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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 ...
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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.
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2017
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 ...
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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.
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2017
A Survey Approach to Effects of Work Relates Stress Among Special Education Teachers
A Survey Approach to Effects of Work Relates Stress Among Special Education Teachers
Jessica Hall-Wirth
Teacher stress studies suggest that teacher stress has become progressively heightened. Researchers have acknowledged that teachers are stressed, and in turn, there has been an increase in burnout and turnover within the field. Seemingly, even with the magnitude of a...
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Teacher stress studies suggest that teacher stress has become progressively heightened. Researchers have acknowledged that teachers are stressed, and in turn, there has been an increase in burnout and turnover within the field. Seemingly, even with the magnitude of attention dedicated to preventing occupational stress, the prevalence is growing. In response, this study aimed to understand special education teachers and the stressors within their occupation. This study used a questionnaire using a Likert scale and opened ended questions to gain a better understanding of the stressors and overall well-being of special education teachers. The mixed methods approach allowed for a comprehensive look at 45 K-12 special education teachers within four school districts in Western Pennsylvania. The data was collected from April to May of 2018 and used the themes: (a) working conditions, (b) professional responsibilities, (c) student needs, and (d) student behavior to categorize the data. Data suggested that the working conditions and professional responsibilities provided the most stressors for special education teachers. The questionnaire also provided insight on an individual’s inability to differentiate between types of stressors. The implications of these findings for future research, professional development, and wellness education are discussed within this study.
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2018
A Survey Approach to Effects of Work Relates Stress Among Special Education Teachers
A Survey Approach to Effects of Work Relates Stress Among Special Education Teachers
Jessica Hall-Wirth
Teacher stress studies suggest that teacher stress has become progressively heightened. Researchers have acknowledged that teachers are stressed, and in turn, there has been an increase in burnout and turnover within the field. Seemingly, even with the magnitude of a...
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Teacher stress studies suggest that teacher stress has become progressively heightened. Researchers have acknowledged that teachers are stressed, and in turn, there has been an increase in burnout and turnover within the field. Seemingly, even with the magnitude of attention dedicated to preventing occupational stress, the prevalence is growing. In response, this study aimed to understand special education teachers and the stressors within their occupation. This study used a questionnaire using a Likert scale and opened ended questions to gain a better understanding of the stressors and overall well-being of special education teachers. The mixed methods approach allowed for a comprehensive look at 45 K-12 special education teachers within four school districts in Western Pennsylvania. The data was collected from April to May of 2018 and used the themes: (a) working conditions, (b) professional responsibilities, (c) student needs, and (d) student behavior to categorize the data. Data suggested that the working conditions and professional responsibilities provided the most stressors for special education teachers. The questionnaire also provided insight on an individual’s inability to differentiate between types of stressors. The implications of these findings for future research, professional development, and wellness education are discussed within this study.
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2018
Teachers' Attitudes Towards Inclusion and the Effect on Professional Development
Teachers' Attitudes Towards Inclusion and the Effect on Professional Development
Sub-Title test field.
Joyce A. Carr
Inclusive education has increased for students with disabilities within our public schools since the reauthorization of IDEA ( 1997). This change has resulted in a paradigm shift for both general and special education teachers. Research has shown the success of inclu...
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Inclusive education has increased for students with disabilities within our public schools since the reauthorization of IDEA ( 1997). This change has resulted in a paradigm shift for both general and special education teachers. Research has shown the success of inclusive education is impacted by many factors, one being the attitude of the teachers. Attitude is comprised of three components, Behavioral, Cognitive and Affective (Gregory & Noto, 2012). Understanding what component is a strength or an area that could use improvement will enable educational leaders to develop professional development and training opportunities to address their educators' gaps in attitude in regards to inclusive education. This study identified whether there was a relationship between teacher attitude about inclusion and their teaching assignment, level at which they teach and/or years of teaching experience. A survey was conducted resulting in 219 participants completing the necessary information to be included in the research, which included three demographic questions, as well as a nine item Likert scale questionnaire. General education teachers made up 69.90% of the participants, special education teachers made up 30.10%. Elementary educators were 58% of the respondents, secondary were 42%. Regarding years of teaching experiences for the participants, 7.3% had 0-3 years, 11.9% had 4-9 years and the largest majority of respondents, 80.80%, had ten years or more. After receiving the survey for this quantitative study, responses were analyzed using SPSS, descriptive statistics, Cronbach a, t-Tests, ANOVA and multiple linear regression. Findings of this study indicated general education teachers have a lower level of agreement than their special education colleagues in both the cognitive and affective components of attitude towards inclusion for students with disabilities. Results also indicated that teachers with more than ten years of teaching experience have lower cognitive agreement than those who have taught for fewer years. Lastly, the study showed there was no significant difference in regards to the three components based on the grade level teachers taught. From this study, recommendations for professional development and trainings, as well as future research, were addressed.
