ERIC Number: ED401274
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Study of Differentiated Teaching Methods Used by First-Year Special Educators.
Renick, Patricia R.
This study seeks to determine whether first-year special educators use their knowledge of differentiated teaching strategies in their classrooms. It also seeks to understand what conditions within school systems support or hinder attempts by special educators to implement these strategies. Participants in the study included four first-year special educators, one teacher and one tutor who are middle school educators, and one teacher and one tutor who work in elementary schools. The study included personal observations in each participant's classroom and semi-structured interviews. Three questions guided the analysis of interview data: How did the first-year teachers come to know their students individual needs? What specific teaching strategies did they use to provide for different abilities levels? and What kind of support (materials and supervisory feedback) did they receive for these differentiated strategies? Special first-year teachers share with their regular educator counterparts pedagogical concerns, lack of administrative support, and the need for both materials and appropriate planning times. Unique to special educators is the pedagogical demand for differentiated instruction according to the individualized plan provided for each student, which continues to drive the pedagogical strategies of these first-year educators. Thus the university training for differentiation continues to shape their actual classroom instruction. (MAH)
Descriptors: Beginning Teachers, Data Collection, Developmental Disabilities, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Individualized Education Programs, Learning Disabilities, Preservice Teacher Education, Special Education, Special Education Teachers, Teaching Methods, Theory Practice Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 4, 1996).