Preparing K-12 Educators to Teach Students with Disabilities
Banks, Amanda Brooks
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My dissertation is comprised of two manuscripts on preparing educators to address the needs of students with disabilities. The first manuscript is a systematic review of 23 empirical studies published over the last two decades, addressing how traditional teacher preparation programs prepared preservice educators to learn about teaching students with disabilities in inclusive settings. A conceptual model was developed to synthesize the findings. Better outcomes in dispositions, knowledge, and skills were associated with preservice educators placements in inclusive classrooms where supportive supervising teachers modeled effective collaboration and provided opportunities for developing specific teaching skills. Although student disability type and teacher education program type are not directly related to preparation, researchers suggest that they mediate preservice educators' dispositions. The second manuscript examines the demographic, preparation, and school poverty level of a nationally representative sample of 51,340 early career special educators and the extent to which more and less preparation predicted their perceived preparedness for eight instructional practices. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, cross tabulations, and multiple linear regression. Findings indicated that more preparation significantly predicted educators' feelings of preparedness as they began teaching. The majority of educators with more preparation entered teaching through traditional routes while those who were less prepared tended to enter through alternative routes. Additionally, the majority of all educators felt least prepared to use student data to inform instruction and most prepared to differentiate instruction. Implications for education policy, teacher preparation, and future research are considered in both manuscripts.
- Doctoral Dissertations