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2018
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...
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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.
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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...
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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).
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2018
Teachers' Attitudes Towards Inclusion and the Effect on Professional Development
Teachers' Attitudes Towards Inclusion and the Effect on Professional Development
Joyce A. Carr
Inclusive education has increased for students with disabilities within our public schools since the reauthorization of IDEA ( 1997). This change has resulted in a paradigm shift for both general and special education teachers. Research has shown the success of inclu...
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Inclusive education has increased for students with disabilities within our public schools since the reauthorization of IDEA ( 1997). This change has resulted in a paradigm shift for both general and special education teachers. Research has shown the success of inclusive education is impacted by many factors, one being the attitude of the teachers. Attitude is comprised of three components, Behavioral, Cognitive and Affective (Gregory & Noto, 2012). Understanding what component is a strength or an area that could use improvement will enable educational leaders to develop professional development and training opportunities to address their educators' gaps in attitude in regards to inclusive education. This study identified whether there was a relationship between teacher attitude about inclusion and their teaching assignment, level at which they teach and/or years of teaching experience. A survey was conducted resulting in 219 participants completing the necessary information to be included in the research, which included three demographic questions, as well as a nine item Likert scale questionnaire. General education teachers made up 69.90% of the participants, special education teachers made up 30.10%. Elementary educators were 58% of the respondents, secondary were 42%. Regarding years of teaching experiences for the participants, 7.3% had 0-3 years, 11.9% had 4-9 years and the largest majority of respondents, 80.80%, had ten years or more. After receiving the survey for this quantitative study, responses were analyzed using SPSS, descriptive statistics, Cronbach a, t-Tests, ANOVA and multiple linear regression. Findings of this study indicated general education teachers have a lower level of agreement than their special education colleagues in both the cognitive and affective components of attitude towards inclusion for students with disabilities. Results also indicated that teachers with more than ten years of teaching experience have lower cognitive agreement than those who have taught for fewer years. Lastly, the study showed there was no significant difference in regards to the three components based on the grade level teachers taught. From this study, recommendations for professional development and trainings, as well as future research, were addressed.
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2018
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...
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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.
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2018
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...
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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.
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2018
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...
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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.
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2019
A Phenomenological Study of Public High School Inclusive Extracurricular Opportunities
A Phenomenological Study of Public High School Inclusive Extracurricular Opportunities
Perspectives of Parents of Neurotypical Students
Rachel Ann Pasquerilla
Special educators, school leaders and parents across the nation are exploring the benefits of inclusive opportunities for high school students with and without disabilities. Peer Mediated Intervention (PMI) is a long-standing literature-backed set of teaching procedu...
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Special educators, school leaders and parents across the nation are exploring the benefits of inclusive opportunities for high school students with and without disabilities. Peer Mediated Intervention (PMI) is a long-standing literature-backed set of teaching procedures and models that promote prosocial development in individuals with developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Although PMI literature includes benefits to typical peers, little to no information exists specific to the high school and young adult population. The present study gathers qualitative interview data from four parent participants to gain authentic feedback about the takeaways for their typical high school student from their perspective. Many positive implications were uncovered in the thematic coding and data analysis process. Positive implications for peers can be utilized as support for the development and maintenance of future inclusive extracurricular activities in public high schools. Discussion around the findings of the study provide school leaders with clear and concise examples of this support, including but not limited to: increase in personal self-worth and empathy, college and career readiness opportunities, and community acceptance carryover.
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2019
A Qualitative Analysis of Administrative Oversight of Inclusionary Environments in Secondary Classrooms
A Qualitative Analysis of Administrative Oversight of Inclusionary Environments in Secondary Classrooms
William Jordan
The position of principal has evolved into one with many responsibilities ranging from managerial to visionary leader. Federal legislation has placed an added layer of responsibility through the implementation of Public Law 94-142 which supported social justice refor...
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The position of principal has evolved into one with many responsibilities ranging from managerial to visionary leader. Federal legislation has placed an added layer of responsibility through the implementation of Public Law 94-142 which supported social justice reforms that were meant to include students with disabilities and provide an education for them alongside their non-disabled peers. The changes brought about by this legislation and its iterations, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and No Child Left Behind Act, have supported inclusionary actions taken by schools and placed importance on effectiveness of the programs used to educate all students. Despite more students with disabilities being included in general education classrooms, schools still struggle with supporting effective inclusionary programs. This study conducted an exploration of a principal’s decision making processes by gathering descriptions of their background experiences, leadership, and structural management of inclusionary environments. It offers insight into what inclusionary environments look like through the eyes of the principal. Research was conducted through a case study with three principals using phenomenological techniques. This study revealed four themes that provide a vibrant description of the inclusionary environments in these principal’s buildings. The principals interviewed in this study discussed their background experiences as teachers, their professional certification coursework, leadership approaches and the structural management of inclusion. Their insight can help one to think about inclusion as they do on a daily basis.
