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ERIC Number: ED566787
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 149
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3394-8322-1
Educators' Perceptions of Teaching Grade-Level Content to Students with Intellectual Disabilities
Carlson, Christina V.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
The purpose of this study was to address a gap in the research literature by describing the perceptions of Special Education teachers of students with intellectual disabilities (ID), regarding the paradigm shift required in their teaching practices as they strove to implement current educational reform legislation. Knowledge of the lived experiences and perceptions of those who were at "the point of the spear" in education reform was needed to: 1) support teachers in meeting federal and state mandates for school accountability; 2) identify possible barriers to implementing current legislation; and, 3) consider possible changes needed in policies and/or practices. Additionally, administering alternate assessments (AA) to students with ID to determine individual students' academic progress and performance in meeting state standards was examined through teachers' perceptions of their experiences with this process. Phenomenography served as the theoretical framework for the analysis of the data of this qualitative study. Ten teachers were recruited to participate in this study using a purposeful maximum variation sampling strategy. Each participant was interviewed using semi-structured interview questions that encouraged participants to reflect on their perceptions, feelings and experiences regarding implementing current educational reform legislation. The participants' interviews were audio tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and edited to remove any irrelevant or identifying information. The voices of the teacher participants captured in the transcribed interviews were analyzed following Ference Martin's (1984) phenomenographic methods to develop an "outcome space," of five qualitatively different but related ways, or Categories of Description (CoD), of teaching and testing students with ID. The outcome space netted a variety of both positive and negative lived experiences reported by the teacher participants. Positive outcomes included voices revealing job satisfaction, professional pride, care for students, enthusiasm for teaching, optimism and joy regarding student progress, high interest and confidence in collaborating with therapeutic service providers and parents, and commitment to meeting whatever challenges their students with ID presented. Negative outcomes included voices indicating fear of failure, frustration, anger, defiance, resentment, lack of buy-in to educational reform mandates, and, simply giving up. Implications for school districts, policy makers, principles, higher education for Special Education, and future research were discussed. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A