Search Results1 to 24 of 592
Special Educators' Perspectives and Experiences with Workplace Bullying
Special Educators' Perspectives and Experiences with Workplace Bullying
Kristin Pierson-Malenky
The purpose of this study was to determine K-12 special educators’ perceptions and experiences with workplace bullying. Specifically, this study focused on the experiences of educators in PSEA’s Midwestern Region. Their perceptions and experiences are presented seque...
Show more
The purpose of this study was to determine K-12 special educators’ perceptions and experiences with workplace bullying. Specifically, this study focused on the experiences of educators in PSEA’s Midwestern Region. Their perceptions and experiences are presented sequentially, through key cruces that evolved through the interview process. The participants in the study were five special educators, in various teaching positions, and at varying points in their careers. Each participant was interviewed for approximately 30 minutes via Zoom. This interview was a semi-structured format, discussing their experiences and perceptions of workplace bullying in their K-12 special education positions. The intention of this research was to gather perspectives of the participants about the growing phenomenon of workplace bullying, thus lending itself to a phenomenological research design. From each question in the interview the researcher extrapolated key cruces through multicyclic coding analysis. Creswell (2007) and Tracy (2013) suggest involving participants in the review process to ensure the accuracy and intentions of their interview responses. Therefore, following the interviews, each participant received an electronic copy of the transcribed interview and reviewed it for precision. This goal of this study is for participants’ voices to uncover potential connections or truths to help understand the phenomenon of workplace bullying. These findings may transfer to other occupations or fields also struggling with workplace bullying. The population sample is unique to my personal experience, but the overarching goal spreads further than K-12 special education departments. The combination of cruces revealed in Chapter IV, can be grouped into four key areas for the purpose of further discussion. These provide a solid foundation for understanding the participants responses concerning their experience and perceptions on workplace bullying. The four key areas are workplace environment and administrative applications, similarities and differences between special educators and general educators, experiences with workplace bullying and social structures in the workplace, and personal reflections participants wished to share. This study concludes that workplace bullying is occurring in all five participants districts in various formats. The participants are calling for administration to assist in creating a safe, productive, and positive work environment for all building members.
Show less
2023
Exploring General Education Teachers' Perceptions of Children with Disabilities in General Education
Exploring General Education Teachers' Perceptions of Children with Disabilities in General Education
Erika Komp
This research proposal aims to explore the perceptions of general education teachers towards children with disabilities who are integrated into general education classrooms. This qualitative study seeks to gain insights into how these teachers perceive the abilities ...
Show more
This research proposal aims to explore the perceptions of general education teachers towards children with disabilities who are integrated into general education classrooms. This qualitative study seeks to gain insights into how these teachers perceive the abilities and challenges of these children and how they believe they can best support them in their learning. The research will survey responses with a sample of general education teachers to collect data on their experiences and perspectives. The findings of this study could contribute to a better understanding of the attitudes and beliefs that inform teachers' practice towards children with disabilities in general education and inform the development of strategies to enhance inclusive education for all students.
Show less
2023
Sexual Offenders in Western Pennsylvania
Sexual Offenders in Western Pennsylvania
An Analysis of Megan's Law Registrants
Elizabeth Kuhn
In the United States, the implementation of sex offender legislation, such as the passing of the Jacob Wetterling Act in 1994, was initiated to improve the response to the increasing perception of public safety concerns that individuals convicted of sexual offenses p...
Show more
In the United States, the implementation of sex offender legislation, such as the passing of the Jacob Wetterling Act in 1994, was initiated to improve the response to the increasing perception of public safety concerns that individuals convicted of sexual offenses posed to community members. However, despite the enactment of such policies, debates regarding the effectiveness of sex offender registration and notification (SORN) requirements continue, with critics arguing that policies are founded on conclusions gained from research that overlooks a portion of the sex-offending population: females who sexually offend. Therefore, the objective of this paper was to explore the prevalence and nature of female sex offending in Allegheny County. Results demonstrated that female sex offenders accounted for 2.8% of the total convicted sexual offender population in Allegheny. Additionally, females were primarily White and, on average, younger than male offenders. A significant proportion of females (82.1%) had a minor victim, and the study's findings also determined that lifetime registry was the highest occurring tier classification for both males and females. Types of primary offenses that females were convicted of included charges such as sex trafficking (7.7%) and indecent assault (30.8%), with indecent assault also as the most frequent sub-offense conviction (12.8%). Lastly, results exhibited that male (M = 7.46, SD = 3.221) and female (M = 6.46, SD = 2.602) sex offenders in Allegheny County did not have significantly different offense gravity scores.
