Search Results1 to 24 of 46
Analyzing and Comparing Similarities and Perceptions of Current status and of Years of Experience Regarding Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Tier 1 Implementation Across Multiple K-6 Schools
Analyzing and Comparing Similarities and Perceptions of Current status and of Years of Experience Regarding Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Tier 1 Implementation Across Multiple K-6 Schools
William Schleicher
In this study, the educational discussion focused on Tier 1 implementation of the behavioral management system known as positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) within three randomized K-6 elementary schools all at varying years of program implementation...
Show more
In this study, the educational discussion focused on Tier 1 implementation of the behavioral management system known as positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) within three randomized K-6 elementary schools all at varying years of program implementation (Lower Elementary, K-3 Elementary, and K-6 Elementary school). Further, the study fixated on whether there were commonalities or differences in the perception of the current status of PBIS Tier 1 implementation which came in the form of a mixed-method approach for the participating general and special education teachers within those schools. An effective, consistent, and positive behavioral management system in schools is a relatively new concept with so many educational institutions in the past taking punitive approaches toward discipline. To take a more proactive approach toward behavior, schools have been utilizing PBIS to reshape the thinking of students and teachers to develop better and safer environments for learners and educators alike. The data collected in this study was analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis H test and detailed thematic analysis. The qualitative analysis results revealed the presence of five major themes regarding feedback from staff on the factors and perceptions contributing to successful Tier 1 implementation of PBIS. Such themes consisted of: (a) Buy-in from stakeholders; (b) Needing the use of consistent language, communication, and policies across the school; (c) Informing and reminding students about the expectations on a daily basis; (d) Integrating the teaching of Values inside and outside of the classroom; and (e) Needing to implement constant and clear communication to all stakeholders. Results showed that while school-wide discipline systems were more prevalent, visible, or successful in the lower elementary school, the implementation of non-classroom management systems and classroom management systems of the respective schools was almost similar with the implementation of being mostly in place. Recommendations for future research include more understanding of the main needs of a school (resources, training, time, evaluation, etc.) of a school, a heightened awareness of disciplinary action needs to be emphasized by means of restorative behavioral management practices for all staff, and a need for advanced tiers should be established for all students. Implications for positive change include increased teacher/school awareness, support, and guidance with PBIS, enhanced restorative behavioral management skills, and a positive shift in mindset regarding interacting with negative behaviors within school settings.
Show less
2022
Augmented and Virtual Realities in Special Education Contexts
Augmented and Virtual Realities in Special Education Contexts
A Meta-Analysis
Toriel Herman
The augmented and virtual reality applications literature base spans more than 30 years with one of the first studies conducted by Meredith Bricken in 1991. With the advances in technology, researchers are increasingly examining the use of augmented reality (AR) and ...
Show more
The augmented and virtual reality applications literature base spans more than 30 years with one of the first studies conducted by Meredith Bricken in 1991. With the advances in technology, researchers are increasingly examining the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) within educational contexts, more specifically special education contexts. VR is one of the fastest growing technologies (Nuguri, Calyam, Oruche, Gulhane, Valluripally, Stichter, & He, 2021) and AR is growing rapidly showing advances in interaction, navigation, and tracking within education, entertainment, business, medicine, and other settings (Ablyaev, Abliakimova, & Seidametova, 2020). Despite AR and VR demonstrating documented success with enriching learning opportunities and task performances (Billingsley, Smith, Smith, & Meritt, 2019; Bricken, 1991; Nuguri et al., 2021), there is limited research on applying these programs directly within a school setting for students with disabilities. To understand the effectiveness of AR and VR, a meta-analysis of six studies was conducted using hierarchical linear modeling focusing on functional, transitional, and social skills. Participants included 18 students ages 6-15-years-old all with a special education diagnosis (i.e., Intellectual Disability or Autism). Results suggest that these interventions are effective in developing functional, transitional, and social skills with students with disabilities. Most notably, participants aged 14-15 years old showed the greatest effect estimates. There were no differences for sex. Limitations and potential future directions in supporting students with disabilities are discussed.
Show less
2021
A Critical Analysis of Classroom Management Issues Within Early Childhood Classrooms
A Critical Analysis of Classroom Management Issues Within Early Childhood Classrooms
Cybill Reed
Classroom management has been the topic of many research studies in the past (Anderson & Kinaid, 2005; Carter & Pool, 2012; Chu, 2015; Ersozlu & Cacyi, 2016; Evertson, 1989; Grining, et al., 2010; Ritz et al., 2014). The purpose of this study was to examine what earl...
