Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Teacher perceptions of response to intervention for English learners
by McCahill, Tiffany Patella, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2014, 246; 3647570
Abstract (Summary)

The current qualitative study focuses on how teachers perceive the Response to Intervention (RtI) framework for English learners, specifically assessments and the instructional decision-making process. RtI serves as a framework to help “close the gap” and create a more equitable environment for struggling English learners (Florida Department of Education, 2008). The current study explored elementary school general education teachers’ perceptions and understanding of the RtI process for English learners. Eight elementary general education teachers participated in two interview sessions each to address what general education teachers know about the RtI process for English learners, how teachers report their interpretation of policies and procedures with respect to instruction and assessment of English learners, how teachers feel about their understanding of RtI, and how teachers feel about their understanding of instruction and assessment for English learners.

Teacher participants shared their knowledge of the importance of progress monitoring and data collection during the RtI process. Participants reported that progress monitoring and data collection were used to inform instructional decisions for English learners. Participants also provided insight into a shift in teacher accountability related to data collection and progress monitoring.

Teacher participants addressed elements of the RtI process: three tiers of RtI, evidence-based interventions, data and data collection, and progress monitoring. Based on teacher responses, teachers monitor student progress, but find some elements of progress monitoring unclear. Participants expressed concern about measuring student progress and the means used to demonstrate growth and to compare struggling students to the performance of peers in the same grade level.

The RtI framework includes targeted interventions for struggling students, and participants perceive that RtI helps to identify students with disabilities earlier. Participants reported benefits and drawbacks related to RtI. The participants specifically focused on the collaborative problem solving team as a beneficial support system for teachers navigating the RtI process.

Teachers reported perceptions on language acquisition and learning disabilities, adjustment time for English learners, assessments for English learners, parental involvement and experiences, instruction for English learners, and professional development and support for the instruction of English learners.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Burnaford, Gail
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Curriculum, Culture and Educational Inquiry
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 76/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Education Policy, Elementary education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Education policy, English as a second language, REsponse to intervention, Special education, Teacher perceptions
Publication Number: 3647570
ISBN: 978-1-321-40407-4
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