Show less
2023
Why Parents Choose or do not Choose Cyberschools for their Children
Why Parents Choose or do not Choose Cyberschools for their Children
David Furka
Parents and guardians have many options regarding the type of educational institution that their child can attend. The two most common options for school-aged children are a traditional brick-and-mortar school or a cyberschool. Since children come from diverse backgr...
Show more
Parents and guardians have many options regarding the type of educational institution that their child can attend. The two most common options for school-aged children are a traditional brick-and-mortar school or a cyberschool. Since children come from diverse backgrounds, have individual needs, and learn differently, it is important for children and their parents and guardians to understand what each type of school has to offer so they can make an informed decision. This study aimed to understand the specific reasons why parents and guardians choose cyberschools for their children. Ten participants were asked to complete a survey and answer open-ended interview questions; answers were analyzed using Weiss’s 4 I’s framework to determine key factors of school choice. Furthermore, participant responses and collected enrollment data were analyzed to determine student enrollment trends over the past five years at six cyberschools in Pennsylvania. The findings of this study indicated that there are specific, but different, characteristics that both cyberschools and brick-and-mortar schools possess that influence parents and guardians choices regarding educational institutions. Based on this study some parents and guardians prefer the safety and teacher communication that cyberschools offer, and some parents and guardians prefer the extracurricular activities that brick-and-mortar schools offer. Additionally, this study analyzes if the Covid-19 pandemic persuaded parents and guardians to choose one type of school over the other. The data collected from this study can help parents and guardians make informed decisions, based on their children’s needs, to which type of schooling would be most beneficial to them. Additionally, data can help school administrators make changes within their school to help maintain or increase student enrollment by meeting a larger range of student needs.
Show less
2023
Language Discordance in Music Therapy
Language Discordance in Music Therapy
Therapists’ Experiences of Delivering Music Therapy Services with Interpreters
Victoria Obermeier
The following thesis is a culmination of an interpretative phenomenological analysis research study seeking to understand music therapists’ experiences of delivering music therapy services with a language interpreter. The purpose of this study has four main tenets: 1...
Show more
The following thesis is a culmination of an interpretative phenomenological analysis research study seeking to understand music therapists’ experiences of delivering music therapy services with a language interpreter. The purpose of this study has four main tenets: 1) To understand the therapists’ experiences of delivering music therapy services with interpreters, 2) To fill the gap in the music therapy literature on working with interpreters, 3) To serve as a resource for music therapists delivering music therapy services with interpreters, and 4) To combat the systemic issues of access and equity within the music therapy field. Data was collected through one-on-one semi-structured interviews with 5 music therapists. Data was then transcribed, coded, and thematized, resulting in 40 themes and seven domains: 1) Ways of working with interpreters, 2) Benefits of working with interpreters, 3) Drawbacks of working with interpreters, 4) Music therapists’ feelings when working with interpreters, 5) Potential reasons for not working with interpreters, 6) Dangers of not working with interpreters, and 7) Considerations for music therapists working with interpreters. The findings indicate areas of growth and the need for increased education for music therapists when working with interpreters. Music therapists are also challenged to confront their own privileged stances on the issues of language and linguistic privilege within the U.S., as related to working with patients with limited English proficiency and from historically marginalized communities within music therapy.
Show less
2023
Perceived Levels of Burnout in Public School SLPs
Perceived Levels of Burnout in Public School SLPs
Christy Olexa DeCarlo
School-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) experience high caseloads and increasing demands on their time. Simultaneously, levels of burnout are increasing across many fields, including education. As burnout rates are increasing, so are the numbers of workers l...