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2020
A Qualitative Analysis of Administrative Oversight of Inclusionary Environments in Secondary Classrooms
A Qualitative Analysis of Administrative Oversight of Inclusionary Environments in Secondary Classrooms
William Jordan
The position of principal has evolved into one with many responsibilities ranging from managerial to visionary leader. Federal legislation has placed an added layer of responsibility through the implementation of Public Law 94-142 which supported social justice refor...
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The position of principal has evolved into one with many responsibilities ranging from managerial to visionary leader. Federal legislation has placed an added layer of responsibility through the implementation of Public Law 94-142 which supported social justice reforms that were meant to include students with disabilities and provide an education for them alongside their non-disabled peers. The changes brought about by this legislation and its iterations, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and No Child Left Behind Act, have supported inclusionary actions taken by schools and placed importance on effectiveness of the programs used to educate all students. Despite more students with disabilities being included in general education classrooms, schools still struggle with supporting effective inclusionary programs. This study conducted an exploration of a principal’s decision making processes by gathering descriptions of their background experiences, leadership, and structural management of inclusionary environments. It offers insight into what inclusionary environments look like through the eyes of the principal. Research was conducted through a case study with three principals using phenomenological techniques. This study revealed four themes that provide a vibrant description of the inclusionary environments in these principal’s buildings. The principals interviewed in this study discussed their background experiences as teachers, their professional certification coursework, leadership approaches and the structural management of inclusion. Their insight can help one to think about inclusion as they do on a daily basis.
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2020
Preventing Abandonment of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices for Students with Autism: Parent Perspectives for Successful Implementation
Preventing Abandonment of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices for Students with Autism: Parent Perspectives for Successful Implementation
Sheri Lake
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the perspectives of parents of students with ASD who use high-tech AAC in educational settings. Although the use of AAC in school settings has been studied, research has not narrowed its scope to focus on children w...
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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the perspectives of parents of students with ASD who use high-tech AAC in educational settings. Although the use of AAC in school settings has been studied, research has not narrowed its scope to focus on children with ASD who use high-tech speech generating devices (SGDs) and receive special education services in school settings. By analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data, this study aims to create an initial framework for successful implementation of AAC for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A mixed methods design was chosen for this study. Parametric and nonparametric statistics were utilized to test the theory that ease of use, device usefulness, and ease of learning the AAC technology positively influence parent satisfaction. Transcripts from semi-structured interviews were manually coded to identify qualitative themes related to parent satisfaction with their children’s AAC devices. Three qualitative themes emerged: parents feel like they are not equal members of the IEP team, parents act as self-advocates, and parents have difficulty trusting the recommendations made by the school team. Quantitative data analyses revealed a strong positive correlation between ease of use and satisfaction, ease of learning and satisfaction, and usability and satisfaction. Triangulation of data through qualitative analysis confirm that satisfaction is related to ease of use, ease of learning, and usability of the high-tech AAC device. Future studies should investigate parent perspectives that lead to abandonment of speech generating devices in different regions of the United States and across underrepresented groups. In addition, preservice programs in special education and speech-language pathology should be studied in order to determine the extent to which students entering the field have been taught to engage in family-centered practice. Finally, future research should investigate strategies that lead to successful implementation of speech generating devices with children with ASD.
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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...
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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.
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2021
Perspectives of special education teachers on students with disabilities in an inclusive setting
Perspectives of special education teachers on students with disabilities in an inclusive setting
A comparative analysis
Ronald Steven Carlisle
In this study, the educational discussion focused on inclusion, methods for teaching in inclusive classrooms, and positive aspects of inclusion for academic growth. Also studied were the perspectives of special education teachers on students with disabilities in an i...
