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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.
The historical significance of professional contributions of a leader in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders in special education: A qualitative case study of Richard J. Whelan.
Historical documentation of the impact of PL 88-164 on the field of emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) and the development and implementation of teacher-training programs for children and youth identified as E/BD is limited. This study was designed to document the historical significance and professional contributions of Dr. Richard J. Whelan, Professor Emeritus, University of Kansas and his work in the development of teacher preparation training programs in the field of E/BD in institutions of higher education (IHE). The second purpose of this study was to document the legislative and program initiatives that have impacted the services, education, teaching, and research initiatives in the field of E/BD as interpreted by Dr. Whelan. The final purpose of this study was to examine the views of Dr. Whelan regarding the need for future developments in the field of E/BD. Legislative and policy efforts continue to change the climate in which children are educated. The field of special education relies on the efficacy of the training programs in IHE to provide appropriate teaching and research efforts in a manner that is consistent with the current needs of students with E/BD, their families, and the schools in which they seek to be educated. As this study revealed, understanding the history of the field, the foundational framework from which research and evidence-based practices have emerged, is paramount to forward movement in the field and necessary to the measurement of effective interventions and strategies in support of the students, their families, and those who choose this field as their lifework. It is the foundation from which educational theory is developed, researched, revised, and reflected.
Personnel Preparation in Special Education: An Exploration of Autism Spectrum Disorders Programmatic Changes in Institutions of Higher Education Teacher Training Programs
Programmatic change related to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) training in special education teacher education programs across the U.S. and institutional variables that influenced change were examined. Variables included institutions’ current coverage of autism content in coursework and institution enrollment. One faculty member from each identified institution was invited to participate in the study. Data were collected from 136 special education faculty using an exploratory survey instrument, the National Survey on ASD Preparation in Undergraduate Special Education Teacher Training Programs (NSAP). This study was designed around themes which emerged from empirical and pragmatic research findings conceptualizing prevalent issues in personnel preparation for ASD including critical knowledge and skills needed by teachers to effectively serve students with ASD. Results indicated a significant number of programmatic changes (66%) remain to be implemented in undergraduate special education programs at institutions participating in the study.
Evaluating Quality Standards for Teachers in the Field of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
The purpose of this study is to determine quality indicators in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders based on six empirically validated standards outlined by the Council for Exceptional Children. Invitations to participate in the study were disseminated to a randomized selection of members within the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. Respondents (N = 199) included teachers (n = 128) and related service personnel (n = 71) who directly and indirectly work with students with emotional and behavioral disorders throughout the United States. A rank order list of the most important knowledge and skills to teachers with regard to demographic characteristics (i.e., types of communities, educational settings, or years of experience) was developed. Additionally, a rank order list was developed to determine which knowledge and skills related service personnel felt should be most important to teachers. Level of agreement was determined between teachers and related service personnel and variances among the rank order lists were examined. Results of the study revealed statistically significant variances in the rank order of knowledge and skills among educational settings of teachers (i.e., self-contained, resource, and general education/inclusion) across the standard of Learning Environments and Social Interactions. Rank orders in two knowledge and skills (i.e., assistive technology and structure) were significant. When rank order was compared between teachers and related service personnel, level of agreement was low within the standards of assessment (58%) and collaboration (63%).
Social Skills Intervention for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders Aged Six through Twelve Years: A Combination of a Literature-Based Curriculum and Telecommunications
Researchers have noted that by providing formal and informal social skills training (SST), the school can become a potential optimal setting that fosters the development of social competence in students with behavioral problems. Indeed, learning to get along with people is one of the most important skills that we can teach students. In order to maximize its effectiveness, SST must be motivating and personally relevant enough for students to want to use the skills. In addition, it must provide opportunities for learned skills to be practiced under varying conditions and in as close to natural situations as possible in order to enhance the transfer of training. The purpose of the study was to investigate the social competence of students aged from six to twelve, diagnosed with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) in a public self-contained school setting, and to increase the students' social competence by using a literature-based method that employs multiage grouping, impersonation, and telecommunications. By providing intensive, literature-based training in a multiage classroom, the SST gave students opportunities to practice skills in a natural, real-life environment and, therefore, increased the likelihood of generalizing these skills in other settings. The employment of impersonation and telecommunications also enhanced students' acquisition of social skills and their interests to learn.