Show more
School-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) experience high caseloads and increasing demands on their time. Simultaneously, levels of burnout are increasing across many fields, including education. As burnout rates are increasing, so are the numbers of workers leaving specific fields. As of now, there are no studies that explore the level of burnout that school SLPs are facing. Therefore, the aim of this study was do determine these levels, identify the factors contributing to these feelings, and how they impact the potential for SLPs to leave the field. A qualitative study was completed via surveys sent to eligible school-based SLPs. The SLPs were asked to complete an open-ended survey, which would provide a snapshot of the lived experiences of the participants. The results showed that the SLPs that participated are experiencing similar situations, with similar constraints put on their time during work hours. All of the participants report experiencing at least one symptom of burnout, with many experiencing these feelings multiple times per week. The SLPs identified similar factors contributing to their feelings, as well as specific ways administrators could work to fix these problems. The results showed that, while SLPs are experiencing burnout, most are unlikely to leave the school-based sector at this time.
Show less
2023
 School psychologists' perspectives
School psychologists' perspectives
a qualitative analysis of disability labeling and implications
Danielle Smyre
Factors beyond legal regulations, ethical practice, and training influence the identification process conducted by school psychologists when labeling a child with a disability. Research has not sought to go to the source and directly question the process of identific...
Show more
Factors beyond legal regulations, ethical practice, and training influence the identification process conducted by school psychologists when labeling a child with a disability. Research has not sought to go to the source and directly question the process of identification from the perspective of school psychologists. This niche in the field of school psychology practice plays a larger role within special education, beckoning for an increased understanding of the cognitive dissonance and resolution processes experienced by school psychologists when labeling a child. Using a qualitative inquiry within a grounded theory, phenomenological framework, ten school psychologists from Berks County, Pennsylvania were interviewed. Interview transcript analysis was completed using manual, blending thematic coding, including inductive and deductive approaches. The research reveals insight into school psychologists’ thoughts, feelings, and perspectives of assigning a disability label to a child; salient factors influencing school psychologist disability labeling; and the cognitive dissonance and resolution processes experienced by school psychologists when assigning disability labels. Results indicate the presence of a vast array of thoughts and feelings experienced by school psychologists during the process of disability labeling. Salient factors during school psychologist decision-making to inform disability labeling, beyond federal and state identification criteria, are examined. Extending the present field of research, cognitive dissonance during decision-making and disability labeling was identified, with reflections upon the broader implications across special education considered. In totality, school psychologists feel the very real pressure to navigate the myriad of internal experiences and external factors to help students through disability identification and labeling.
Show less
2023
 Effectiveness of inclusion in K-12 schools on students' academic performance
Effectiveness of inclusion in K-12 schools on students' academic performance
a qualitative study
Angela Confair
Students with disabilities are entitled to free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. With this mandate inclusionary practices are expected to be implemented into school districts nationwide. Inclusion is defined in many ways making it di...
Show more
Students with disabilities are entitled to free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. With this mandate inclusionary practices are expected to be implemented into school districts nationwide. Inclusion is defined in many ways making it difficult for educators to effectively educated diverse students. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study sought to understand how inclusion impacts the learning of all students. Twelve participants were used in this study that included general education teachers, special education teachers, and administrators. Semi-structured interviews were conducted which each participant. The results of this study conclude that many educators feel unprepared to educate diverse classrooms and uneducated on special education regulations. A recommendation for future research is to evaluate the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs. Finally, there is a need for more professional development and training in the area of special education for educators.
Show less
2023
The Importance of Employability Skills for Students with Disabilities
The Importance of Employability Skills for Students with Disabilities
A Comparison of Employer and Educator Perspectives
Karen Eppley
A misalignment exists between instruction provided in schools for students with disabilities preparing for employment and the employers’ expectations for entry-level employees. Task-related social behaviors are one set of necessary skills individuals with and without...
Show more
A misalignment exists between instruction provided in schools for students with disabilities preparing for employment and the employers’ expectations for entry-level employees. Task-related social behaviors are one set of necessary skills individuals with and without disabilities need to maintain employment. This study compared descriptions of task-related social behaviors provided by employers’ and educators’ through an online survey. Additionally, employers’ and educators’ importance ratings for the same task-related social behaviors were analyzed. Results show employers and educators agree on descriptions and importance ratings for some of the task-related social behaviors included in this study and have differing opinions for others. An employee that can exhibit appropriate task-related social behaviors will strengthen coworker relationships, demonstrate personal growth, and add to business success. Results of this study may provide a starting point for restructuring secondary transition programming for students with disabilities to include more direct instruction of necessary social skills during work-based learning experiences.
