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ERIC Number: ED513431
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 386
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-2970-5
Collaborative Behaviors among Special Education Resource Specialists, General Education Teachers, and Their Principals
Polhemus, Constance E.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of La Verne
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to describe to what extent seven collaborative behaviors were demonstrated by general education teachers assigned students with disabilities, special education Resource Specialists, and the principals in selected California elementary schools that met their 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 English language arts annual measurable objective for students with disabilities. Methodology. Ten principals, 10 Resource Specialists, and 43 general education teachers from 10 elementary schools in Southern California comprised the sample for this descriptive ex post facto baseline study. Surveys and interviews were used to gather data. Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Interviews and open-ended questions from the surveys were analyzed using qualitative methods. The questionnaire response rate was 100%. The interview response rate was 86.6%. Findings. Principals, Resource Specialists, and general education teachers assigned students with disabilities (1) demonstrated collaborative behaviors of trust, focus on student learning, and open, reflective dialogue "to a very great extent" during school development as a learning community; (2) demonstrated collaborative behaviors of a common school vision and goals, risk taking, critical review of practices, and recognition "to a considerable extent" during their development as a learning community; (3) developed all seven collaborative behaviors in stages over time; (4) identified four barriers that impede (a) widespread understanding of a common school vision, (b) consistent focus on students achievement, (c) review of instructional practices, (d) use of innovative instructional practices and materials, and (e) staff recognition; (5) determined these barriers can be reduced by (a) communicating a common school vision to staff repeatedly, (b) providing consistent planning time to critically review the academic progress of students with disabilities, (c) allowing teachers to implement more innovative instructional practices, and (d) recognizing staff efforts to improve student achievement consistently. Conclusions. The findings confirm that the seven collaborative behaviors studied were (1) dependent on the existence of trust; (2) required three to five years to develop; (3) linked to the change in the role of the Resource Specialist as instructional leader for teachers assigned students with disabilities; and (4) fostered the development of a professional learning community at the school. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California