The Roles Elementary School Counselors Perform in the Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
This nation-wide study investigated elementary school counselors (ESC) self-reported: (a) professional background and training; (b) general knowledge of autism spectrum disorders (ASD); (c) attitudes towards ASD; and (d) roles performed with students identified with ASD. Also investigated was the predictive relationships between professional background, training, knowledge, and attitudes on roles (counseling, consultation, curriculum, and coordination) performed with students identified with ASD. Descriptive statistics were utilized to address professional background, training, knowledge, attitude and characteristics of ESC participants. These variables were also examined in relationship to the four role types. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) and Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to test for significant relationships. A series of four multiple regression analyses predicting each of the total roles scores for counseling, consultation, curriculum, and coordination were also conducted. Results of the study suggest (a) ESC have limited training experiences of ASD, leading to self-education about this population of students, (b) ESC possess general knowledge about ASD, (c) overall, ESC have positive attitudes towards ASD, and (d) ESC perform all conceptualized roles in the education of students with ASD. Regression models revealed eight predictors found to influence roles: total knowledge, attitudes, geographic setting, U.S. region, years practiced, conference training, self-education, and ASD caseload. Significantly associated with performing roles across all four domains was the number of students with ASD on ESC caseload.
Technology-mediated distance education used to prepare special education personnel.
This study examined how technology-mediated distance education is used in special education courses in teacher preparation programs. The data are based on a 30-item survey administered to members of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, who identified themselves as serving in an instructional capacity within institutions of higher education. Technology-mediated instruction was characterized in terms course delivery methods and program attributes. An analysis of instructional design processes revealed that most instructors are largely autonomous and do not rely on a team-based approach. Most make use of course-design and management software. Training is linked to course strategy and evaluation, while experience is associated with implementation. Respondents emphasized communication and student feedback. While both users and non-users of distance education technology foresaw the increased use for course delivery in the future, a notable percentage (13%) of current users indicated a desire to discontinue use.
Reading and Math Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Helping youths acquire educational skills is one of the most effective approaches to the prevention of delinquency and reduction of recidivism. Access to a high-quality education is particularly important for the growing number of youth committed to juvenile corrections, especially for those who have been diagnosed with a disability. Research has shown a tremendous gap about the academic outcomes of incarcerated juveniles with emotional disabilities. Thus, the focus of this study was to examine the academic outcomes in reading and math for youth with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) released from Texas Youth Commission (TYC) programs between September 2003 and September 2004. The study examined if the rate of academic growth in reading and math as indicated by pre- and post-test scores on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), are different for youth with E/B as compared to youth with other disabilities and youth without disabilities who were adjudicated in TYC programs.
Measurement and Utility of Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans in Classrooms for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
This research study examined how education service providers conduct functional behavioral assessments and utilize behavior intervention plans to address the social and emotional needs of students with challenging behaviors. The data are based on a 20-item survey administered to educators who identified themselves as working with students diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders. The results and implications of the survey are discussed and evaluated to the review of literature conducted prior to the study. Recommendations for future research are also explored.
Comparing the Effects of Home Versus Clinic-Based Parent Training for Children with Autism
Research with parents on managing child problem behavior typically measures either child or parent behavior. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of training parents to implement a function-based behavior intervention plan (BIP) in a non-trained natural environment utilizing a Multiple Probe Design across Participants. Participants included four parent-child dyads. Measurement variables included parents' use of effective and ineffective strategies and child problem behavior. Intervention involved training parents to understand and implement the BIP using effective strategies, modeling the effective procedures, and providing feedback following parent implementation of procedures. Results showed that the intervention was very effective in promoting skill generalization of parents and decreasing child problem behavior. The findings have implications for research and clinical practice.
Analysis of School Discipline with a Focus on Characteristics of Hispanic Adolescents with Learning Disabilities from a Low-Socioeconomic Area
The research reported herein examined the emotional and behavioral characteristics of adolescent Hispanic students with and without learning disabilities from a middle school in north central Texas. The data were based on all students enrolled at the campus (N = 986), but focused on 55 students of Hispanic descent with learning disabilities and 55 students without. The data accrued for this study utilized a school discipline database. In addition, a 43-item behavioral rating scale was completed on each student of the more focused group. Methods of data analysis were derived from descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, and multiple regression measurements. The results indicate that Hispanic students with learning disabilities often exhibit more disruptive behaviors.
Perceptions of parents of students with autism towards the IEP meeting.
