The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers beliefs about culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse CLED) gifted students. There is no baseline information about what teachers believe about CLED students potential. The newly developed Teachers Beliefs About Culturally, Linguistically, and Economically Diverse Gifted Students Survey De Wet. 2005) was administered to a stratified, random sample of 4,000 teachers from 8 states, 4 with FL, GA, TX and VA) and 4 without mandates for gifted education CA, CO, IL, MA). Five hundred teachers grades 3-5) were selected from each of the 8 states. A disappointing 308 surveys were returned representing a low 7.7% response rate. Respondents believed that it would benefit gifted programs if CLED students are included, above average abilities are found in all economic strata and cultural groups, and IQ and standardized tests do not accurately reflect CLED students abilities. Three factors resulted from factor analysis of the survey: Benefits of Including CLED Students in Gifted Programs n ＝ 10, alpha ＝ .876). Universality of Abilities n ＝ 6, alpha ＝ .734), and Assessment of Abilities n ＝ 6, alpha ＝.717). One-way MANOVAs did not yield significant group differences between mean scale scores on the factors for heterogeneity of schools where respondents worked White or diverse) or type of training respondents had no specialized training, bilingual only, gifted only, and bilingual and gifted training). Significant group differences were found on three factors as a result of whether respondents worked in a state with a mandate for gifted education or not. Teachers believed that formation of their epistemological beliefs about CLED students were influenced by personal experiences with diverse populations or specific students, and that barriers exist to the inclusion of CLED students in gifted programs. The most often mentioned barriers were ineffective and inappropriate identification procedures, the language barrier, and the need for teacher training. This study is significant because it provides baseline information about teachers beliefs, gives insight into why CLED students are still under identified, and a reliable instrument was developed to assess teachers beliefs about gifted CLED students.
Tag Archive: Special
Teachers’ beliefs about culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse gifted students (Education Papers posted on March 25th, 2013 )
English language learners with severe disabilities: A statewide survey of special education teachers and speech-language pathologists in Utah (Education Papers posted on March 24th, 2013 )
The purpose of this study was to examine the nature and scope of English language service delivery for English Language Learners ELLs) with severe disabilities in Utah schools. The following questions guided this study: a) Who is providing English language services to ELL students with severe disabilities and what are their qualifications for providing such services? b) What is the nature and scope of the English language services provided to students with severe disabilities in Utah schools as reported by special education teachers and speech-language pathologists? and c) What are the barriers to providing English language services to ELL students with severe disabilities as perceived by special education teachers and speech-language pathologists? The study surveyed 228 special education teachers licensed in severe disabilities and 508 speech-language pathologists currently working in Utah public schools from a list provided by the Utah State Office of Education. The results of the study indicate that Utah special education teachers licensed in severe disabilities and speech-language pathologists report the need for a more extensive professional development program in bilingual education in order to meet the instructional needs of ELL students with severe disabilities. The results highlight the disparity in ethnicity and language between professionals and their ELL students with severe disabilities. In addition, few professionals working with ELL students with severe disabilities reported using evidence-based practices. Special education teachers and speech-language pathologists also reported they had more concerns regarding effective communicating with the parents of ELL students with severe disabilities than with the actual provision of services. The implications of these findings for practice and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Perceptions of graduate teaching assistants about inclusive teaching (Education Papers posted on March 24th, 2013 )
Graduate Teaching Assistants GTAs) are graduate students at research universities who hold office hours, grade papers, conduct labs and discussion sections and teach university courses. GTAs frequently have the full responsibility for teaching undergraduate courses. As the use of GTAs as university instructors has increased, the postsecondary student population has become more diverse. Undergraduate learners bring a variety of backgrounds and experience levels to the university classroom, such as different language and cultural backgrounds, ages, educational readiness for university study, and ability/disability status. An increased interest in the ways of teaching that include a wider range of learners has emerged as a response to diversity among postsecondary students. An increasing number of diverse learners are being instructed by GTAs, thus it is important to understand GTAs beliefs about including these learners in their teaching. This study was designed to examine GTAs beliefs about inclusive teaching and the ways in which they described their methods of teaching diverse learners. The study also explored the teaching practices used by the participants and the relationship between their teaching practices and their beliefs about teaching diverse learners. A qualitative method was used to conduct the study. GTAs from varied disciplines were interviewed about their beliefs on inclusive college teaching. Their teaching was observed and material culture was collected, in the form of written instructional products such as syllabi, handouts, and quizzes. Participants said they wanted to teach in ways that included all learners. Their awareness of inclusive teaching included some areas of emerging skills and understandings. They were observed to use some inclusive teaching practices. They also made statements that suggested they lacked knowledge about how to teach inclusively. In addition, participants were observed to use inclusive practices which they did not mention when discussing inclusive teaching. The study suggests that effective faculty development for GTAs should include an orientation to inclusive teaching. Universal Design for Instruction UDI) provides a framework for describing inclusive teaching that can be used across disciplines. An introduction to university teaching that incorporates the Principles of Universal Design for Instructionc) is recommended for GTAs.
