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ERIC Number: ED524405
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 157
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-1600-7
General Educators Perceptions of Preparedness to Teach in Mixed-Ability Classrooms
Kantor, Kristen Sparks
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
The increasing populations of students with special academic needs included in general education classrooms in American public schools are providing a growing teacher preparation challenge. The purpose of this study was to analyze both strengths and weaknesses in how general education teachers perceived their pre-service preparation for teaching in mixed-ability classrooms. A constructivist learning theory paradigm was used to interpret shared experiences of general education teachers working in mixed-ability public elementary schools. The research question was centered in how this group of teachers assessed preparation to provide instruction for Autism Spectrum Disorder, English Language Learners (ELL), general education, gifted, and Inter-Related Resource students. A sequential explanatory mixed methods research design was used in the study, and a teacher survey and interviews with teacher focus groups served as data collection instruments. Triangulation of data sources and peer review ensured reliability and validity of findings. Comparison of categorical sample data using percentages revealed that teachers did indeed identify differences in their perceived training. Teacher focus group data was then coded and analyzed to reveal; a need for more in-depth training for general education certification to better meet the specific needs of Autistic, ELL, gifted, and Resource students; sustained environmental support; and comfort in essential professional knowledge and abilities. Recommendations include the addition of specific special education coursework for general education certification in higher education and ongoing in-service training for public school teachers. Adopting these recommendations in both arenas may affect positive social change by increasing the likelihood of retaining general education teachers in American public schools. [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; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A