze a comprehensive list of critical skills for educators of students with autism. A survey instrument was developed in bifurcate format that required respondents to rate 118 skill items according to Importance and Proficiency. Two Likert-type scales were provided to enable respondents to record their perceptions of Importance and Proficiency. The instrument was mailed to a nationwide stratified sample of educators of students with autism. A total of 90 surveys were mailed with 52 (57%) returned. Four hypotheses and two research questions were developed. Data were analyzed using MANOVA to test for significant differences among the four geographic regions of the United States and within ten skill areas. The findings did not support the hypotheses; therefore, all hypotheses were rejected. In further analysis utilizing the ANOVA and Chi-Square procedures, significant differences among some regions and within some of the skill areas were found. The findings suggest that educators from the four regions tended to differ in regard to Importance and Proficiency for certain skill items. Findings led to recommendations being given relevant to future research on critical skills needed for teachers in the field of autism.
Cross-Cultural Validity of the Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence
The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which a non-verbal test of intelligence, the Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence (TONI), may be used for assessing intellectual abilities of children in India. This investigation is considered important since current instruments used in India were developed several years ago and do not adequately reflect present standards of performance. Further, current instruments do not demonstrate adequate validity, as procedures for development and cultural transport were frequently not in adherence to recommended guidelines for such practice. Data were collected from 91 normally achieving and 18 mentally retarded Indian children, currently enrolled in elementary schools. Data from an American comparison group were procured from the authors of the TONI. Subjects were matched on age, grade, and area of residence. Subjects were also from comparative socioeconomic backgrounds. Literature review of the theoretical framework supporting cross-cultural measurement of intellectual ability, a summary of major instruments developed for cross-cultural use, non-verbal measures of intellectual ability in India, and issues in cross-cultural research are discussed, with recommended methodology for test transport. Major findings are: (a) the factor scales derived from the Indian and American normally achieving groups indicate significant differences; (b) items 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, and 22 are biased against the Indian group, though overall item characteristic curves are not significantly different; (c) mean raw scores on the TONI are significantly different between second and third grade Indian subjects; and (d) mean TONI Quotients are significantly different between normally achieving and mentally retarded Indian subjects. It is evident that deletion of biased items and rescaling would be necessary for the TONI to be valid in the Indian context. However, because it does discriminate between subjects at different levels of ability, adaptation for use in India is justified. It may prove to be a more ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.