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ERIC Number: ED561628
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 168
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-2599-8
ISSN: N/A
Teacher Knowledge of Assistive Technology for Inclusive Classrooms
Knighton, Laura Hembree
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Alabama
This nonexperimental, mixed-methods study explored elementary general and special education teachers' knowledge related to assistive technology as both teacher groups are charged with the appropriate education of students with special needs in inclusive classrooms. The study sought to examine the nature of the knowledge that drives the decision making process related to assistive technology and how such knowledge is acquired. The conceptual framework for this study was a blend of Shulman's concept of pedagogical content knowledge as a category within the teacher knowledge base and Shulman's sources of teacher knowledge. Participants for the study included elementary general and special education teachers from a school district in Northeast Alabama. Teachers completed a survey during which they rated their level of familiarity with each device, their perceived utility of each device, and, if applicable, a brief description of how they have implemented the device and how they acquired knowledge related to the device. Then, the researcher conducted three focus groups: a focus group of elementary general education teachers, a focus group of elementary special education teachers, and a focus group that blended the two teacher groups. Data from the focus groups were analyzed through the lens of Shulman's concept of pedagogical content knowledge and sources of teacher knowledge. Results from the study suggested a significant difference in the knowledge of assistive technology between elementary general education teachers and elementary special education teachers. Yet, both teacher groups involved within the study seemed to view assistive technology as a valuable tool for benefitting students with special needs in inclusive classrooms. Knowledge of how to select and implement assistive technology appears to be a very specialized knowledge that teachers perceive as valuable when attempted to education a variety of students with special needs who may not be able to access the content and curriculum in the same ways as their peers. Thus, pre-service teacher preparation programs may ensure that both general and special education teacher candidates are prepared to work with a variety of diverse learners in inclusive settings by including assistive technology within the curricula for teacher education programs. Furthermore, school districts may assist their teachers in the successful educating of all students in inclusive classrooms by ensuring that both general and special education teachers are provided with adequate professional development related to effective inclusive practices, including assistive technology. [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: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama