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ERIC Number: ED551243
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 161
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-6284-9
Learning about the Cultural Competence of Indiana's Special Education Teachers
Abbott, Daniel J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
Nationally and in Indiana, the cultural mismatch can be seen in special education programs where minority students are overrepresented and most special educators are white (Arnold, 2003; Artiles, 2005; Gaviria-Soto & Castro-Morera, 2005). Teachers in general and special education teachers in particular need to be culturally competent. The objective of the study was to determine what inservice and preservice experiences related to cultural competence have Indiana special educators received, how Indiana special educators describe their personal and professional experiences related to cultural competence, and how Indiana special educators' experiences inform their attitudes and practices. The research was conducted in two parts. First, data were collected via Internet surveys from various types of educators across the state of Indiana. Second, 10 face-to-face interviews were conducted with special educators from all across the state of Indiana and including suburban, urban, and rural districts. The research used mixed methods in collecting and analyzing data. This particular research method was selected because of the need to have an understanding of the context in which special educators described their efforts to become culturally competent in their semi-structured interviews (qualitative research). Also, the need for statistical analyses (quantitative research) was utilized to understand and make inferences about the online survey results. Indiana special educators were not found to be particularly culturally competent. Also, it was determined that preservice and inservice experiences are not providing adequate preparation for special educators to teach the minority students who they are certain to encounter in the classroom. Instead, personal experiences were found to have provided the greatest benefit. However, even those special educators who recognized the importance of culture as a part of how students learn did not report altering their teaching practices to take advantage of this information. The implication for teacher education is that culturally responsive practices are an important and underemphasized part of teacher preparation programs emphasizing academic success for all students, including minorities and those with disabilities. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana