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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.
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.
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.
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.
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. ...
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 ...
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.
A Deconstruction and Qualitative Analysis of the Consumption of Traditional Entertainment Media by Elementary-Aged Children Diagnosed with Emotional Disorders.
This qualitative study examined whether a connection exists between children with emotional disorders consumption of traditional entertainment media and their subsequent vegative/anti-social classroom behavior. Research participants included six first-grade children diagnosed with an emotional disorder and their teacher. They were interviewed using a semi-structured approach. The students were observed in the natural setting of their classroom for a total of twenty-four hours, over a four-day period. Transcripts and classroom observations were analyzed, looking for connections between behavior and consumption of traditional entertainment media. Findings from this study concluded that these students used traditional entertainment media as a method of temporally escaping from the environment of their respective households.
Current Practices in Working With Special Education Paraeducators.
With so many paraeducators working in special education, it is important for teachers, administrators, and researchers to know how paraeducators are being utilized, supervised, and managed in order to create the most effective programs for students with special needs. Research is needed regarding current practices in supervising paraeducators. The purposes of this study were to (a) delineate the current practices being utilized by special education teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) who supervise paraeducators that work with students with EBD in the general education classroom and (b) determine how effective the supervised paraeducators perceive those practices to be. Current practices were revealed by answering the following questions: (1) According to special education teachers and paraeducators, what procedures and practices are being utilized to supervise paraeducators who work in the general education environment with students with EBD? (2) In what ways do teachers and paraeducators see these supervision practices as being effective? (3) What is the relationship between actual supervision practices and accepted best practices? There were 60 participants in all, 30 professional teachers and 30 paraeducators. All 60 participants completed a survey; of these 60, 5 teachers and 5 paraeducators were individually interviewed Findings from the study indicate that actual supervision practices of teachers do not represent the best practices found in the literature. The study found that each of the seven executive functions of supervision (orientation, planning, scheduling, delegating, training/coaching, monitoring/feedback, and managing the workplace) need additional attention from school districts in order to maximize paraeducator effectiveness.
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.
Effect of Individualized Curricular Accommodations, Incorporating Student Interest and the Impact on the Motivation and Occurrence/ Nonoccurrence of Disruptive Behavior Displayed By Students with Emotional/behavioral Disorders.
As a result of the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997, schools must now consider positive behavioral interventions and strategies to address problem behavior of students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (E/BD). Given the poor behavioral, academic, and social outcomes for these students, there is a compelling need to identify effective, proactive interventions. Current literature has well established the ineffectiveness of traditional, punitive, and consequence-laden strategies to deal with behaviors. Research has shown the manipulation of antecedent stimuli, in the form of curricular adaptations, can provide a positive, proactive means of managing behavior. Specifically, curriculum modifications, based on student interest, are proposed as a positive, proactive strategy used to manipulate antecedent stimuli to improve the behavior of students with E/BD. The purpose of this study was to investigate the manipulation of antecedent stimuli through the implementation of individualized, curricular adaptations, based on student interest, to reduce the problem behavior of students exhibiting disruptive behaviors. A second purpose was to explore the effect of those adaptations on the behavior motivation of students with E/BD. In this study, curriculum modifications based on student interest were used to reduce disruptive behavior, increase desirable behavior, and effect change in the motivation for problem behavior among four elementary school boys with E/BD. Use of an ABAB reversal design, including interval data collection, and the use of a behavior rating scale and a motivation assessment scale were used to establish baseline data and determine effectiveness of the intervention. Results indicate that each student demonstrated a reduction in disruptive behavior, an increase in desirable behavior, and changes in motivation for behavior.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
Personality Type Preferences of Juvenile Delinquents
The purpose of this study was to identify and explore personality characteristics of juvenile delinquents, to compare those characteristics with those of the general population, and determine if there are significant differences, as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), between the personality characteristics of juvenile delinquents and the general population. Juvenile delinquents who were adjudicated into a Texas Youth Commission facility in North Texas were subjects for this study. Participants included 186 males who ranged in age from 14 years to 20 years. Statistical analyses were performed for each of the research questions. When comparing MBTI scores of juvenile delinquents to the general population, significant differences were found on the dichotomous scales, temperaments, function pairs, and types. All type preferences are represented within the juvenile delinquent population. The MBTI can be useful in responding to the education and rehabilitation needs of juvenile delinquents. Knowledge of personality type can help caregivers meet the needs of juvenile delinquents. Understanding personality type preference can serve to provide a deeper understanding of the behaviors that lead to adjudication of juvenile delinquents. A discovery of the types of adolescents who are adjudicated could lead to preventive measures, early detection, and early intervention for students at risk of becoming juvenile delinquents.
Social Skills and Problem Behavior Assessment of General and Special Education Vocational Students
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cyberbullying: Responses of Adolescents and Parents toward Digital Aggression
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 ...
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.
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 ...
An inquiry into the factors influencing the development of the field of Behavior Disorders: A qualitative approach
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.
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.