University of Vermont

College of Education and Social Sciences

Doctoral Programs in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Kelly Ann Swindlehurst: Meeting the Needs of all Learners: The Impact of Teacher Education on Teacher Readiness (2014-02-20)

Swindlehurst, Kelly A. | Waterman 427A | 2014-02-20 | 2:15pm

Using a multiple case study, mixed-method approach, this study examined the differences between classroom teachers who earn a dual endorsement in general and special education and classroom teachers who earn only an elementary education teaching license.  Specifically, this research sought to understand how these two groups of preservice and current teachers understand their self-efficacy, beliefs about inclusion and abilities to meet the needs of all learners.  To do this, interviews and focus groups were conducted with both preservice and current teachers who were earning or who had earned a single license or dual endorsement.  University supervisors of both groups were also interviewed to provide additional perspectives on the pre-service experience. 

Results suggest that teachers who were earning or had earned a dual endorsement had a more comprehensive understanding of differentiation, inclusion, disability and how to respond to student behavior.  Those teachers also reported a higher degree of self-efficacy, ability to reflect and a greater willingness to problem solve.  Findings offer a number of implications for teacher education, including the need for more preparation around meeting the needs of all learners. 


Keywords: teacher education, special education, inclusion, self-efficacy


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