An examination of the variables that affect the outcomes of children with autism spectrum disorders (Education Papers posted on March 20th, 2013 )
This retrospective study was conducted to determine if 47 children with autism, between the ages of 2 and 4, who participated in the Autism Spectrum Disorders Outcome Study and Training Project, made significant progress during an 18 month study period； and to examine and analyze relationships between pretreatment and treatment variables and the outcomes of the children in the areas of communication, social interaction, stereotypic behaviors, and pre-academics. The findings of this study revealed that the children made significant progress. On their post assessments, the children had significantly more expressive language, receptive language, social interaction, and pre-academic skills； and significantly fewer stereotypic behaviors. Survey data provided by parents and teachers supported these findings. During the study, the childrens service providers received training in behavioral instructional strategies for teaching children with autism, were provided with curriculum materials from the behaviorally-based Star Program Arick, Loos, Falco, & Krug, 2004), and were given one hands-on follow-up consultation in their classrooms after the training workshops. These treatment factors could have played an important role in the childrens significant progress. Additional findings indicated that there were significant relationships found between the childrens outcomes and their baseline cognitive abilities, baseline language skills, the age they received an educational diagnosis for services, and the number of weekly hours of pull-out one-to-one discrete trial training received.
Autism programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia: From theory to practice (Education Papers posted on March 18th, 2013 )
Educational law did not recognize autism as a disability category until the passage of The Education for all Handicapped Children Act Public Law 101-476) in 1990. More recently, in 2005 the federal government issued a report from the United States Government Accountability Office GAO) detailing rising prevalence, expenditures that exceed general education per pupil spending, and multiple educational services. Furthermore, the Virginia Department of Education created an ad hoc committee to study autism in the Commonwealth. Therefore, the study sought to answer: 1) What programs are being used in the Commonwealth of Virginia to serve children identified with the educational disability label of autism? 2) What is the degree of effectiveness of these programs as perceived by directors of special education? and 3) Do selected demographics of the school division influence the types of programs that are delivered? A survey instrument was used to answer the research questions. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 14.0 SPSS 14.0) resulting in descriptive statistics and One-Way ANOVA with post hoc Multicomparison. Analysis revealed that 48.4% of school divisions responding primarily rely on traditional special education to serve children with autism. Post hoc testing revealed that the mean score for school divisions using a combination of specially designed programs M ＝ 3.38) were statistically significantly different from the mean score of school divisions that primarily use traditional special education services M ＝ 2.9).The results of this study may be used to promote the use of specially designed programs for children with autism in school divisions in the commonwealth of Virginia and focus training for school divisions that serve metro, urban, and rural areas.
English-learner representation in special education: Impact of prereferral interventions and assessment practices (Education Papers posted on March 18th, 2013 )
Disproportionate representation of English-learners ELs) in special education has been a longstanding challenge and concern. Researchers and practitioners express concern with the appropriateness of the referral, identification, and placement process of ELs. This study examined pre-referral interventions and assessment practices with ELs and representation in special education in an urban school district in Southern California selected because of its large EL population. Variables of interest included observations of Student Success Team SST) meetings, school psychologist interviews, and file review of special education files. Observations examined characteristics of students referred to SSTs, members present at meetings, the consideration of pertinent cultural, linguistic, and educational information, and actions/strategies recommended by the team. Interviews examined school psychologist educational training and knowledge in working with culturally and linguistically diverse students and assessment practices. File analysis and review of special education files were conducted to examine language and assessment characteristics of EL students currently in special education. Observations results suggest the district did not have clearly defined guidelines for SSTs, information regarding student ELD instructional program, student primary language, and English language proficiency was only discussed in 27% of observations. Data also indicated discussion of duration, implementation, and progress monitoring of recommended interventions was not observed. Interview data revealed the most frequently cited concern by school psychologists was lack of adequate training received by their university program in conducting nondiscriminatory EL assessments. All reported conducting their own language proficiency assessments, assessing EL students in both languages including intelligence, achievement, and processing assessments. However, file review of psycho-educational assessment reports indicated only 52% of reports included assessment of student language proficiency in both languages, 25% of reports included the determination of language dominance and assessment, 17 of the 40 assessment reports indicated that ELs with a Beginning CELDT level were assessed in English. The problematic pre-referral and assessment practices with ELs encountered in the present study further substantiate the common multifaceted and challenging tasks faced by educators in the field. The position stands that there is much more we need to know in order to work effectively with the increasing number of ELs in schools.
Special educators’ perceptions of self-determination in middle years’ students with learning disabilities (Education Papers posted on March 14th, 2013 )
As educators face an era of accountability, concern must focus not only on the academic achievement of youth, but also on the ability of youth to be masters of their own futures. The promotion of self-determination in children and youth with disabilities has been a focus of educational research for some time. Initial research in this area centred on students transitioning from school to work or further education. More recently, attention has moved to examining self-determination in younger students. While multiple studies in the United States have shown the teaching of self-determination in schools to be a best practice, minimal Canadian research on this subject exists. This study used a semi-structured qualitative interview research design to explore what Saskatchewan learning resource teachers who work with middle years students with learning disabilities know about self-determination, how they value and teach it, and how they perceive self-determination should, or should not, be implemented in schools. Six learning resource teachers from an urban school division participated. Analysis of transcribed interview data and research logs yielded three central themes: a) students with learning disabilities need self-determination； b) “Who will plant the seed?” “Not I” and c) a caring classroom teacher must teach self-determination. The findings indicate that participants were unaware of the literature in the field. When presented with information, however, they identified self-determination as critical in the lives of their middle years students with learning disabilities. Ultimately, however, they saw their primary role as that of tutor and recommended that self-determination be taught in the general classroom. Though they valued self-determination as essential for their students, their practice did not align with their beliefs. After a discussion of the findings, this study offers additional recommendations and suggestions for further research.
Assessing stimulus preferences and testing stimuli as reinforcers for children and adults with profound mental retardation and multiple disabilities (Education Papers posted on March 14th, 2013 )
It is essential in the development of a successful training program for persons with profound mental retardation and multiple disabilities PMD) to use effective reinforcers. During several experiments, a single-stimulus SS) preference assessment has been used to identify preferred stimuli that might be reinforcers with individuals with PMD. With this method, the activities or stimuli that are being assessed are presented individually to a client. The client has a limited period of time in which to respond, and an appropriate response is followed by the opportunity to interact with the stimulus for a short time. Each stimulus is typically presented a certain number of times e.g., 10 trials), and a high preference HP) item is defined as a stimulus that the client responded to on 80% or more of the trials. However, there have been some discrepancies in the literature about how the SS procedure has been conducted. Some researchers have defined the preference response as a physical approach toward a presented stimulus, while others have accepted either an approach response or happiness indicators. As well, some researchers allow a participant 5 s after the stimulus has been presented to indicate a preference, while others have allowed 30 s. Each of these variations in the SS procedure may lead to different results in identifying preferred stimuli and reinforcers for these individuals. My research investigated these methodological variations to determine which was the most effective method to identify highly preferred non-edible stimuli and reinforcers for individuals with PMD. Also, I compared the SS preference assessment method for identifying preferred stimuli and reinforcers to the opinions of experienced teachers or caregivers who were familiar with each of the participants. In Experiment 1, I studied eight participants with PMD, and investigated which preference assessment response approach behaviors versus approach and/or happiness behaviors) was the most sensitive in identifying preferred stimuli and reinforcers. The design was an ABAB design. The A phases were an SS preference assessment in which the preference response was defined as an approach behavior, in order to determine which of six stimuli was the most highly preferred. The HP stimulus was then tested for its reinforcing value in maintaining the pressing of a micro-switch. The B phases were the same as the A phases, except that the preference response was defined as approach and/or happiness behaviors. For some of the participants, the phases were reversed BABA). The two response definitions were approximately equal in identifying HP stimuli and reinforcers. In Experiment 2 I studied 8 participants with PMD 3 of whom were new, and 5 of whom had previously participated in Experiment 1) and investigated which response interval 5 s versus 30 s) was the most effective in identifying preferred stimuli and reinforcers. The approach only preference response from Experiment 1 was used. Like Experiment 1, the design was an ABAB design, in which half of the participants received the conditions in the reverse order BABA). During the A phases, the SS preference assessment allowed each participant 5 s to emit the preference response. The B phases were the same as the A phases, except that the participant was allowed 30 s to emit the preference response. The HP stimuli were then tested for their reinforcing value. The 30 s response interval was superior to the 5 s interval in identifying reinforcers. In both experiments, there was no correlation between caregivers rankings of the stimuli and whether they were reinforcers for the participants. Identifying the most effective preference assessment method is important, because it allows us to identify reinforcers for teaching programs, and to increase the quality of life for individuals with PMD.
Total Physical Response in an early education setting: Connecting literacy, movements, and families (Education Papers posted on March 14th, 2013 )
This paper documents the research and application of a new curriculum for Deaf students incorporating the theory of Asher: Total Physical Response. In the area of early education of Deaf students attempts need to be made to enhance and encourage the acquisition of American Sign Language and English. To aid in the young child’s acquisition this new curriculum utilizes a method incorporating generalized movements. The addition of kinesthetic movements gives greater meaning to the new vocabulary as well as aids in the process of retaining the information. In a bilingual setting it is vital that the two languages exist separately and are dually exposed to the students. The physical response required for the vocabulary enhances the experience with the language being acquired. Total Physical Response allows for the student to master the action and meaning of the words prior to producing the words in either language.
Long-term effectiveness of brief multiple-stimulus without replacement preference assessments on individualized education plan reading progress of students with severe disabilities (Education Papers posted on March 14th, 2013 )
To teach operant behaviors to individuals with severe disabilities, stimulus preference assessment (SPA) methods have been developed to accurately identify stimuli that may function as reinforcers. Previous researchers have used multiple-stimulus preference assessments without replacement (MSWO) effectively over a short time period to teach target behaviors to individuals with disabilities. The present study investigated the long-term effects of incorporating brief MSWO preference assessments into the instructional routine for students with severe disabilities on individualized education plan reading goal/objective progress. This was done by investigating the effectiveness of incorporating brief MSWO preference assessments by comparing reading goal progress when a random reinforcer is available, teacher-selected reinforcer is available, or a student-selected reinforcer (via a brief MSWO preference assessment) is available over several weeks for students with severe disabilities in a secondary public school classroom setting.