Show more
Classroom management has been the topic of many research studies in the past (Anderson & Kinaid, 2005; Carter & Pool, 2012; Chu, 2015; Ersozlu & Cacyi, 2016; Evertson, 1989; Grining, et al., 2010; Ritz et al., 2014). The purpose of this study was to examine what early childhood teachers regarded as disruptive behaviors, what strategies were used to manage said behaviors, and the usefulness of using said strategies. All participants in this research were currently teaching in a Head Start or Pre-K classroom. To collect data for this study, a mixed method study was conducted. A quantitative survey was conducted to gather information on the types of classroom management strategies that were used and the frequency and usefulness of said strategy. To gather qualitative data for this study, four open-ended questions were asked at the beginning of the survey to gather more in-depth answers from teachers on classroom management. The participants interviewed for this study were certified teachers who were employed as early childhood teachers located in Western Pennsylvania. The interviews occurred during the 2017-2018 school year. Results from this study included five main findings. First, it was determined that disruptive behaviors vary between early childhood classrooms and that teachers would benefit from learning classroom management strategies that focus on managing a range of behaviors. Second, lack of knowledge in the time and consistency it takes to shape behaviors leads to teachers not committing to research-based classroom management techniques. Third, teachers have not had enough training in using research-based classroom management techniques for those techniques to be considered useful and effective in their classroom. Fourth, teachers need additional support within their classroom to better meet the needs of diverse learners. Finally, when specific research-based teaching strategies were used frequently, teachers found them to be very useful. Findings suggest that early childhood teachers would benefit and are in need of additional trainings in how to use research-based classroom management techniques to manage disruptive behaviors.
Show less
2018
Effectiveness of a Summer Intervention Program on Improving Kindergarten Readiness in At-Risk Students
Effectiveness of a Summer Intervention Program on Improving Kindergarten Readiness in At-Risk Students
Nicole Billak
While a wealth of knowledge exists supporting the need for early intervention in improving kindergarten readiness, very few programs have offered an evidence-based solution to providing remediation for at-risk children demonstrating weak academic or social readiness ...
Show more
While a wealth of knowledge exists supporting the need for early intervention in improving kindergarten readiness, very few programs have offered an evidence-based solution to providing remediation for at-risk children demonstrating weak academic or social readiness skills during the kindergarten registration process. Often, children who are identifies as having weak readiness skills at kindergarten registration will need to wait until school begins in the fall to receive intervention, putting students further at-risk for school failure. The United Way of Mercer County’s Success By 6™ program offers a 6-week intervention for students identified during registration as having poor readiness skills. This study determined the effectiveness of Success By 6™ on improving both academic and social readiness skills deemed necessary for school success. A total of 216 students completed the Kindergarten Readiness Test at the beginning and the end of the program. Teachers also rated students’ social emotional learning using the Social Skills Improvement System Social Emotional Learning Progress Monitoring Scales. Results from paired sample t-tests indicated a statistically significant improvement in students’ academic readiness, t(215) = 16.58 p < .001, after completing the program. Students also made statistically significant gains in social emotional skills needed for kindergarten readiness, t(231) = 22.13, p < .001, after participating in the program. Both calculations revealed large effect sizes (d = 1.13 and 1.45, respectively). Implications of this research can effect social change at local, state, and federal levels in order to expand evidence-based practices in early childhood education.
Show less
2021
Effects of an iPad as a Prompting Device on Increasing Independence Skills in Elementary Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Effects of an iPad as a Prompting Device on Increasing Independence Skills in Elementary Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Stephanie M. Hindman
Students with autism spectrum disorder can experience challenges in acquiring the necessary adaptive skills to successfully transition out of high school. These challenges can prevent them from achieving independence, making them reliant on adults for everyday tasks ...
Show more
Students with autism spectrum disorder can experience challenges in acquiring the necessary adaptive skills to successfully transition out of high school. These challenges can prevent them from achieving independence, making them reliant on adults for everyday tasks and having a restrictive impact on their level of involvement in their school and community. Current research is exploring the use of iPads as prompting tools on the acquisition of adaptive skills in individuals with autism spectrum disorder, specifically with individuals at the middle and high school level (Bouck, Savage, Meyer, Taber-Doughty, & Hunley, 2014; Gardner & Wolfe, 2015; Plavnick, Sam, Hume, & Odom, 2013). The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an iPad with the FileMaker app to promote independence skills by presenting daily living tasks through video and static picture prompting to third through sixth grade students with autism. A multiple probe design was utilized across three daily living skills and replicated across four participants to determine the effectiveness of an iPad with the FileMaker app as a prompting tool. Results indicate that participants could select a desired prompt type and that some participants could self-prompt through task steps for various skills without adult intervention. All participants were able to decrease the mean percentage of steps completed independently correct from the initial probe phase to the iPad intervention phase. In addition, participants were able to maintain high levels of performance in follow-up and maintenance probes.
Show less
2017
Effects of implementing a transition curriculum using Google Classroom on the self-determination, post-secondary readiness, and career readiness skills of high school students with high incidence disabilities
Effects of implementing a transition curriculum using Google Classroom on the self-determination, post-secondary readiness, and career readiness skills of high school students with high incidence disabilities
Katie Williams
Students with high incidence disabilities continue to fall behind when compared to their nondisabled peers who experience much greater post-secondary and employment success after high school. The purpose of the study was to determine if using Google Classroom to impl...
