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Special Education Teacher Quality and Preparation: Constructing a New Model Paul T. Sindelar University of Florida.

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Presentation on theme: "Special Education Teacher Quality and Preparation: Constructing a New Model Paul T. Sindelar University of Florida."— Presentation transcript:

1 Special Education Teacher Quality and Preparation: Constructing a New Model Paul T. Sindelar University of Florida

2 Panelists Ben Lignugaris-Kraft, Special Education Department Chair Ben Lignugaris-Kraft, Special Education Department Chair Phoebe Gillespie, National Association of Directors of Special Education Phoebe Gillespie, National Association of Directors of Special Education John McDonnell, Associate Dean of Research John McDonnell, Associate Dean of Research

3 Today, special education teacher preparation has lost focus, and heterogeneity among programs is enormous (Goe, 2006). We believe the field is at a crisis point, a time when special education teaching needs to be redefined.

4 Policy Trends Practice Trends Researc h Trends Shifting views of teacher quality and preparation

5 Purpose Past Past Present Present Future Future

6 The Past The Development of Special Education Teacher Preparation based on The Development of Special Education Teacher Preparation based on Beliefs and assumptions Beliefs and assumptions Policy Policy Research Research

7 Three Major Eras Three Major Eras Categorical Categorical Non-Categorical Non-Categorical Integrated Integrated

8 Categorical Teacher Preparation Political Context Political Context P.L (1963) P.L (1963) data collection data collection state certifications state certifications P.L (1975) P.L (1975)

9 Categorical Teacher Preparation Research Behavioral approach a.Behavior modification b.Applied Behavior Analysis Remediation of underlying processing deficits a.Aptitude-by-Treatment Interaction (ATI) b.Diagnostic-prescriptive teaching

10 Categorical Teacher Preparation Assumptions about Teacher Quality Assumptions about Teacher Quality Directly related to emphasis on disability categories Directly related to emphasis on disability categories Supported by structure of preparation programs Supported by structure of preparation programs

11 Non-Categorical Teacher Preparation Political Context Political Context Researchers stressed the irrelevance of disability categories to instructionally relevant variables (Hallahan & Kauffman, 1977) Researchers stressed the irrelevance of disability categories to instructionally relevant variables (Hallahan & Kauffman, 1977) Ethical questions Ethical questions Non-categorical preparation began Non-categorical preparation began Teacher shortages Teacher shortages CEC adopted non-categorical standards CEC adopted non-categorical standards

12 Non-Categorical Teacher Preparation Research Research Behavioral research gains momentum in the 70s Behavioral research gains momentum in the 70s Data on student performance used to validate or invalidate an intervention rather than to prescribe the intervention, as in curriculum-based measurement (CBM) Data on student performance used to validate or invalidate an intervention rather than to prescribe the intervention, as in curriculum-based measurement (CBM) Direct Instruction (Engelmann & Carnine) Direct Instruction (Engelmann & Carnine) ✓ DISTAR ✓ Corrective Reading

13 Non-Categorical Teacher Preparation Assumptions about Teacher Quality Assumptions about Teacher Quality Process-product research Process-product research Competency-Based Teacher Education (CBTE) Competency-Based Teacher Education (CBTE)

14 Integrated Teacher Preparation Political Context Political Context Madeline Will’s (1996) call for inclusion Madeline Will’s (1996) call for inclusion Moral Imperatives Moral Imperatives

15 Integrated Teacher Preparation Research Research Questioned efficacy of special education Questioned efficacy of special education Argument becomes an ethical one Argument becomes an ethical one

16 Integrated Teacher Preparation Assumptions about Teacher Quality Assumptions about Teacher Quality rooted in the ideology undergirding inclusion rooted in the ideology undergirding inclusion influenced by constructivist notions of effective teaching influenced by constructivist notions of effective teaching

17 The Present Political Context Political Context NCLB NCLB IDEA IDEA Research on Teaching and Learning Research on Teaching and Learning Technological Innovations Technological Innovations Cognition and Brain Function Cognition and Brain Function Effective Teaching Effective Teaching

18 The Current Political Context NCLB NCLB High stakes assessments and accountability High stakes assessments and accountability Evidence-based practices Evidence-based practices Highly qualified teachers Highly qualified teachers IDEA IDEA Inclusion of SWDs in state assessments Inclusion of SWDs in state assessments Access to the general education curriculum Access to the general education curriculum Economic Downturn Economic Downturn

19 NCLB Assessment and Accountability Assessment and Accountability Outgrowth of concern about the academic performance of U. S. public school students Outgrowth of concern about the academic performance of U. S. public school students Schools are held accountable for the performance of their students on high stakes assessments Schools are held accountable for the performance of their students on high stakes assessments

20 NCLB Evidence-based Practices Evidence-based Practices Concern about the quality of educational research led to demands for increased methodological rigor Concern about the quality of educational research led to demands for increased methodological rigor With high quality research, evidence- based practices may be identified and disseminated With high quality research, evidence- based practices may be identified and disseminated

