While classroom teachers report alarming rates of unpreparedness, and even unwillingness to include diverse populations in the classroom, our nation is continuing along a trend started in the 1990s to include students with disabilities (SWD) in general education settings. This quasi-experimental research study uncovered the impact of completing the required continuing education course in teaching SWD course mandated by Florida Senate Bill 1108 ([SB1108]; The Florida Senate, 2013b), which amended Florida Statute 1012.585 (3) (e) (Process for Renewal of Professional Certificates, 2017) on perceived teacher ability to implement inclusion practices. An online version of the Teacher Efficacy for Inclusive Practices (TEIP) scale developed by Sharma, Loreman, and Forlin (2012) was utilized, along with demographic and experiential factors for classroom teachers in the study district to examine their self-efficacy toward inclusion. Analysis of the data indicated statistically significant differences in mean TEIP scale scores for exceptional student education (ESE) and general education teachers.
Data analyses revealed that almost half of the teachers had a negative view of and did not perceive any benefit from the course. While ESE and general education teachers had similar preparation needs, they also reported areas of concern specific to their subset. Overall, the course did not provide enough continuing education in the areas most needed by the participants. SB1108-mandated course completion was also not found to be an indicator of higher teacher self-efficacy for the majority of teachers. Analysis of the differences in TEIP scale scores found that only elementary school teachers benefited from completing the course, while it had the opposite effect for general education high school teachers and no significant effect for ESE teachers. Differences in TEIP scale scores from demographic and experiential factors accounted for 13% of the variance in the population and was not significant for the ESE teacher subset. One percent or less of the variance was attributed to completion of the required continuing education course.
Implications include reviewing the legislation’s effectiveness for teachers in different areas and grade levels, hiring and evaluation decisions based on TEIP scale scores of applicants and employees, and designing more meaningful continuing education courses. Recommendations for state legislatures, school administrators, designers of continuing education courses, and for future research regarding improvement of teacher self-efficacy for inclusive practices are offered.
|Advisor:||Weber, Roberta K.|
|Commitee:||DeDonno, Michael A., Forgan, James W., Vaughan, Michelle|
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|Department:||Curriculum and Instruction|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education Policy, Special education, Continuing education|
|Keywords:||Continuing education, Florida Senate Bill 1108, Inclusion, Professional development, Self-efficacy, Teacher efficacy for inclusive practices scale|
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