Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Sherry M. Bell

Committee Members

Gary Skolits, Tara Moore, David Cihak

Abstract

This study was designed to assess the extent to which teacher education faculty teaching across the range of disciplines and populations in approved Education Preparation Providers (EPPs) in Tennessee prepare their teacher education candidates to meet the needs of all students, including those with disabilities. A survey was administered state-wide to faculty (N = 154) in teacher education programs to assess the extent to which they report their practice of, teaching about, and confidence in co-teaching, collaboration and implementation of universal design for learning (UDL). In general, faculty strongly endorsed items indicating they practice, teach, and are confident about the practice of collaboration and the principles of UDL. In contrast, faculty less strongly endorsed items on their practice of, and teaching and confidence about co-teaching. Similarly, faculty reported high levels of agreement that departmental support is provided for collaboration and UDL but lower level of support is provided for co-teaching. When comparing general and special education faculty responses, teaching the practice of co-teaching (p < .01) and confidence in co-teaching (p < .01) were significantly different with general teacher education faculty ranking lower. When asked to report obstacles to these practices, main themes to emerge were lack of time, separation of general and special education departments, “buy-in” to the practices, and lack of skill in and knowledge of those practices. Results confirm the need, as found in other studies, for cross-discipline collaboration between general and special education faculty in determining how best to incorporate inclusive practices within teacher education programs.

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