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In this study, the educational discussion focused on inclusion, methods for teaching in inclusive classrooms, and positive aspects of inclusion for academic growth. Also studied were the perspectives of special education teachers on students with disabilities in an inclusion setting. Inclusion in public school districts is a very debated and sensitive subject that has been controversial for many years. Inclusion denotes the education of students with disabilities and students that do not have disabilities in the same classroom setting. The data collected from this study was analyzed using measures of central tendency, specifically the mode and percentages and the chi-square test of independence. Data analysis was conducted to determine the perspectives of special education teachers on the controversy of inclusion practices for students with disabilities in two separate clusters, grades K-3 and 4-6, respectively. The qualitative analysis results revealed the presence of two main themes regarding teacher attitudes on inclusion: (a) Risks of inclusion are special education student lack of success, increased burden on teachers, and class disruptions; and (b) Inclusion can benefit all students. Results of the quantitative analysis revealed no statistically significant relationship between years spent in a special education environment and teacher inclusion attitudes. These results suggest that teachers’ views on inclusion are varied and are not significantly influenced by their years of experiences teaching in a special education environment. Recommendations for future research include changes to the study design and data collection techniques. Implications for positive social change include increased teacher confidence, diverse learning opportunities for all students, and the potential for a positive shift in societal beliefs about special education student capabilities and the benefits of inclusion.
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2021
Workload Manageability
Workload Manageability
Exploring the Perceptions of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists
Kerry McLaughlin Pringle
Legal reform measures and evidence-based referral processes significantly expanded speech-language pathologists’ scope of practice; however, contemporary research initiatives fail to directly address perceived challenges that arise as a result of workload inequities....
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Legal reform measures and evidence-based referral processes significantly expanded speech-language pathologists’ scope of practice; however, contemporary research initiatives fail to directly address perceived challenges that arise as a result of workload inequities. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative research study was to investigate speech-language pathologists’ perceptions of workload management within the public-school setting. The contents of this narrative systematically describe federal and state legislative actions pertaining to professional responsibilities and the conceptual frameworks that are often used to evaluate personal and job-related workload implications. A purposeful sampling approach allowed the co-investigator to assemble a team of eight school-based speech-language pathologists, currently employed in public-school districts located in Southwestern Pennsylvania, who met an explicit set of criteria relevant to the premise of the investigation. Participants were interviewed and data was analyzed utilizing descriptive coding followed by NVivo coding in order to identify major themes and patterns in regard to the following research questions: What workload responsibilities do school-based speech-language pathologists perceive as the most demanding? How do school-based speech-language pathologists describe the relationship between perceived workload demands and job performance? How do school-based speech-language pathologists view the impact of perceived workload demands on their body, mood, and/or behavior? Four major themes emerged from the data and indicate the following: SLPs have a clear understanding of the terms caseload and workload in regard to school-based speech and language support services; Workload obligations perceivably cause SLPs to encounter psychological and physical implications, including stress, anxiety, and frustration; Workload obligations perceivably impact SLPs’ ability to meaningfully provide therapeutic services; and the roles and responsibilities of school-based SLPs are perceivably misinterpreted and/or misunderstood by educational stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, and parents. Findings from this study may contribute to future professional development initiatives, caseload dissemination methods, and the growing body of literature related to the topic.
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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.
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2021
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 ...
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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.
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2021
Workload Manageability
Workload Manageability
Exploring the Perceptions of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists
Kerry McLaughlin Pringle
Legal reform measures and evidence-based referral processes significantly expanded speech-language pathologists’ scope of practice; however, contemporary research initiatives fail to directly address perceived challenges that arise as a result of workload inequities....
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Legal reform measures and evidence-based referral processes significantly expanded speech-language pathologists’ scope of practice; however, contemporary research initiatives fail to directly address perceived challenges that arise as a result of workload inequities. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative research study was to investigate speech-language pathologists’ perceptions of workload management within the public-school setting. The contents of this narrative systematically describe federal and state legislative actions pertaining to professional responsibilities and the conceptual frameworks that are often used to evaluate personal and job-related workload implications. A purposeful sampling approach allowed the co-investigator to assemble a team of eight school-based speech-language pathologists, currently employed in public-school districts located in Southwestern Pennsylvania, who met an explicit set of criteria relevant to the premise of the investigation. Participants were interviewed and data was analyzed utilizing descriptive coding followed by NVivo coding in order to identify major themes and patterns in regard to the following research questions: What workload responsibilities do school-based speech-language pathologists perceive as the most demanding? How do school-based speech-language pathologists describe the relationship between perceived workload demands and job performance? How do school-based speech-language pathologists view the impact of perceived workload demands on their body, mood, and/or behavior? Four major themes emerged from the data and indicate the following: SLPs have a clear understanding of the terms caseload and workload in regard to school-based speech and language support services; Workload obligations perceivably cause SLPs to encounter psychological and physical implications, including stress, anxiety, and frustration; Workload obligations perceivably impact SLPs’ ability to meaningfully provide therapeutic services; and the roles and responsibilities of school-based SLPs are perceivably misinterpreted and/or misunderstood by educational stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, and parents. Findings from this study may contribute to future professional development initiatives, caseload dissemination methods, and the growing body of literature related to the topic.
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2021
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...
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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.
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2021
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...
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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.
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2021