Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effects of Teacher Beliefs When Embedding Response to Intervention Within a Professional Learning Community
by Clarke, Gail Lee, Ed.D., Caldwell University, 2018, 199; 10751864
Abstract (Summary)

RTI is a multi-tiered approach to instruction, assessment, and intervention shown to increase student achievement (Buffum et al., 2010; Fletcher & Vaughn, 2009; Scammacca et al., 2007; Vaughn et al., 2009). Despite its widespread adoption (Spectrum K-12 Solutions, 2010), educators continue to struggle with implementation (Balu et al., 2015; Cavendish et al., 2016). Several studies have associated the need for teachers to have both the skills and beliefs in RTI to ensure effective implementation (Kratochwill et al., 2007; Nunn & Jantz, 2009; Werts et al., 2014). In the field of education, teachers are able to develop collective efficacy and beliefs in RTI through participation in a PLC (Brinson & Steiner, 2007; DuFour et al., 2010). Educational leaders who are seeking to improve student achievement can embed RTI into the work of a PLC to support teachers as they acquire and develop RTI skills and beliefs needed for effective implementation (DuFour & Mattos, 2013; Helman & Rosheim, 2016; Mundschenk & Fuchs, 2016).

This mixed-methods study examined the influence that participation in a PLC had on elementary teacher beliefs in RTI and their sense of collective efficacy. The researcher studied 119 volunteer teachers in nine elementary schools who were implementing RTI with a PLC and without the use of a PLC to determine if there were differences in beliefs between the two groups. This researcher used the 6 point Likert CE-Scale (Goddard et al., 2000) to measure collective efficacy of both groups of teachers and the 5 point BRTIS (Castillo et al., 2016a) to measure overall beliefs in RTI and its three principles.

This researcher was able to determine the level of collective efficacy and teacher beliefs in RTI through the analysis of both the quantitative and qualitative data. She was able to verify that teachers in schools that embedded RTI within the work of a PLC reported statistically higher levels of collective efficacy and beliefs in RTI and its principles. The qualitative data revealed that PLC/RTI teachers felt less isolated in their work, more confident in their RTI skills, and shared collective beliefs in their abilities to influence student learning. The data suggested that participation in a PLC allowed teachers to learn with and from one another as a means of formal and informal professional development and through regular interactions that focused on student learning through the use of RTI. The data also revealed that although PLC/RTI teachers reported higher beliefs in all three RTI principles, the majority of teachers in both types of schools did not believe that all children could learn at high levels and predicated their beliefs based in a difference between general and special education students. Lastly, there was limited evidence that participation in a PLC influenced teacher beliefs about the importance of core instruction and assessments for increasing student learning. However, overall, PLC/RTI teachers reported higher levels of collective efficacy and beliefs in RTI and its principles, and their participation in a PLC likely contributed to these increased beliefs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moriarty, Joan, Jasmine, Joanne
Commitee: Angolan, Samanthaa
School: Caldwell University
Department: Division of Education
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational psychology
Keywords: Collective efficacy, Professional learning community, Response to intervention, Teacher beliefs
Publication Number: 10751864
ISBN: 978-0-355-80378-5
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