Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

8-2011

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Pamela H. Scott

Committee Members

Virginia P. Foley, James H. Lampley, Cecil N. Blankenship

Abstract

This study examined general education teachers who have taught students with disabilities and their perceived knowledge of special education law, processes, and procedures. Results obtained from the study's 15 research questions were examined using independent samples t-tests and ANOVAs based on differences in teachers' gender, education level (Bachelor's Degree, Advanced Degree), current grade level teaching assignment (K-8, High School), years of experience (0-4, 5-9, 10-14, 15+), and current subject teaching assignment (Academic, Nonacademic).

Results show that across the 3 areas regardless of demographics only 1 of the 15 research questions had a statistically significant finding. No significant differences were found in teachers' knowledge of special education law or procedures. However, statistically significant findings occurred in their knowledge of processes based on grade level teaching assignment (t(156) = 4.16, p < .001,η2 = .06) where the mean for K-8 teachers (M = 4.36, SD = 0.90) was significantly higher than the mean for high school teachers (M = 3.85, SD = 1.01).

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 requires that every state have a process in place for locating, identifying, and evaluating all children who may be in need of special education and related services (Klor, 2007). This process is known as Child Find. General education teachers play an important role in locating eligible students. The majority of students with disabilities will likely be identified at a fairly young age. So, K-8 teachers should logically be more familiar with the process than high school teachers.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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