21 NCLB Highly Qualified Teachers Highly Qualified Teachers In large-scale analyses of student achievement, teacher effects among the most powerful In large-scale analyses of student achievement, teacher effects among the most powerful In those same studies, teacher preparation typically has very little predictive power In those same studies, teacher preparation typically has very little predictive power Thus, from a policy perspective, preparation has been considered relatively unimportant (compared to subject matter mastery) Thus, from a policy perspective, preparation has been considered relatively unimportant (compared to subject matter mastery) Yet teachers are expected to master sophisticated evidence-based practices Yet teachers are expected to master sophisticated evidence-based practices

22 IDEA Inclusion of SWDs in state assessments Inclusion of SWDs in state assessments Arose in response to concern about potential negative effects of excluding SWDs Arose in response to concern about potential negative effects of excluding SWDs Precipitated concern about poor performance of SWDs Precipitated concern about poor performance of SWDs

23 IDEA Access to the general education curriculum Access to the general education curriculum Increased demands on gen ed and special ed teachers Increased demands on gen ed and special ed teachers General Education: Adapting instruction to accommodate SWDs General Education: Adapting instruction to accommodate SWDs Special Education: Learning content specific pedagogy Special Education: Learning content specific pedagogy

24 Economic Downturn Schools are expected to provide induction and mentoring, and professional development Schools are expected to provide induction and mentoring, and professional development So that teachers implement EBP with fidelity So that teachers implement EBP with fidelity And SWDs improve performance on high stakes assessments And SWDs improve performance on high stakes assessments With diminishing resources and little political will for increasing support for public education With diminishing resources and little political will for increasing support for public education

25 Research on Teaching and Learning New Technology Applications New Technology Applications UDL UDL Speech-to-Print software Speech-to-Print software Digitized Text Digitized Text Cognition and Brain Functioning Cognition and Brain Functioning Brain function/Information Processing Capacity Brain function/Information Processing Capacity New age diagnostic-prescriptive research New age diagnostic-prescriptive research Direct instruction/cognitive strategy instruction adapted for the discipline in which they are applied Direct instruction/cognitive strategy instruction adapted for the discipline in which they are applied

26 Research on Teaching and Learning Teacher Effectiveness Teacher Effectiveness Knowledge of specific problems that SWDs may experience Knowledge of specific problems that SWDs may experience Domain expertise (knowledge of content and how to teach it) Domain expertise (knowledge of content and how to teach it) Technology applications Technology applications Knowledge of specific assessments and interventions Knowledge of specific assessments and interventions

27 Pressures on Special Education Teacher Preparation Public dissatisfaction with test performance Public dissatisfaction with test performance Federal policy requirements Federal policy requirements NCLB: HQT NCLB: HQT IDEA: Access to the general ed curriculum IDEA: Access to the general ed curriculum Research advances Research advances Variability in SE service provision Variability in SE service provision What will be the impetus and organizing construct for SE teacher education reform? What will be the impetus and organizing construct for SE teacher education reform?

28 Using an RTI Framework to Rethink Special Education Teacher Preparation

29 Why Use an RTI Framework? Provides a clearer role for special education teachers than was the case previously. Provides a clearer role for special education teachers than was the case previously. Role clarification allows for a clearer articulation of expertise needed for special education teaching. Role clarification allows for a clearer articulation of expertise needed for special education teaching.

30 Teachers’ Roles in a RTI Framework Tier I is the responsibility of classroom teachers who provide effective large group instruction. Tier I is the responsibility of classroom teachers who provide effective large group instruction. Tier II is the primary responsibility of classroom teachers but requires closer collaboration with special education teachers who help design small group instruction. Tier II is the primary responsibility of classroom teachers but requires closer collaboration with special education teachers who help design small group instruction. Tier III is the responsibility of special education teachers who provide specially designed instruction. Tier III is the responsibility of special education teachers who provide specially designed instruction.

31 What might this expertise look like? In primary grades, research on preventing and intervening in reading, writing, and math disabilities provide a framework for distinguishing the expertise of general and special educators. In primary grades, research on preventing and intervening in reading, writing, and math disabilities provide a framework for distinguishing the expertise of general and special educators.

32 What is the needed expertise? In the example of primary reading instruction, In the example of primary reading instruction, Tier 1: knowledge of the reading process, evidence-based practice, and understanding of students’ literacy challenges. Tier 1: knowledge of the reading process, evidence-based practice, and understanding of students’ literacy challenges. Tier 2: knowledge of collaboration, small group instruction, evidence-based interventions, and progress monitoring. Tier 2: knowledge of collaboration, small group instruction, evidence-based interventions, and progress monitoring. Tier 3: deeper knowledge of literacy and language development, intervention, disability, and diagnostic assessment. Tier 3: deeper knowledge of literacy and language development, intervention, disability, and diagnostic assessment.

