Currently, students with significant cognitive disabilities (SCD) are predominately exposed to a functional curriculum commonly delivered through behaviorists’ methods (Keefe & Copeland, 2011). The most recent research has established that students with SCD who are presented with a high-quality comprehensive approach comparable to the best practices associated with general education practices can and do make positive gains in literacy skills (Bock, 2013; Browder, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Courtade, & Flowers, 2008; Erickson, Clendon, Abraham, Roy, & Van de Karr, 2005; Koppenhaver& Erickson, 2003,). The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine potential barriers to implementing a comprehensive balanced literacy instructional program to students with SCD. The central question in this study was, what are the barriers to implementing a balanced literacy approach for students with significant cognitive disabilities? Three research questions guided the study, 1) What is the current knowledge base and understandings of administrators and teachers as it relates to teaching literacy skills to students with significant cognitive disabilities, how is this knowledge acquired, and how has it changed over time, 2) what are the perceived needs that need to be fulfilled in order for a systemic shift from a functional literacy curriculum to a balanced literacy curriculum approach to occur, and 3) how does the efficacy and beliefs held by teachers and administrators relate to the translation from research to practices as it corresponds to literacy instruction? Data was collected through interviews with administrators, special education teachers, and researchers. The analysis of the data from this study lead to the emergence of five key themes related to potential implementation barriers: acquisition of knowledge, current perspectives and understanding of literacy education, factors influencing curriculum decisions, high quality and relevant resources and supports, and systemic changes.
|Advisor:||Rosborg, James T.|
|Commitee:||Bastian, Joni, Orellana, Karee|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Special education, Reading instruction|
|Keywords:||Literacy, Preparation, Research based practices, Significant cognitive disabilities, Strategies, University programs|
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