Show more
Students with high incidence disabilities continue to fall behind when compared to their nondisabled peers who experience much greater post-secondary and employment success after high school. The purpose of the study was to determine if using Google Classroom to implement a transition curriculum would affect the career readiness, post-secondary readiness, and self-determination skills of students with high incidence disabilities. The literature review revealed that there are several definitions and theories defining the components that comprise an effective transition curriculum. Using Google Classroom transition modules were created and implemented that focused on the components: age-appropriate assessments, individualized and student-centered planning and goal setting, career exploration, post-secondary training exploration, employment preparations, and self-determination. A quantitative study was designed to determine whether utilizing Google Classroom had an effect on the self-determination, career readiness, and post-secondary readiness skills of the student participants. Two rating scales were utilized, and a Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to analyze the data. Utilizing Google Classroom had an overall positive effect on the self-determination, career readiness, and post-secondary readiness skills. The transition curriculum also had a positive effect on all areas except leisure activities. This positive effect has many implications on future transition educational practices and post-high school outcomes for students with disabilities. This positive effect could help students secure financial stability and successfully live independently after high school.
Show less
2021
The Effects of Physical Exercise on Stereotypic Behaviors in Autism
The Effects of Physical Exercise on Stereotypic Behaviors in Autism
A Meta-Analysis
Christopher W. Tarr
he prevalence rate of children with autism has been on the rise for the past 20 years. A hallmark characteristic of this disorder is the presence of stereotypic behaviors. Children who engage in stereotypic behaviors experience difficulties in effectively interacting...
Show more
he prevalence rate of children with autism has been on the rise for the past 20 years. A hallmark characteristic of this disorder is the presence of stereotypic behaviors. Children who engage in stereotypic behaviors experience difficulties in effectively interacting with their surrounding environment. Both consequence-based and antecedent based interventions have been successful in decreasing these interfering behaviors. The performance of physical exercise has shown positive results as both a consequence based and antecedent based intervention in reducing stereotypic behaviors. The current investigation conducted a meta-analysis on the effects of physical exercise on stereotypic behaviors in individuals with autism. This study was able to run this meta-analysis using both aggregate score studies and single subject design studies. This study identified 10 research articles that met all of the inclusion criteria. The 10 articles were coded according to sixteen primary moderators and four peripheral moderators. The 10 articles produced an overall large effect size of d = -.456. This large effect size demonstrated that physical exercise is effective in decreasing stereotypic behaviors in individuals with autism. However, no significant statistical difference was observed within any of the primary and peripheral moderators. The lack of significant statistical difference within any of the moderators lead the current investigator to conclude that the effect of physical exercise on stereotypic behaviors in individuals with autism may not be impacted by external factors. Further research is needed to determine the internal neurobiological effects of physical exercise on stereotypic behaviors in individuals with autism.
Show less
2018
The Effects of Staff Training in Blocking Techniques and Trauma Informed Care on the Number of Student Restraints in a Special Education Setting at a Suburban Public-School District
The Effects of Staff Training in Blocking Techniques and Trauma Informed Care on the Number of Student Restraints in a Special Education Setting at a Suburban Public-School District
Edward G. Nientimp
The purpose of this study was to determine if the implementation of a staff development program that included instruction in trauma informed care, de-escalation, and the use of soft blocking pads (Ukeru ™) would influence the number of times students attending public...
Show more
The purpose of this study was to determine if the implementation of a staff development program that included instruction in trauma informed care, de-escalation, and the use of soft blocking pads (Ukeru ™) would influence the number of times students attending public-school special education programs were physically restrained. Restraint reduction/elimination efforts have been documented at psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment facilities for individuals with disabilities but not in public-school settings. There are many peer reviewed studies in the professional literature that detail the potential negative effects of restraint which include injury, trauma, negative perceptions, and sometimes death. This quasi-experimental design employed a retrospective data analysis to determine the usage of restraint across multiple school district supported programs. In this study data that was submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Restraint Information System of Collection (RISC) by one school district was analyzed over a three-year period. State wide data reports were also analyzed. Restraints per student, total restraints, mean number of restraints, and injuries to students or staff were rep01ied and analyzed to dete1mine trends over the three-year study. The nomandom sample was dete1mined by program assignment. Students attended either a public-school special education program, a residential treatment facility program, a partial hospitalization classroom, or an approved private school. The public-school students (all identified as eligible and in need of special education) were exposed to the Ukeru™ intervention during pmi of year two, and all of year three. All other groups served as comparison groups where the use of restraint continued to be used as a crisis management intervention. The use of restraint was eliminated in year three in the public-school special education setting. The Ukeru™ intervention was employed with the same number of students that had been traditionally restrained, suggesting that use of the trauma informed care, de-escalation, and soft blocking pads (Ukeru™) replaced the need for restraint. All comparison groups continued to regularly utilize restraint, with a substantial increase in restraints occurring at the residential treatment facility and overall across the state of Pennsylvania. There was no reduction in injuries associated with the utilization of the Ukeru™ intervention. Three years of data review supports that student and staff injuries occurred at very low rates at all school district supported programs prior to the implementation of Ukeru™ (year one), during the trial school year (year two), and during full implementation (year three).
Show less
2018
The Efficacy of Equine-assisted Activities on Social Outcomes of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
The Efficacy of Equine-assisted Activities on Social Outcomes of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
A Qualitative Case Study
Trisha Huston
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have shown improvement through the use of various therapeutic approaches. Identifying these approaches that engage individuals with ASD is essential in facilitating opportunities for lessening the impact of symptoms. A ...
Show more
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have shown improvement through the use of various therapeutic approaches. Identifying these approaches that engage individuals with ASD is essential in facilitating opportunities for lessening the impact of symptoms. A recent CDC report indicates the prevalence to be 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (Roth, 2020). While the prevalence continues to escalate, the epidemiology has yet to be discovered. While there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there are forms of therapy that have been proven to be successful in lessening the associated symptomatic behaviors. The most distinct classifiers related to ASD include sensory impairments, communication and speech delays, and restrictive, yet repetitive patterns of behavior or interests. This study intends to examine the parental viewpoint on correlations existing between equineassisted therapies (EAT) and communication skill improvements of adolescents with autism. Equine-assisted therapies have been found to be successful in the improvement of modality, communication deficits, and behavioral needs of individuals with disabilities. The parental viewpoint and input of such therapies has not been as stringently studied.
Show less
2021
An Examination of Elementary School Librarians' Self-efficacy Beliefs in Serving Students with Disabilities
An Examination of Elementary School Librarians' Self-efficacy Beliefs in Serving Students with Disabilities
Jessica Jordan
The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-efficacy beliefs of elementary school librarians in meeting the needs of students with disabilities in the library classroom. Quantitative methods were used through the administration of a survey instrument previo...
Show more
The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-efficacy beliefs of elementary school librarians in meeting the needs of students with disabilities in the library classroom. Quantitative methods were used through the administration of a survey instrument previously developed and implemented in general classrooms (Dawson & Scott, 2013). The instrument evaluated five factors potentially impacting self-efficacy: (a) instruction, (b) professionalism, (c) teacher support, (d) classroom management, and (e) related duties. The theoretical framework outlined for the study was based upon Bandura (1977). As the work of Bandura focuses on perceptions, the survey instrument asked participants to rank their perceived abilities on 14 initial constructs and the five factors listed above. Participants (n=35) were recruited through a listserv designed for school librarians (K-12) within Pennsylvania. Due to the small sample size (n=35), Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) was utilized for data analysis. (Hair et al., 2017). Findings showed each of the five manifest variables captured in the survey instrument impacted elementary librarians’ perceptions yet the analysis of these factors as one body, the Higher Order Construct (HOC) was statistically significant. In using the PATH Model function of PLS-SEM, analysis showed that instruction, professionalism, and classroom management were statistically significant independently but HOC demonstrated greater significance. The study found that 50% of participants had a mean score of 4 or higher on the Likert scale used within the survey, indicating an overall average of participants having "some ability" or higher demonstrated lower levels of self-efficacy in meeting the needs of students with disabilities.
Show less
2021
An Examination of Elementary School Librarians' Self-efficacy Beliefs in Serving Students with Disabilities
An Examination of Elementary School Librarians' Self-efficacy Beliefs in Serving Students with Disabilities
Jessica Jordan
The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-efficacy beliefs of elementary school librarians in meeting the needs of students with disabilities in the library classroom. Quantitative methods were used through the administration of a survey instrument previo...
Show more
The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-efficacy beliefs of elementary school librarians in meeting the needs of students with disabilities in the library classroom. Quantitative methods were used through the administration of a survey instrument previously developed and implemented in general classrooms (Dawson & Scott, 2013). The instrument evaluated five factors potentially impacting self-efficacy: (a) instruction, (b) professionalism, (c) teacher support, (d) classroom management, and (e) related duties. The theoretical framework outlined for the study was based upon Bandura (1977). As the work of Bandura focuses on perceptions, the survey instrument asked participants to rank their perceived abilities on 14 initial constructs and the five factors listed above. Participants (n=35) were recruited through a listserv designed for school librarians (K-12) within Pennsylvania. Due to the small sample size (n=35), Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) was utilized for data analysis. (Hair et al., 2017). Findings showed each of the five manifest variables captured in the survey instrument impacted elementary librarians’ perceptions yet the analysis of these factors as one body, the Higher Order Construct (HOC) was statistically significant. In using the PATH Model function of PLS-SEM, analysis showed that instruction, professionalism, and classroom management were statistically significant independently but HOC demonstrated greater significance. The study found that 50% of participants had a mean score of 4 or higher on the Likert scale used within the survey, indicating an overall average of participants having "some ability" or higher demonstrated lower levels of self-efficacy in meeting the needs of students with disabilities.
Show less
2021
An Examination of the Special Education Cyclical Monitoring Process through a Socio-Technical System’s Lens
An Examination of the Special Education Cyclical Monitoring Process through a Socio-Technical System’s Lens
A Case Study of a Suburban Pittsburgh School District
Christina Garczewski
The current study used a socio-technical system’s (STS) lens to examine how a suburban Pittsburgh school district applies the cyclical monitoring process. The use of a qualitative research method to examined how school districts and how school administrators use the ...