Show less
2023
A qualitative research study on the impact of administrative support and access to culturally responsive tools among teachers serving at-risk populations
A qualitative research study on the impact of administrative support and access to culturally responsive tools among teachers serving at-risk populations
M. Glynnes Smith
This qualitative research study analyzed open-ended survey responses from teachers and administrators regarding perceptions of the support administrators provide for culturally responsive practices and addressing the needs of at-risk and underserved populations. For ...
Show more
This qualitative research study analyzed open-ended survey responses from teachers and administrators regarding perceptions of the support administrators provide for culturally responsive practices and addressing the needs of at-risk and underserved populations. For purposes of this research study, the teacher group included educators who have an impact on the day-to-day functions within the classroom environment: paraprofessionals, assistants, and related service providers. Building-level principals, assistant principals, and central office administration including superintendent, assistant superintendent, curriculum supervisor, and special education supervisor(s) were included in the administrator group. Responses from both groups were reviewed separately and comparatively to determine whether there were similarities and differences between teachers’ perceptions of the supports provided by administrators and administrators’ perceptions of the supports they provide. Qualitative data were reviewed and evaluated to provide an analysis aligned with the study’s research questions. Participants were from a diverse group of professionals across Pennsylvania. Survey responses maintained full confidentiality of the participants for protection from any potential negative consequences or outcomes from their participation in the research project. A comprehensive review of the literature was completed to provide comparative data to complement the study results and analysis of individual survey responses. The overall outcome of the study is dependent on and limited based on the participant sample size and diversity of the participant environments. Keywords: administrator, confidential, correlation, culturally responsive, diversity, hand-coding, survey-based perception, participant, professional development, qualitative research study, retention, support, systematic inequalities, teacher
Show less
2023
Potentials and Barriers to Culturally Responsive Music Therapy Education
Potentials and Barriers to Culturally Responsive Music Therapy Education
Perspectives of Music Therapy Educators
Candice Bain
Abstract This qualitative focus group study explored perceptions of potentials and barriers to cultural responsiveness in music therapy education. Music therapy literature calls for an increase in culturally informed music therapy practice. However, despite cultural ...
Show more
Abstract This qualitative focus group study explored perceptions of potentials and barriers to cultural responsiveness in music therapy education. Music therapy literature calls for an increase in culturally informed music therapy practice. However, despite cultural considerations present in music therapy professional competencies, there are no standards for culturally responsive pedagogical practices. Simultaneously, there has been an acknowledgment in the music therapy literature of challenges to culturally responsive practices, such as the homogeneous, privileged identities dominant in music therapy's professional demographics, compounded by the privileging of Western classical music in music therapy education. In this exploratory study, an online focus group discussion was facilitated with seven music therapy educators to explore their perspectives on the definition of culturally responsive education, their reflective evaluations of their pedagogical practices, their perspectives on how standards of music therapy education inform and/or hinder the ability to foster cultural responsiveness, and their respective outlooks on how potentials and barriers to cultural responsiveness are impacting education, research, theory, and practice. Results demonstrated that educators who value cultural responsiveness believe it is being overlooked in the field of music therapy. Six themes with 34 sub-themes were found: defining cultural responsiveness (stances of humility, self-awareness, continual and constant attention, knowledge of systems of power, self-critique, process, accountability, skills), relevance to clinical practice (ethical responsibility, effect on the therapeutic relationship, effective versus ineffective practice), approaches in education (dedicated course work, infused throughout the program, gradually increasing depth, beyond the classroom, from the beginning, dialogical over technical, experiential learning), preparedness (personal/professional growth practice, training for supervisors and faculty, staying informed), institutional attitudes (the need for changing attitudes, the field is improving, superficiality, the burden on marginalized faculty, commitment to social justice, support from administration), and barriers (Eurocentricity, lack of diversity, AMTA, jam-packed program, no specific training, the need for research). These findings offer recommendations for how the field of music therapy approaches cultural responsiveness in our training programs.
Show less
2023
Queer Clients' Experiences of Harm in Therapy
Queer Clients' Experiences of Harm in Therapy
Jess Neumann
This thesis aimed to explore how queer clients experience harm in music therapy and how that harm impacted the therapeutic relationship and process. Upon completing an initial interest and demographic survey, four participants were selected to participate in semi-str...
