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ERIC Number: ED529090
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 299
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1246-2984-1
Linguistically Diverse Students and Special Education: A Mixed Methods Study of Teachers' Attitudes, Coursework, and Practice
Greenfield, Renee A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College
While the number of linguistically diverse students (LDS) grows steadily in the U.S., schools, research and practice to support their education lag behind (Lucas & Grinberg, 2008). Research that describes the attitudes and practices of teachers who serve LDS and how those attitudes and practice intersect with language and special education is limited (Klingner & Artiles, 2006). Despite varied teacher preparation coursework, all teachers are expected to educate LDS; therefore, it was essential for this study to investigate teachers' attitudes, coursework, and decision-making practices for and about LDS. Using a sequential explanatory research design (Creswell et al., 2003; Creswell, 2009), this study examines the language attitudes and coursework histories of sixty-nine inservice teachers. A subsample of nine teachers participated in an interview and responded to a case study dilemma about a LDS who struggled academically. Quantitative analyses reveal that teachers who completed language coursework reported strong positive language attitudes, compared to teachers without this coursework. Qualitative analyses, however, demonstrate a range of teachers' reflective judgment and desirable practices. Collective analyses of data indicate that teachers' positive language attitudes are predictive of desirable practices. Further, the interactions between teachers' reported knowledge, attitudes, and practice in two domains--language and special education--inform teachers' professional practice. Findings also indicate that teachers' professional practice, including collaboration, reflection, decision making, problem solving, and professional development, vary based on teachers' understanding of and attitudes about policy, assessment, and instructional practices. Most importantly, findings suggest that teachers' actual professional practice is inextricably linked to and contextualized in classroom, school, and/or district structures. [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 Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A