ERIC Number: ED439882
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Mar-10
Reference Count: N/A
"I Do It All": The Ballad of the Rural Special Education Teacher.
Cates, Dennis L.; Smiley, Frederick M.
Because extremely small rural districts in Oklahoma have limited resources and are not able to hire additional specialists, and because parents want education in local inclusive settings, most special education teachers in these districts serve students with disabilities for which they are not certified. A survey of school districts in Oklahoma with less than 11 people per square mile found that the number of special education teachers in these districts ranged from 0.2 to 7.0. Although 96 percent of these teachers held certificates in learning disabilities, mental retardation, or emotional disturbance, only 32 percent of them held certificates in all three areas. Forty percent of respondents had training in multiple disabilities and an additional 6 percent were completing their training. Many of these teachers stated "I do it all." Because certification has been categorical, these teachers have completed additional training to ensure that appropriate services are provided, even though certification across disability categories was not required for employment. Many teachers indicated that students with multiple or severe disabilities were served in inclusive settings. University teacher preparation programs should restructure their curricula and combine certificate programs to transcend categories. A special education teacher preparation program at Cameron University (Oklahoma) is described that provides a background in teaching methodology for all nonsensory disabilities except other health impairment, autism, and traumatic brain injury. Categories of special education certification in 17 states are listed. (Contains 10 references.) (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oklahoma