Attrition rates for beginning special education teachers are extremely high contributing to the overall shortage of special education teachers nationwide. Research suggests that poor working conditions, lack of administrative support, and perceived levels of preparedness impact the retention numbers of begging special education teachers. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of beginning special education teachers on the supports they felt may influence the quality of their teaching and their intent to remain in special education. This qualitative research study used a case study approach to interview special education teachers working in different service delivery models. A purposeful sampling technique limited participants to first or second year beginning special educators and veteran teachers who worked with students with low incidence disabilities in urban settings in New Jersey. On-site observation provided an understanding of the working conditions for each participant. Semi-structured interviewing focused on obtaining data from participants about their views of their current teaching assignments, teacher preparation, their mentoring and induction programs, and other support needs. Results of the study indicated areas that special education teachers identified, as their most significant support needs. Participant responses to open-ended questions provided insight into strategies and policies, which can be used by special education teacher educators and administrators. The research data may offer ways to improve teacher preparation and induction support programs for this group of special education teachers. Since most studies involving special education teachers of students with low incidence disabilities have been conducted in rural settings, this study may present details significant to the support and retention of such teachers in urban settings.
|Commitee:||Jacobs, Howard, Ward, Jason|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Beginning special education teachers, Beginning teachers, Low-incidence disabilities, Mentoring, Special education, Teacher preparation, Urban education|
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