Show more
This thesis aimed to explore how queer clients experience harm in music therapy and how that harm impacted the therapeutic relationship and process. Upon completing an initial interest and demographic survey, four participants were selected to participate in semi-structured Zoom interviews. Interviews were transcribed and coded, resulting in seven themes: 1) therapist responses, 2) client responses, 3) qualities of the therapeutic relationship, 4) client perceptions of therapist, 5) impact on client and the therapeutic process, 6) barriers to accessing therapy, and 7) what builds safety and trust. Findings are discussed in relation to the research questions, and implications for clinical practice and suggestions for future research are also provided.
Show less
2023
Imagining a post–intentional phenomenology of cisnormativity
Imagining a post–intentional phenomenology of cisnormativity
a philosophical inquiry
Braedyn Inmon
My original plan for this thesis project was to conduct a phenomenological study that focuses on how cisnormativity influences and emerges through a clinician’s development of micro-skills, especially those who are transgender, Two Spirit, and Intersex or otherwise n...
Show more
My original plan for this thesis project was to conduct a phenomenological study that focuses on how cisnormativity influences and emerges through a clinician’s development of micro-skills, especially those who are transgender, Two Spirit, and Intersex or otherwise non-conforming to the colonial gender paradigm (TTSI+) (Lugones, 2007). However, I struggled to find any phenomenological or clinical consideration of cisnormativity as a phenomenon, and it is rarely articulated as a system immersed in white supremacist bio-essentialism. So, this thesis is a philosophical inquiry that is grounded in Vagle’s post-intentional phenomenological (PIP) paradigm (2018). This inquiry details: 1) how the PIP paradigm may nurture more nuanced investigation of bio-essentialist systems of oppression, 2) how critical phenomenological and post-structural concepts in may be utilized to attend to cisnormativity as a phenomenon that is a part of the imperialist white supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy (hooks, 1997; Yancy & hooks, 2015), 3) the productions and provocations of cisnormativity that emerged through my research process, 4) how these findings connect to current music therapy and related care work literature, and 5) what research project ideas have emerged for future study. Overall, I assert cisnormativity affects everyone, not just TTSI+ people. It is urgently important to slow down and open up to ways cisheteropatriarchy emerges through our habits, through text, and through theoretical frameworks, and to ways we may retroactively and proactively shift these dynamics. I hope my work enables all to nurture their reflexivity and resistance to bio-essentialist oppression through attending to relationships and holding consideration for the more-than-visual.
Show less
2023
The effects of an interactive online learning platform on second-grade students' mathematics performance
The effects of an interactive online learning platform on second-grade students' mathematics performance
Alyssa Swartzfager
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to surface, educational deficits are the main concern for many educators across the United States. Research has spelled out various effects the global pandemic and remote learning has had on families, especially childr...
Show more
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to surface, educational deficits are the main concern for many educators across the United States. Research has spelled out various effects the global pandemic and remote learning has had on families, especially children and their academic progress. Regardless of the cause, educators are planning their approach on how to fill the educational gaps presented to them to ensure all students achieve academic success. While utilizing a single subject criterion changing quantitative methodology, the purpose of this study was to identify whether IXL Learning was a successful intervention for second-grade students demonstrating a need for remediation of place value skills, as measured by researcher-created, curriculum-based weekly assessments. Data shows a slight increase in weekly researcher-created, curriculum-based assessments centering around place value skills, a large number of exposed place value questions for each student, and a slight increase in place value scores. However, a general pattern of criterion shifting was not found while utilizing IXL Learning as an interventional practice. It is recommended that a blended educational approach with various components be utilized for instructing place value concepts at the second-grade level.
Show less
2023
The effects of music therapy on social skills in individuals with autism
The effects of music therapy on social skills in individuals with autism
a meta-analysis
Hannah Rux
Over the past decades, the rate of autism has increased around the world (Ghasemtabar et al., 2015). A prolonged impairment in social skills and communication is a key feature of autism. According to Vaiouli and Schertz (2012) joint attention is an important developm...
