Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1997

Abstract

A descriptive study was conducted to identify authentic professional development needs of elementary teachers preparing, implementing, and maintaining inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classrooms in Northeast Tennessee. The purpose of this study was to contribute information of identified professional development needs of elementary teachers to current research on responsible inclusive education. Data were collected from 325 elementary teachers randomly assigned to the sample using a 65-item survey designed for this study. Three subsections of the survey, Assessing Professional Development Needs of Teachers Implementing Inclusion in Grades PreK-8, assessed the perceived needs of conditions, areas, and foundations of effective professional development by determining the discrepancies between observed and desired scales. Demographic factors included years of teaching experience, level of education, level of experience working with students with disabilities, current stage of involvement with an inclusive programs, and amount of formal or college course work in special education. The data were analyzed with an analysis of variance to determine significance between and within groups and a post hoc test determined specific significant groups. The factors that determined the most significance were level of experience working with students with disabilities and current stage of involvement with an inclusive program. Conclusions of the study reveal the need for professional development based on professional growth stages and relevant to present working conditions and events.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

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