Show more
The current study used a socio-technical system’s (STS) lens to examine how a suburban Pittsburgh school district applies the cyclical monitoring process. The use of a qualitative research method to examined how school districts and how school administrators use the cyclical monitoring process in special education to provide a foundation for developing appropriate regulations that guide in ensuring students with special needs receive adequate formal education. The researcher collected and discussed information about the participation of school administrators in using a cyclical monitoring process for decision-making at the district and building level through interviewing. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the collected data. All of the participants in this study demonstrated basic knowledge of the CMCI process and the impacts this process has on special education policies, procedures, and practices within the district. While each participant demonstrated a different level of understanding of how compliance monitoring enhances the services and programs offered in the district, all five participants recognized the benefits and needs for the CMCI process. All administrators interviewed described the CMCI process as a positive process to evaluate the district’s programming and reflect upon areas that need improvement. Common themes identified in this study included: resources/programming, interventions, and parent engagement. Based on this study, it can be concluded that the increase of administrators’ knowledge and participation in the CMCI process will improve compliance with special education regulations as well as improve education for all students with disabilities.
Show less
2022
Examining Teachers’ Attitudes Toward the Inclusion of Students Using Alternate Standards in Regular Standards Core Academic Classes
Examining Teachers’ Attitudes Toward the Inclusion of Students Using Alternate Standards in Regular Standards Core Academic Classes
Wendy Daniels Stewman
Creating a fully inclusive educational environment continues to be a topic for educational reform. Children with disabilities have the right to access their education in the Least Restrictive Environment. In the United States, this right is protected by the Individua...
Show more
Creating a fully inclusive educational environment continues to be a topic for educational reform. Children with disabilities have the right to access their education in the Least Restrictive Environment. In the United States, this right is protected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004). Approximately 13.3% of the total number of students with disabilities in the United States are educated in a separate setting. In comparison, 49.2% of all students with a disability in the United States identified as having a cognitive impairment continue to be educated in a separate class setting (U.S. Department of Education, 2019). This study will use mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative data) analysis to examine the attitude of middle school teachers toward the inclusion of students with a cognitive impairment who access their curriculum using alternate standards in the regular education class setting, available training, and needed resources. This study identified factors which influence teacher attitudes toward the inclusion of students using alternate standards, available training, and teacher perceptions for needed resources for an effective inclusion program at the middle school level. The information from the study will be used to provide recommendations to school leaders related to improving supports, training, and services for teachers with the goal of increasing the participation of students using alternate standards in the regular education setting.
Show less
2021
Examining the Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement in the Mohawk Area School District
Examining the Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement in the Mohawk Area School District
An Individual Participant Meta-Analytic Investigation
Lorree Houk
The issue of class size is a contentious issue in American education. While there is substantial empirical support for the existence of a negative correlation between class size and student achievement, numerous practical difficulties prevent schools from being able ...
Show more
The issue of class size is a contentious issue in American education. While there is substantial empirical support for the existence of a negative correlation between class size and student achievement, numerous practical difficulties prevent schools from being able to further shrink class sizes. Policy-makers and educators need to achieve a more precise understanding of the degree to which class sizes make contributions to student achievement, as only such an understanding can allow decision-makers to set an effective class size policy. Educators have indicated that with smaller class sizes they are able to produce better student achievement results in reading and mathematics. With the increase in teacher accountability, class size is a topic discussed at the school district level. This independent meta-analytic investigation occurred within the Mohawk Area School District. The study sample included 93 reading classrooms and 97 mathematics classrooms ranging from grade levels kindergarten through eighth grade. The purpose of this quantitative case study based on statistical meta-analysis as to calculate the effect size of class size on student achievement in the Mohawk Area School District, Grades K-8. This purpose was achieved through calculating the effect size using Cohen's d. The i-Ready assessment was used as the standardized measure to calculate the effect of class size on achievement in reading and math. The analysis of this investigation indicates that there is no meaningful effect of class size on reading and math performance. These results are important considerations for the Mohawk Area School District as it faces budget constraints that impact the ability of the district to make class size decisions in the best interest of the staff and students.
Show less
2017
Examining the Efficacy of Universally Delivered Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum, Second Step: A Mixed-Method Study of the Effects on Regular and Special Education Student Behavior and Teacher Instructional Competence
Examining the Efficacy of Universally Delivered Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum, Second Step: A Mixed-Method Study of the Effects on Regular and Special Education Student Behavior and Teacher Instructional Competence
Joseph Jablonski
Since the establishment of social emotional learning (SEL) as a conceptual framework to increase students’ prosocial and emotional competencies, research has been conducted to provide an evidence base to its programmatic effects. This study examined the efficacy of S...