The purpose of the study was to investigate how parents of students with autism perceived individualized education program (IEP) meetings. I determined factors that contributed to the belief held by parents that their children were or were not being properly served by IEP meetings. Parental relationships with educators, IEP meeting experiences, IEP outcomes, and treatment by educators were revealed through participant input. Parents were asked to share their experiences of previous IEP meetings. Additionally, parents provided input regarding practices that school districts could take to improve IEP meetings, and actions that parents could take to serve as better advocates for their children. Research findings indicated that parents did not perceive themselves as being treated as equals during IEP meetings. Parents believed that their input was not valued or welcomed by educators. Not having an equal voice toward their child's education prevented parents from positively influencing outcomes in their child's IEP meetings in terms of obtaining quality services and building positive relations with educators. Parents further revealed that educators failed to implement proper IEP protocol. According to parents, student objectives agreed upon in IEP meetings were often not always fully implemented for students receiving special education services. Research findings concluded that parents new to the IEP process often experienced difficulty understanding special education law, and were unaware of services that school districts should provide for their children.Suggestions for improving IEP meetings include: educators valuing parents as equal partners during IEP meetings, educators properly adhering to IEP objectives set forth in IEP meetings, and both educators and parents taking measures to becoming more knowledgeable of special education law and the IEP process.
The Effects of Positive Behavioral Supports in Schools since the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 based on 2001 SLIIDEA Data
Congress in 1997 recognized that there were some issues and concerns that had emerged surrounding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and sought to address these issues and concerns by mandating a national evaluation on the implementation and progress toward improving outcomes for students with disabilities. The Study of the State and Local Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was designed to address how the amendments of IDEA were being implemented by states, school districts, and schools. This mixed methods study examined the first year of data collected from the six-year Study of the State and Local Implementation of IDEA (SLIIDEA) and analyzing 20 case studies that used interviews of special education personnel and principals, conducted at the local school level. Data from the national survey were examined in light of findings from the case studies. The case studies brought out the varying opinions on implementation success at the local level. Further case studies for each year of the study would be helpful in determining the level of implementation locally and the significant insights of local school personnel on whether these initiatives have worked.
Teacher Turnover among Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders
The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that compel teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) to quit or stay in their job. Invitations to participate in the study were sent to a sample of educators from each the four census regions of the United States who currently work or have worked in the past worked with students with E/BD and have participated in one or more of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD) professional development events. A total of 156 educators responded to the online survey and 9 participated in the focus groups. Quantitative information generated from the survey was analyzed using frequency distributions and ANOVA, whereas, qualitative information were analyzed by summarizing and sorting information into different categories. The results were presented in narrative and tabular form and organized in response to each of the research questions. The projected high teacher turnover as depicted in the findings, were mainly attributed to workplace variables and classroom conditions. Both variables are likely to be associated with high levels of dissatisfaction and lack of commitment eventually leading to decisions by teachers of students with E/BD to leave their job. Most respondents perceived themselves as being adequately prepared for responsibilities associated with teaching students with E/BD. The low variances associated with the grouping variable, career decisions did not explain a significant amount of variance in perceived levels of preparedness with regards to implementation of various program components and instructional activities. Hence, teacher qualifications and perceptions did not play a significant role in career decisions made by teachers of students with E/BD. In addition, findings reveal the need for all future teachers regardless of their certification to take specialized courses in special education to ensure that all teachers understand the unique characteristics and needs of students with ...
Parental Understanding of Discipline Issues, Functional Behavioral Assessment, and Behavior Intervention Plans: Using a State-wide Survey to Examine Parents' Reports Related to Discipline
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandated that each child who qualifies for special education must have an individualized education program (IEP). Disciplinary issues and procedures under IDEA have been a source of concern among parents, schools, and advocates from disability groups. At issue are fundamental concerns about the protection of rights for students with disabilities, which must be balanced with the ability of school personnel to maintain safe school environments that benefits all students. This research examined the four survey questions related to discipline from a state-wide survey conducted by Education Service Center (ESC) Region 9 through a comparison of selected disability categories as they compare to the responses received from parents of students with the disability category of emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD). In addition, the research examined the open-ended questions from surveys to determine the types of concerns reported by parents. Data accrued from a focus group of parents receiving special education services are also reported. Parents of students identified as having an E/BD rated their understanding of the school's discipline policy lower than parents of students from other eligibility categories. Almost 67% of parents of students identified as having E/BD stated that they knew that their child might be eligible for alternative discipline procedures. Parents of students identified as E/BD reported at a much higher percentage that they were aware that services must be continued if the child was removed from the instructional setting for discipline problems. In a focus group discussion, a majority of the parent's (67%) responded that they felt like they understood the school's discipline policies. When given a chance to respond through an open-ended questionnaire, parents addressed a variety of problems, such as children being continually suspended for behaviors related to their disability or the behavior intervention plan not being implemented.