Show more
Over the past decades, the rate of autism has increased around the world (Ghasemtabar et al., 2015). A prolonged impairment in social skills and communication is a key feature of autism. According to Vaiouli and Schertz (2012) joint attention is an important developmental milestone for developing higher levels of social engagement. The delay or absence of joint attention is typically seen in individuals with autism (Vaiouli & Schertz, 2012). Given that there is no known treatment or cure for autism, the focus in supporting individuals with autism is aimed toward implementing an intervention strategy that targets the symptoms of autism (Yum et al., 2020). The current investigation conducted a meta-analysis on the effects of music therapy on social skills in individuals with autism. The analysis for this study was based on data from four research studies providing 20 effect size estimates. The sample within the four studies included data from 117 participants. The sample size for the effect size analysis was based on a sample size of n = 596. The four articles included in this meta-analysis produced an overall large positive significant effect size of d = 0.572 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.37 to 0.78. The mean effect size suggests a large significant effect from music therapy across all studies. All studies included in this current investigation published and reported overall positive results. The Q-statistic tests revealed significant heterogeneity across all studies, with variability across the mean effect size estimates, ranging from d = - 0.14 to d = 1.28. Since the effect size estimates were all positive for the published studies, it is likely that publication bias existed in the studies used in this meta-analysis. According to Walker et al. (2008) high levels of heterogeneity can compromise the conclusion of a meta-analysis, therefore future research is also needed to help decrease the level of heterogeneity across studies.
Show less
2023
A correlational study
A correlational study
Kindergarten readiness and third grade state assessment scores within Title I and non-Title I schools
Danelle Locke
2023
Group Music Therapy for LGBTQIA+ Parents Experiencing Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
Group Music Therapy for LGBTQIA+ Parents Experiencing Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
A mixed methods study
Maryrose Nieman Nelson
A mixed methods research study involving an eight-week music therapy group was facilitated virtually for LGBTQIA+ parents experiencing postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was administered upon first session and last session...
Show more
A mixed methods research study involving an eight-week music therapy group was facilitated virtually for LGBTQIA+ parents experiencing postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was administered upon first session and last session to capture potential impact of music therapy group on mental health over time. The Brief Mood Introspection Scale was administered at the beginning and end of each session to capture short term impact of group music therapy. A semi-structured focus group was facilitated to capture experiences of and feedback from participants, and interviews were scheduled with participants who did not attend the focus group. Interviews and the focus group were transcribed and analyzed and six themes were identified: community and solidarity built around shared experiences, music within and beyond the group, expansiveness and generativity in parenthood, response to experience, attendance and timing challenges, and accessibility. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale did not show statistically significant changes in mood over the course of the eight-week group but was limited by sample size and an outlier score. The Brief Mood Introspection Scale showed more significant trends in increased pleasant mood, decreased stress, and increased positivity after the session. When LGBTQIA+ parents were able to attend the session, they reported meaningful impacts despite attendance challenges. Findings may be useful in developing music therapy practice and research.
Show less
2023
 The untapped superpower of comics
The untapped superpower of comics
the positive effects of a comic reading curriculum in a special education classroom
Peter Nolan
The purpose of this mixed methods action research case study was to determine if the use of a researcher-created comic reading curriculum would improve students’ knowledge of Tier Two academic vocabulary, increase oral reading fluency rates, and lead to increased lev...
Show more
The purpose of this mixed methods action research case study was to determine if the use of a researcher-created comic reading curriculum would improve students’ knowledge of Tier Two academic vocabulary, increase oral reading fluency rates, and lead to increased levels of student engagement in a pull-out special education classroom. A multiple-choice vocabulary pretest was administered at the start of the study, followed by a nine-week intervention period in which students were instructed with a researcher designed comic curriculum. The vocabulary test was administered again at the conclusion of the study. A running record was used as the assessment to determine student reading fluency growth. The data (scores) collected from the running record examined any effects in student oral reading fluency from the first day of research to the ninth week of research. The researcher, acting as a participant observer, took daily notes in a field log with attention to behaviors of student engagement. The four student participants were selected by the researcher. The researcher taught for nine weeks, thirty minutes a day. The data from the pre and posttest was analyzed using a paired sample t-test to determine if the scores of participants showed a significant improvement. The data collected from the running records of reading rates for each student were analyzed using linear regression analysis to determine if improved reading rates were statistically significant. Observational data was entered into Dedoose qualitative data analysis software and analyzed using a Grounded Theory (Glaser et. al. 1968) approach in which new theories emerged through a deductive process. The results of the t-test showed that all students made significant improvements in knowledge of the targeted Tier Two vocabulary. Analysis of running records showed that only one student had a significant increase in their rate of oral reading fluency. All students exhibited increased behaviors of engagement as demonstrated by their abilities to complete three tasks in a session and to contribute to a positive learning environment. The results imply that practitioners could use a comic curriculum with similar components to achieve positive academic outcomes for students receiving special education support. Future research of a similar curriculum might focus on its potential uses for English Language Learners.