Show more
Since the establishment of social emotional learning (SEL) as a conceptual framework to increase students’ prosocial and emotional competencies, research has been conducted to provide an evidence base to its programmatic effects. This study examined the efficacy of Second Step, a universally delivered SEL curriculum. Evidence of efficacy is supplied through a mixed-method research design providing three separate data metrics for quantitative and qualitative analysis. The sample set was derived from the behavior data of 505 students who attended a suburban K-5 elementary school in northwest Pennsylvania for two consecutive years. Also included in the sample are 22 teachers who participated in a voluntary survey. Quantitative analysis was conducted through a quasi-experimental design utilizing a McNemar test to determine the statistical significance of negative behavior prevalence in comparing two school years. Additional quantitative data was supplied through a Likert-scale questionnaire. Contextual qualitative information was supplied from an open-ended survey. Through this study, it was determined that the Second Step SEL program had a statistically significant impact on the behaviors of students as well as an impact on the climate of the building. While teachers felt the stress of teaching the newly implemented SEL curriculum during the COVID-19 pandemic, results from the study suggest that the benefits of implementing the program outweighed this negative effect. Results also showed an impact on students in the special education emotional support subgroup. The evidence this study provides will help schools work to strengthen their students’ social, emotional, and behavioral capacities.
Show less
2021
Identifying Salient Factors in the Retention of Special Education Teachers
Identifying Salient Factors in the Retention of Special Education Teachers
What Makes Them Stay?
Mary P. Nientimp
The purpose of this study was to determine the reasons why special education teachers continue to teach in their present special education positions for five years or longer. The factors that influence special education teachers to remain were identified and analyzed...
Show more
The purpose of this study was to determine the reasons why special education teachers continue to teach in their present special education positions for five years or longer. The factors that influence special education teachers to remain were identified and analyzed. The study was a quantitative design including a survey and one open-ended question. Relational support factors and organizational factors were categorized into the survey questions from Billingley’s (2004) research. The participants included 90 special education teachers from Erie, Crawford and Warren counties. The survey and the open-ended question data were analyzed. The quantitative results indicated that there was a significant difference at a .05% probability level from the response data modes for relational support factors as compared to the organizational support factors. The three most common retention factors included enjoyment gained from job, ability to make a difference in the lives of students, and support of fellow special education teachers. Three themes emerged from the open-ended question: administrative support, helping students succeed and colleague support. The responses were more influential with the relational support factors than the organizational factors. This study should help administrators identify strategies to help retain special education teachers in their current special education teaching positions.
Show less
2018
The Impact of Discontinue Criteria on Potential Gifted Students' Scores on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fifth Edition
The Impact of Discontinue Criteria on Potential Gifted Students' Scores on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fifth Edition
Dana Iera
Gifted identification varies across the United States between states, districts, and school psychologists. Although multiple measures of cognitive ability exist, one of the most popular tools is the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Fifth Edition, published i...
Show more
Gifted identification varies across the United States between states, districts, and school psychologists. Although multiple measures of cognitive ability exist, one of the most popular tools is the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Fifth Edition, published in 2014. This standardized assessment measures cognitive abilities and is now in its fifth edition. The most notable difference is the use of five primary index scales, rather than four, that combine to yield a Full Scale IQ score. Another change is that the discontinue criteria are shorter for a few subtests within the measure. Although this leads to a shorter test administration time, many gifted advocates believe that this shortened discontinue criteria may underestimate gifted students' abilities by not allowing them to demonstrate knowledge beyond those three missed items (National Association for Gifted Children, 2018; Silverman and Gilman, 2020). The purpose of this study is to begin to explore how those shortened discontinue criteria on the Verbal Comprehension Index may or may not impact potentially gifted students’ scores and moreover, gifted eligibility. Understanding how these shortened discontinue criteria may or may not impact scores will help to guide districts and school psychologists into proper identification methods and criteria and a further understanding of the Verbal Comprehension Index on the WISC-V. This study will focus on the following questions: How do shortened discontinue criteria impact potential gifted students' scores on the Similarities subtest? How do shortened discontinue criteria impact potential gifted students' scores on the Vocabulary subtest? With limited verbal subtests, how does the WISC-V's shortened discontinue criteria impact potential gifted scores on the Verbal Comprehension Index? How do these discontinue criteria impact how school psychologists and schools determine eligibility?
Show less
2021
The Instructional Leadership Role of Pennsylvania Public School Principals and Their Effect on Special Education Practices
The Instructional Leadership Role of Pennsylvania Public School Principals and Their Effect on Special Education Practices
Amanda Truitt-Smith
Pennsylvania public-school principals are expected to be instructional leaders for all students within their district. When it comes to leadership for students with disabilities, this role can be problematic due to a lack of experience in the field of special educati...
Show more
Pennsylvania public-school principals are expected to be instructional leaders for all students within their district. When it comes to leadership for students with disabilities, this role can be problematic due to a lack of experience in the field of special education and pre-service special education training. Special education leadership should be a significant concern for school administrators as their roles have increased to ensuring successful outcomes for all students, the increased number of students placed in special education, the high cost associated with educating students in special education, and the due process ramifications if educational outcomes are not achieved. The research has demonstrated that overall, public-school principals receive little to no formal training in leading special education in pre-service or on-going professional development. The purpose of this research study was twofold. The research is helpful to colleges and universities when developing plans of study and programming for future public-school principal and leadership training degrees and certificates. This research also provides a platform where current Pennsylvania public-school principals can identify where their special education knowledge is lacking and how to become a better instructional leader for their own district’s special education population. This study provided insight into understanding the factors that contribute to the lack of special education training in special education programs by higher education entities.