Distance Education in the Preparation of Special Education Personnel: An Examination of Videoconferencing and Web-based Instruction
This study examined the effectiveness of employing videoconferencing and Web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel. Due to the acute shortage of special education personnel, it was anticipated that the use of videoconferencing and online instruction would provide a convenient way for students to attend class without having to travel to the actual location of the educational site. Further, it was believed that this initiative would result in higher student enrollment in special education teacher certification programs, consequently leading to an increase of personnel in the field. Moreover, the increase in personnel would enhance the ability of educational institutions to address the dismal academic, social, and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities. Information for the study was collected from surveys that investigated how students perceived the use of videoconferencing and web-based instruction in the preparation of special education personnel. Ninety-four graduate students responded to the videoconferencing surveys while 88 responded to the Web-based instruction surveys. Six respondents were randomly selected to participate in face-to-face interviews designed to investigate the effectiveness of both approaches. Findings indicated that videoconferencing and Web-based instruction are convenient ways for students to attend class although videoconferencing sites may not be conveniently located to all learners. Furthermore, the effectiveness of these media depends on several factors: the instructor, the course structure, the learners' learning styles, the quality and quantity of interaction between learners and the instructor, and whether technological problems interfere with the learning process. The study determined that the more structured and organized the course, the more significant the learning outcomes. Also, the maturity level of the students lends itself to accountability toward achieving the desired learning goals. Technological problems and the lack of user-friendly technology lower the effectiveness of videoconferencing and Web-based instruction. Further research will be valuable in improving theories and approaches ...
Descriptive Analysis of Comments Obtained during the Process of Regulating the Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004
This study examined the comments submitted by the public to the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Office of Special Education Programs, in response to the 2004 amended IDEA, prior to the development and publication of proposed regulations under 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 300 and 303 to implement programs under IDEA. Specifically, this study analyzed the types of individuals (e.g., parents, advocates, administrators, lawyers, support staff personnel) and interest groups along with the number of submissions, types of comments made, and specific provisions in the legislation that received the most comments during the period open to the public prior to the publication of the proposed regulations. In addition, an exploration of the existence of differences in comments submitted by states and regions was analyzed in terms of types of individuals, interest groups, types of comments, and specific provision of the 2004 amended IDEA. Content analysis approach utilizing qualitative data collection and analysis procedures was used for this study. The sample consisted of 2,199 comments submitted to the USDE via the U.S. Postal system, e-mail, and verbal testimony transcripts obtained during one of the public meetings held throughout the United States during the 60 day period open for commenting. The findings of this study revealed a large number of a particular type of respondent types, the majority of the comments were neutral in nature, and the largest percentage of comments received were directed at one particular section of the Act.
Meta-Analysis of Reading Interventions for Students with Learning and Emotional Disabilities
Developing effective literacy skill has become an increasingly critical skill in today's information age. Students with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) routinely lack these skills and are not being taught how to read effectively. The field of special education needs more comprehensive and specific information about how to most effectively teach reading skills to students with E/BD. When reading interventions are conducted using student with E/BD, the interventions are generally drawn from the LD field. The assumption is that the reading interventions that have worked with students with LD will work equally well with the E/BD population. This study performed a meta-analysis to examine whether reading interventions are equally effective on the E/BD and LD populations. In addition, it will examine whether the instruction mode (e. g., peer, self, or teacher directed), gender, or grade group affects the success of the intervention. The meta-analysis found that the reading interventions for both disability groups had high effect sizes. In addition, neither disability group, teaching method, gender, nor grades were predictive of the variance in the effect size. These results indicate that reading programs that have been designed for students with LD are also effective for students with E/BD and furthermore, reading programs can improve the academic achievement of students with behavioral disorders. Recommendations for teacher training and future research are given based on these results.
Educators' Perceptions of the Importance of Selected Competencies for Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and their Perceptions of Personal Proficiency
This study investigated educators' perceptions of the importance of competencies for teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders and their own proficiency in the competencies. Participants included educators who had completed university-based coursework on emotional and behavioral disorders. Competencies from the Qualification and Preparation of Teachers of Exceptional Children study were correlated with CEC's content standards and knowledge skill sets for special education teachers of individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders. Participants ranked 88 competencies on importance and proficiency. Results revealed that educators' proficiency in competencies, their years of experience, and level of education contribute a significant percentage of variance in their ratings of the importance of competencies. Implications for further research are provided.