Show less
2022
 Teacher preparedness for educating students with emotional disturbances within the inclusive setting
Teacher preparedness for educating students with emotional disturbances within the inclusive setting
Susan Stegman
Approximately fourteen percent or 6.7 million school age children in the United States have a disability. Of those fourteen percent of students, it is estimated that 335,000 or five percent of those students qualify under the criteria of emotional disturbance (Nation...
Show more
Approximately fourteen percent or 6.7 million school age children in the United States have a disability. Of those fourteen percent of students, it is estimated that 335,000 or five percent of those students qualify under the criteria of emotional disturbance (National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2020). Many of these students are included with general education peers and taught by general education teachers. While the teachers strive to implement supports and services to provide an equitable education, it appears that teachers do not enter the field with foundational knowledge or practice. Research has focused on pre-service teacher programs as well as preparedness of teachers to work with students of specific disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder and students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Other research has focused on teacher's literacy in the field of mental health and awareness around mental health needs of students. This study aims to bridge the gap between these areas of research. The study design utilized an interview of twelve current general education teachers to gain information regarding teacher’s pre-service training and experience in supporting students with emotional disturbance within the inclusive setting. Information gained from this study can inform future programming for general educators to best support students with emotional disturbance in the inclusive setting.
Show less
2022
 Transition experiences of college students with disabilities between high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education and its correlation with student self-determination, college readiness, and registration for disability services during
Transition experiences of college students with disabilities between high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education and its correlation with student self-determination, college readiness, and registration for disability services during the freshman year of college
Melinda Phillips
Students with disabilities who do not receive effective transition planning during their high school years may lack self-determination skills and be ill equipped to advocate or conjure up the skills necessary to independently self-disclose for the receipt of accommod...
Show more
Students with disabilities who do not receive effective transition planning during their high school years may lack self-determination skills and be ill equipped to advocate or conjure up the skills necessary to independently self-disclose for the receipt of accommodative support services at the post-secondary level. This study sought to identify the relationship between these variables.
Show less
2022
 Teachers' perceptions of successfully sustained PBIS programs
Teachers' perceptions of successfully sustained PBIS programs
Nathan Pfeiffer
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a system of support that includes proactive interventions for defining, teaching, and supporting student behaviors to ensure a positive school atmosphere. PBIS programs are being implemented more and more and t...
Show more
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a system of support that includes proactive interventions for defining, teaching, and supporting student behaviors to ensure a positive school atmosphere. PBIS programs are being implemented more and more and there is a large amount of research and literature about best practices when implementing these programs, but not as much on sustaining these programs. The purpose of this mixed methods study is to look at successfully sustained PBIS programs and to find commonalities from teacher perspectives on these programs. Finding these common trends will help other schools and districts being able to maintain their PBIS program after implementation. The data for this study was collected through teacher responses to open-ended questions on PBIS programs and ratings based on Likert-type questions on the importance and effectiveness of key PBIS program components. The school used for this study had been identified by the state of Pennsylvania as having sustained fidelity with their PBIS program. Themes that emerged from this research were the importance of adapting programs, staff buy-in, the use of data, teacher training and professional development, administrative support, and the token economy. These findings show the need to continually make changes to programs over time, the proper use of data, continued professional development, and the importance of funding to sustain PBIS programs.
Show less
2022
 Trauma-informed care
Trauma-informed care
exploring the perceptions of secondary general education teachers
Nicole Burson-Belcher
Trauma exposure during adolescence is common and has dramatically increased nationally. Trauma exposure is associated with emotional, mental, and behavioral problems, such as, depression, anxiety, delinquency, substance abuse, suicidality, and posttraumatic stress di...