Show less
2019
Key Factors Contributing to the Academic Success of African American Males with a Disability
Key Factors Contributing to the Academic Success of African American Males with a Disability
Lorna Nation
There is a diversity of factors that negatively affect the academic success of African American males, from early childhood through adulthood; however, there are those African Americans males with disabilities that are beating the odds and are obtaining degrees at th...
Show more
There is a diversity of factors that negatively affect the academic success of African American males, from early childhood through adulthood; however, there are those African Americans males with disabilities that are beating the odds and are obtaining degrees at the post-baccalaureate level. This qualitative case study, therefore, aims to identify key factors that contribute to the academic success of African American males with a disability who have attained master’s and earned doctoral degrees. Both purposive sampling and snowball sampling were employed to recruit participants for the study. Three African American males with a disability, one of whom has an earned doctoral degree one, an earned Master’s 'degree and one who is currently pursuing a doctoral degree, participated in the study. Specifically, the interview method was used to gather data as the study investigated an unexplored area in research that contrasts disability diagnosis, and academic success in a specific racial group at the master's degree and terminal degree levels. After data was gathered, the researcher relied heavily on content analysis. Findings from the study show that the factors which contributed to the academic success of African American males with a disability includes family support, resilience, faith/ spirituality, academic engagement, self-advocacy and a belief in ones’ ability to succeed no matter the circumstance. African American males with a disability faces a variety of challenges on their path to academic success, however they can achieve academic success despite all the challenges they face.
Show less
2022
Middle school teacher and support staff perceptions of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
Middle school teacher and support staff perceptions of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
A case study in a suburban western Pennsylvania middle school
Emily Mazzant
This dissertation focuses on teacher and staff perceptions of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) implementation at the middle school level. MTSS implementation at the secondary level proves to be a daunting task which includes many complex facets. Ensuring that t...
Show more
This dissertation focuses on teacher and staff perceptions of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) implementation at the middle school level. MTSS implementation at the secondary level proves to be a daunting task which includes many complex facets. Ensuring that teacher and staff insights are sought out and taken into account when implementing school-wide programming such as MTSS can increase program success and fidelity. Specifically, this study examines three research questions: (1) How do middle school teachers and school support staff perceive implementation of a multi-tiered system of support? (2) How do these perceptions impact the buy-in and level of understanding of MTSS implementation? (3) In what ways do middle school teachers understand the MTSS framework? Utilizing a qualitative, single subject case study design methodology, this study sought to explore how teacher and staff perceptions and understanding of MTSS can impact implementation. The study took place in a suburban, western Pennsylvania middle school, in which the researcher is employed. The constant comparative method of coding was utilized in order to uncover themes related to the collected data. The following themes were uncovered through data analysis: support for all students and addressing individual student needs is a part of the MTSS process, the need for all staff to be involved in MTSS, insufficient communication with off-team teachers, discussion of forms as a part of the MTSS process, parental involvement was not discussed as a priority in responses, and procedures and logistics are discussed in relation to MTSS rather than the day to day implementation through working with students. Results of this study indicate that seeking opinions from teachers and staff regarding program implementation can provide valuable information for schools and districts to consider and highlights the importance of professional development focused on MTSS.
Show less
2021
Middle school teacher and support staff perceptions of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
Middle school teacher and support staff perceptions of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
A case study in a suburban western Pennsylvania middle school
Emily Mazzant
This dissertation focuses on teacher and staff perceptions of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) implementation at the middle school level. MTSS implementation at the secondary level proves to be a daunting task which includes many complex facets. Ensuring that t...
Show more
This dissertation focuses on teacher and staff perceptions of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) implementation at the middle school level. MTSS implementation at the secondary level proves to be a daunting task which includes many complex facets. Ensuring that teacher and staff insights are sought out and taken into account when implementing school-wide programming such as MTSS can increase program success and fidelity. Specifically, this study examines three research questions: (1) How do middle school teachers and school support staff perceive implementation of a multi-tiered system of support? (2) How do these perceptions impact the buy-in and level of understanding of MTSS implementation? (3) In what ways do middle school teachers understand the MTSS framework? Utilizing a qualitative, single subject case study design methodology, this study sought to explore how teacher and staff perceptions and understanding of MTSS can impact implementation. The study took place in a suburban, western Pennsylvania middle school, in which the researcher is employed. The constant comparative method of coding was utilized in order to uncover themes related to the collected data. The following themes were uncovered through data analysis: support for all students and addressing individual student needs is a part of the MTSS process, the need for all staff to be involved in MTSS, insufficient communication with off-team teachers, discussion of forms as a part of the MTSS process, parental involvement was not discussed as a priority in responses, and procedures and logistics are discussed in relation to MTSS rather than the day to day implementation through working with students. Results of this study indicate that seeking opinions from teachers and staff regarding program implementation can provide valuable information for schools and districts to consider and highlights the importance of professional development focused on MTSS.