Programming for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders: The Importance, Usage and Preparedness for Implementation of Evidence-Based Interventions Based on Practitioner Perceptions
Implementation of evidence-based practices in Texas schools was examined through a survey disseminated through 495 special education directors in 20 state educational service centers. The district-level directors were asked to forward the survey to all personnel providing direct or indirect services to students with EBD. Survey participants were asked to rate 27 evidence-based interventions for students with EBD in three categories on a 5-point Likert scale: (a) importance of the intervention; (b) frequency of use of the intervention; and (c) preparedness to implement the intervention. With a response rate of 32% and representation from all 20 educational service center areas, data were analyzed through simple frequency statistics to determine that most respondents were public school special educators who had been in their current position for 5 years or less. They identified a climate that supports successful teaching and learning and clear rules/expectations as very important. They reported using procedures for the use of physical restraint most frequently, and being most well-prepared to implement clear rules/expectations. A canonical correlation analysis revealed an inverse relationship between importance ratings of tertiary level interventions and frequency of use and preparedness to implement primary level interventions which implies that while practitioners rate tertiary level interventions as important, they are more likely to be well-prepared to implement primary level interventions and to do so with more frequency. Additionally, a review of literature is provided and results and analysis of the survey are discussed as well as recommendations for the future.
Alternative Certification: A Comparison of Factors Affecting the Motivations of General and Special Educators
This study was developed to examine the motivations of individuals who chose alternative routes to teacher certification and what they believe were the strengths and weaknesses of their alternative certification preparation (ACP). Data accrued from this study were based on a 55-item online survey and participant information from an online focus group. The study compared the differences between general and special educators in regards to the motivating factors affecting the decision to become a teacher, remain a teacher, and in choosing a non-university-based ACP, as well as the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the ACP. The results from the survey suggest there are differences in the motivating factors affecting general and special educator's decision to become a teacher and to remain a teacher. Additional survey results suggest there are no differences in the reason these two groups chose a non-university-based ACP. The results of the survey and the online focus group were comparable for these two groups. The remainder of this dissertation includes a review of literature related to teacher shortages and teacher preparation including alternative certification. Additionally, information on the results and analysis of the study are discussed, as well as recommendations for future research.
Frequency and quality of the implementation of functional behavioral assessments as reported by educators.
The research investigation reported herein examined the quality and experience of the functional behavioral assessment (FBA) process as reported by educators working with students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD). The data accrued is based on a 30-item survey and participant telephone interviews examined the overall knowledge of the FBA process by educators and their general experience when conducting a FBA, specifically the procedural timeline, types of education professionals involved, and typical outcomes and results. Survey responses indicated two common barriers in the FBA implementation which often inhibit best practice: lack of true collaborative teamwork and insufficient communication among FBA team members. Survey responses also indicated a level of statistical significance from education professionals working in elementary school settings who self-rated positively higher when conducting a FBA than those education professionals working on either a secondary or special campus. Additionally, participant interviews indicated a growing awareness of the advantages of using the FBA as an early intervention process when dealing with challenging behaviors.
Parental Understanding and Satisfaction with Special Education Services in the State of Texas
Parental participation in educational issues is relevant in assisting parents in understanding and becoming satisfied with their child's educational experience. Parental involvement is not only an ethical issue for teachers, but mandates have been established for special educators through various public laws. When involving parents in their children's education, it is relevant to consider various factors associated with students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Parental satisfaction plays an important role in many cultures in obtaining parental involvement in decision-making meetings. If parents experience negative interactions, parental participation can be diminished. In other cultures, the satisfaction level raises parental trust in allowing school staff to make the appropriate choices for their children. Family values and beliefs among the various cultures should be a consideration when encouraging parents to participate in their child's educational process. Several barriers exist when involving different cultural groups; therefore, it is essential for educators to become aware of these barriers and learn strategies to overcome them. This study addresses parental understanding and satisfaction among ethnic group and throughout various disability groups by evaluating parental responses from a statewide survey and three focus groups.
Choice for All? Charter Schools and Students with Disabilities
In order to assess the extent and quality of special education services in charter schools in north Texas, the researcher examined data submitted to Texa Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS), and conducted qualitative interviews with selected charter school administrators. Five cornerstones of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): zero reject, individualized education program (IEP), appropriate assessment, free appropriate public education (FAPE), and least restrictive environment (LRE), were utilized in the assessment of quality. Levels of expertise in federal disability law and fiscal barriers were explored, as well.
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.
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.