Show more
Trauma exposure during adolescence is common and has dramatically increased nationally. Trauma exposure is associated with emotional, mental, and behavioral problems, such as, depression, anxiety, delinquency, substance abuse, suicidality, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Darnell et al., 2019). While new legislation, programs, and school leadership have sought to address these problems, no significant changes have been documented. At the forefront, teachers witness students’ mental health needs, in conjunction with declining academic performance, behavior, socialization, and emotional state. Further studies must be conducted to gain the teachers’ perspective on trauma-informed care (TIC) in order to provide critical information to educational leadership and policymakers in hopes of solving or at least reducing these problems. Such information was gathered in this phenomenological research study, where interviews were conducted with five secondary general education teachers within public school systems in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Data was collected by asking the participants open-ended questions about their perceptions of trauma-informed care and students with a trauma background. The research questions focused on teacher’s knowledge of TIC, school policies on TIC, the vital components, and critical issues of providing TIC to students, the importance of addressing trauma-based mental health needs, and ways districts can provide more support for teachers. Next, the data, via transcribed interviews, was hand coded to ensure a rich and in-depth description is obtained through analyzing data for nuance and phraseology. Using the hand coding through the iterative approach, the investigator explored the major themes and subthemes within the data by analyzing the frequency of the word or phrases used most often, comparing participant responses, while using guiding theories and research questions. Based upon the results of this study, the following respective themes emerged: secondary general education teachers’ understanding of trauma-informed care is varied; communication, differentiation, and flexibility are current supports implemented to address students’ with a trauma background; overall professional development related to trauma-informed care is lacking; and barriers to addressing and supporting students exposed trauma are lack of professional development, training, confidentiality, retraumatization, and lack of communication. Ultimately, these research findings may enhance forthcoming professional development, trainings, best practices, and established literature pertaining to trauma-informed care.
Show less
2022
 Special education teacher job satisfaction
Special education teacher job satisfaction
what can we learn from positive organizational scholarship and satisfied special educators
Kerra Holden
Special Education Teacher (SET) job satisfaction and workplace commitment have long remained an elusive goal for many school communities and administrators. Workplace stress and burnout have burdened the role since its inception in 1975, leading to significantly more...
Show more
Special Education Teacher (SET) job satisfaction and workplace commitment have long remained an elusive goal for many school communities and administrators. Workplace stress and burnout have burdened the role since its inception in 1975, leading to significantly more turnover than in other teaching roles and, more generally, other fields. This turnover, and various efforts to fill SET roles with unqualified educators, negatively affect the learning and school success of over one million students with disabilities each year. This study sought to learn from the small percentage of individuals who choose to stay in the Special Education Teacher role for more than 10 years and report high job satisfaction as well as a sense of thriving at work. Utilizing a qualitative research approach, as well as positive deviance lens, this study sought to understand what school leaders may learn from highly satisfied SETs and which leadership practices and strategies may encourage SET job satisfaction. Furthermore, potential intersections between SET job satisfaction and positive organizational scholarship were examined, to best understand how the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) may, if at all, inform the role of special education administrator. The findings of this study extend beyond the intersection of POS and SET job satisfaction and suggest the addition Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives into current conceptualizations of SET job satisfaction and retention.
Show less
2022
 Special education teacher and administrator perception of the teacher evaluation process in western Pennsylvania
Special education teacher and administrator perception of the teacher evaluation process in western Pennsylvania
Amanda White
Teacher evaluations have long been used to increase teacher effectiveness and accountability in public schools. According to the literature, special education teachers have varied roles and responsibilities, the most crucial being improving the post-secondary outcome...
Show more
Teacher evaluations have long been used to increase teacher effectiveness and accountability in public schools. According to the literature, special education teachers have varied roles and responsibilities, the most crucial being improving the post-secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. With the number of students identified with disabilities increasing each year, it is more important than ever to develop the skills of marginal teachers and further develop those who are already proficient. This qualitative study investigates the perceptions of special education teachers and administrators in Western Pennsylvania regarding the evaluation process used by public school districts. Survey data were collected from five special education teachers and five administrators representing five different school districts in Western Pennsylvania. Data tools included the Teacher Evaluation Profile for Teachers and Administrators, followed by individual interviews via Zoom. The Teacher Evaluation Profile had Likert-type questions and open-ended responses. The Likert-type questions, open-ended responses, and subsequent interviews allowed special education teachers and administrators to reflect on their perception of the evaluation process in their district. This study demonstrated that special education teachers are more frustrated with the evaluation process. However, the administrators were reasonably satisfied with the process. They found that using Differentiated Supervision allowed special education teachers to take a more active role in their evaluation and subsequent professional development decisions. This study resulted in findings that support the need for additional professional development for teachers and administrators in evidence-based practices in special education classrooms and a more significant presence in the special education classroom by administrators.
Show less
2022