Show less
2021
Multi-Sensory Room Usage in Medium-Sized Elementary Schools in Western PA: A Case Study
Multi-Sensory Room Usage in Medium-Sized Elementary Schools in Western PA: A Case Study
Belinda Nuth Sloboda
Are multi-sensory rooms the new fad or are they necessary spaces for special education students? This question frequently comes to mind when talking to people outside of the education system. Oftentimes, these rooms receive little consideration when space planning a ...
Show more
Are multi-sensory rooms the new fad or are they necessary spaces for special education students? This question frequently comes to mind when talking to people outside of the education system. Oftentimes, these rooms receive little consideration when space planning a new school. Instead, any extra room or space that has not already been allocated becomes the multi-sensory room. This often does not allow for proper space planning for the needed sensory aids. The multi-sensory room also may be situated in an undesired location within the school that may be distracting. These undesired adjacencies include the lunchroom, auditorium, and gymnasium. Due to this uncertainty of room placement during the design phase of building, a mixed-methods study was conducted to analyze current multi-sensory rooms. This allowed the researcher to examine how well the rooms function for the students and teachers who use them. The mixed-methods study consisted of a Qualtrics survey and in-person interviews with special education teachers. These teachers were from five elementary schools within the same district in Western Pennsylvania. Results of the study indicated that even though multi-sensory rooms were necessary for the special education students’ daily schedule, teachers often supplemented their students’ sensory needs with aids in the classroom. The rooms housing the multi-sensory rooms were generally located in unideal positions within the school; some were adjacent to high activity areas such as the cafeteria and gymnasium, whereas others were out of the way for convenience. These results, as well as their implications for future research and practice, are discussed.
Show less
2022
Music, Identity, & Authenticity: Reflecting the Narratives of Black Queer Men through Piano-Based Music Improvisation
Music, Identity, & Authenticity: Reflecting the Narratives of Black Queer Men through Piano-Based Music Improvisation
Fred Perkins
This thesis is the dissemination of the findings of a research study exploring piano-based music improvisation and the lived experience of Black queer men. The overall aim was to explore how five Black queer men experience the intersections of their racial identity a...
Show more
This thesis is the dissemination of the findings of a research study exploring piano-based music improvisation and the lived experience of Black queer men. The overall aim was to explore how five Black queer men experience the intersections of their racial identity and sexuality in various social environments through piano-based music improvisation. This study grew out of my own experiences as a Black queer man and my ability or lack thereof to authentically express my racial identity and sexuality in specific social environments. Participants were chosen through convenience sampling and were prompted to engage in a series of piano improvisations, where they were asked to musically communicate how they experience their racial identity and sexuality within their biological family, friend group, and society. Data was collected through video recordings of the improvisations, written reflections to questions about the experience, and through transcriptions of the member checking discussions. Following each improvisation, participants were asked to reflect upon two questions regarding their process and experience during the improvisation. The recorded improvisations were then analyzed using Dr. Kenneth Bruscia’s Improvisation Assessment Profiles (IAPs) and interpretations about the participants’ experiences were made. Member checking was utilized to ensure an accurate representation of the participants’ experiences. Themes of 1) prejudice, 2) sense of identity, 3) impacts of relationships, and 4) responses to trauma that emerged in the verbal data were discussed in the context of the individual and collective experiences of the participants with implications for the practice of music therapy.
Show less
2021
New Elementary School Teachers' Perceptions of Classroom Management
New Elementary School Teachers' Perceptions of Classroom Management
Emily Hoffmann
New teachers leave their profession at an alarmingly high rate. Though many factors can be contributing to these high attrition rates, new teachers identify classroom management as one of their biggest challenges (Thompson, 2010). Considering this commonly reported c...
Show more
New teachers leave their profession at an alarmingly high rate. Though many factors can be contributing to these high attrition rates, new teachers identify classroom management as one of their biggest challenges (Thompson, 2010). Considering this commonly reported challenge, this research study sets forth to understand how disruptive behavior in classrooms can impact job satisfaction for new teachers. Furthermore, this research study identifies the perspectives of new elementary school teachers relative to their classroom management, and gain insight into how professional development or training opportunities may impact new elementary school teachers’ perceptions on classroom management. The methodologies used in this study include quantitative and qualitative methods. An online questionnaire with both open-ended and closed-ended questions were completed by participants. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data from the closed-ended responses in the questionnaire, and qualitative data was gathered and grouped into codes, which were then supported by themes. The three major themes that were supported by the data in this study include (a) behavior disruptions that occur in the classroom have a direct impact on new elementary school teachers job satisfaction, (b) the 7 research-based classroom interventions and supports are not all found to be effective for most new elementary school teachers, and (c) training and professional development opportunities to support classroom management are lacking. Results of the data suggest that new elementary school teachers experience behavior disruptions in the classroom that impact overall job satisfaction, and minimal training opportunities are being reported to help support classroom management. Additionally, the 7 research-based classroom management interventions were not all effective for participants. Recommendations for future research include larger sample size. Implications for positive change include increased job satisfaction and higher retention rates among new elementary school teachers.
Show less
2022