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Record identifier : 569871
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Hensel, Linda S
Title and statement of responsibility : The convergence of the belief systems and instructional practices of special education teachers during reading instruction [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Cardinal Stritch University, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D.
Body granting the degree : , Cardinal Stritch University
Summary or Abstract : The field of special education has come under criticism for its failure to produce academic achievement for students with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Education (2002) criticized the field by stating that qualifying for special education has become the goal instead of effective instruction and intervention. In spite of an awareness of research-based instructional strategies, they have not been consistently implemented by special educators. Some researchers contend that teachers' beliefs substantially influence and impact their actions in the classroom and the process of teaching will only be fully understood when the two domains are examined in relation to one another (Clark & Peterson, 1986; Vartuli, 2005). The purpose of this mixed method exploratory study was to describe the belief systems and instructional practices of elementary special education teachers during reading instruction and to compare observed practices to stated beliefs and practices. Thirteen elementary special education teachers volunteered to participate in the study. Participants were observed three times to determine the reading instruction and grouping practices provided for students in resource rooms. Following the final observation, participants were asked to complete a survey to identify their beliefs and current practices regarding reading instruction. Results indicated evidence of research-based reading practices being implemented with small groups of students. Instruction was explicit and teacher-directed, with few higher-level thinking strategies observed. Instruction was tailored to meet the needs of groups of students, but little differentiated instruction was provided for individual students. Significant differences were found between teachers' self-reported beliefs, self-reported practices, and observed practices in three areas: the use of student pairing, individualizing instruction, and communicating expectations to students. Teachers' acknowledgment that beliefs are not aligned with practice shows an awareness of evidence-based research practices, yet a gap remains between beliefs and practices. Teachers identified support from others as a factor that allowed and time as a factor that hindered their ability to put their beliefs into practice. School leaders and teacher education programs need to develop strategies to assist special educators to bridge the gap between beliefs and practices in an effort to increase academic achievement for students with disabilities..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Special education
: Literacy
: Reading instruction
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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