33 Why is RTI different for upper elementary and beyond? Literacy and language demands of content area instruction Literacy and language demands of content area instruction Thus far, content area instruction has been unfriendly to students with disabilities Thus far, content area instruction has been unfriendly to students with disabilities Literacy struggles of students with disabilities combined with secondary content area demands could be addressed in a RTI framework Literacy struggles of students with disabilities combined with secondary content area demands could be addressed in a RTI framework

34 Potential Framework for RTI in the upper grades Content Area Literacy Curriculum one framework for conceptualizing tiered instruction and articulating needed professional expertise (Deshler & Ehren, 2009) Content Area Literacy Curriculum one framework for conceptualizing tiered instruction and articulating needed professional expertise (Deshler & Ehren, 2009)

35 Tiered Instruction in the CLC Tier 1: Whole class content area instruction that incorporates the principles of universal design Tier 1: Whole class content area instruction that incorporates the principles of universal design Tier 2: Small group instruction focused on cognitive strategies, reteaching key concepts, acquiring vocabulary, and progress monitoring Tier 2: Small group instruction focused on cognitive strategies, reteaching key concepts, acquiring vocabulary, and progress monitoring

36 Expertise Required for Each Tier Tier 1: Knowledge of content enhancement strategies, cognitive strategies, and principles of universal design to Tier 1: Knowledge of content enhancement strategies, cognitive strategies, and principles of universal design to teach key ideas and concepts as well as relationships between them. teach key ideas and concepts as well as relationships between them. improve students’ processing of information and generation of written text. improve students’ processing of information and generation of written text.

37 Expertise Required for Each Tier Tier 2: Collaborative skills, knowledge of instructional procedures, and knowledge of progress monitoring assessments for providing more intensive, responsive small group cognitive strategy instruction and instruction on selected concepts Tier 2: Collaborative skills, knowledge of instructional procedures, and knowledge of progress monitoring assessments for providing more intensive, responsive small group cognitive strategy instruction and instruction on selected concepts

38 Expertise Required for Each Tier Tier 3: Knowledge needed for providing ongoing, intensive cognitive strategy instruction, language intervention, and remediating basic skill deficits. Use of diagnostic assessment, progress monitoring, and assistive technology is prominent. Tier 3: Knowledge needed for providing ongoing, intensive cognitive strategy instruction, language intervention, and remediating basic skill deficits. Use of diagnostic assessment, progress monitoring, and assistive technology is prominent.

39 Recommendations Special education preparation must prepare teachers to have unique expertise that adds value to general education Special education preparation must prepare teachers to have unique expertise that adds value to general education Aligned with research on expert learners and teachers Aligned with research on expert learners and teachers Provide additional knowledge of evidence-based instruction and assessment for students with disabilities Provide additional knowledge of evidence-based instruction and assessment for students with disabilities

40 Recommendations Special education teachers first receive preparation in general education Special education teachers first receive preparation in general education Special education teachers would then be selected from the ranks of general education to receive additional preparation that enables them to engage in tiers 2 and 3 instruction Special education teachers would then be selected from the ranks of general education to receive additional preparation that enables them to engage in tiers 2 and 3 instruction

41 Challenges Annual teacher shortages since the EHA was passed that are severe Annual teacher shortages since the EHA was passed that are severe Licensing systems that promote generic expertise Licensing systems that promote generic expertise Quick routes to the classroom with little support for acquiring expertise in content pedagogy and special education pedagogy Quick routes to the classroom with little support for acquiring expertise in content pedagogy and special education pedagogy General education teachers who are unprepared to meet the needs of students with disabilities General education teachers who are unprepared to meet the needs of students with disabilities

42 Policy Strategies Inclusion of RTI in reauthorization of NCLB Inclusion of RTI in reauthorization of NCLB Changes in Higher Education Act that promote development of needed expertise among general educators Changes in Higher Education Act that promote development of needed expertise among general educators Licensure systems that promote a common vision of effective teaching and developmental perspective on teacher change (e.g. Rhode Island) Licensure systems that promote a common vision of effective teaching and developmental perspective on teacher change (e.g. Rhode Island) Career ladders to ensure that special educators are motivated to acquire needed expertise Career ladders to ensure that special educators are motivated to acquire needed expertise

43 Risk of not Changing Changes we are proposing are dramatic and difficult to attain; however, if we do not act... Changes we are proposing are dramatic and difficult to attain; however, if we do not act... students with disabilities will not be taught by teachers who can help them access the general education curriculum and make AYP students with disabilities will not be taught by teachers who can help them access the general education curriculum and make AYP And special education teachers may become unimportant in the RTI movement. And special education teachers may become unimportant in the RTI movement. Thus, viability of our profession rests on special education’s ability to be a key contributor to RTIE Thus, viability of our profession rests on special education’s ability to be a key contributor to RTIE


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