Competencies Needed by Business Teachers to Work with Students with Disabilities

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of an expert group of secondary school business teachers regarding whether previously identified competencies for working with students who have disabilities are important for secondary business teachers. The research questions used as a guide to conduct the study were:

  1. From a list of identified competencies compiled from course objectives and literature, to what extent did the members of the expert panel of secondary school business teachers in Virginia and agree on competencies that are essential for business teachers related to working with students who have disabilities?

  2. What comparisons can be made among the ratings of competencies by the members of the expert panel?

The data were collected using a modified, two-round Delphi technique. The initial instrument used in Round I was developed by the researcher based on a literature review and authenticated by a validation panel. The 28 competencies were grouped in eight topical categories to assist in the review by the validation panel. The 16 members of a nominated Delphi panel were business education teachers from Virginia. The Delphi panel responded to the competencies using a five point Likert-type scale in which 1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Agree, 5 = Strongly Agree. The Round II instrument consisted of four competencies that did not meet consensus in Round I by having a standard deviation equal to or less than 1, and consensus was achieved on all four competencies in Round II. Of the original 28 competencies, 27 achieved the predetermined minimum mean score of 3.5 to be considered as important.

The category of classroom management had the highest mean rating of 4.61 on the 5.0 scale. Also, the mean ratings were high for the categories of inclusion (4.31) and individual education programs (4.29). The two categories that had the lowest mean ratings (3.88) were characteristics of learners and transition services. Recommendations based on the results were made for improved policy and practice and for further research.



special education, special populations, business education, career and technical education, competencies of business teachers