docere est discere : preparing undergraduates in special education to effectively teach

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Docere est discere : Preparing undergraduates in special education to effectively teach. Presented by: Peter M. Post Jr. EdD (Trinity Christian College) with seniors: Katie Gesch Samantha Murphy a nd Sarah Rodgers. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Docere est discere: Preparing undergraduates in special education to effectively teach

Docere est discere: Preparing undergraduates in special education to effectively teachPresented by: Peter M. Post Jr. EdD (Trinity Christian College) with seniors:

Katie GeschSamantha Murphyand Sarah Rodgers.

Topic: Partnerships to enhance the learning of pre-service teachers and Christian day schoolersWe will be looking at a partnership between Trinity Christian College and Elim Christian School plus brainstorming other ways that schools could enhance learning through such partnerships.

Dr. Post researched the effectiveness of the Trinity/Elim partnership through a program evaluation covering 6 years

Research questionDid tutoring students with low incidence disabilities as college juniors contribute to a teachers perception of being prepared to teach when entering the job force?

SubquestionsWere there differences in the perception to be prepared to teach among those graduates that graduated more recently compared to those that had graduated longer ago?

Were there differences between the graduates that continued education coursework compared to those that have not done additional post-graduate work?

Significance of the StudyA need for teachers that are able to work with students that are struggling in school (Pugach, 2011)Measuring skills that show dispositions to be good teachers has not always been done successfully (Darling-Hammond, 2010)A realistic view of what teaching entails can be experienced by pre-service teacher candidates through tutoring, observations and student teaching (Haverback & Parault, 2008).This study will highlight one model that incorporates coursework with field experience (tutoring).

Literature reviewThe need for field service in special educationPre-service teacher candidates should have extensive field experiences and clinical practices interacting with exceptional students (NCATE, 2008).Pre-service teacher candidates may understand the concept of inclusive practices but feel unprepared to implement and operationalize the knowledge that they have gained (McCray & McHatton, 2011).Genuine experiences with students that have special needs during teacher training are impacted by limitations in resources, money, time and co-teaching opportunities (Harvey et al., 2011Major StudiesThe Met Life Survey of the American Teacher has been used since 1984 to gauge educational issues in the United States.The surveys began with the simple but provocative idea: to listen to teachers (Met Life, 2008).In 2006 1001 teachers, 500 principals and 200 deans of education were interviewed to determine if teacher candidates were being adequately prepared to enter the schools to which they were hired.

Methodology: Research designA mixed methodology with a quantitative and a qualitative piece.Quantitatively, subject responses were compared to answers regarding perceptions of being prepared to teach expressed by teachers in the Met Life surveys.Qualitatively, open-ended answers were elicited from the candidates relating to their perceptions of being prepared to teach in the undergraduate training.Methodology: Population and sampling proceduresSurveys were sent to graduates of the training program that have graduated from the years 2006 2011 representing teachers with various years of experience.

Methodology: Data processing and analysisA comparative analysis was made with the answers given by the subjects compared to those of the Met Life teachers.T-tests were conducted to check for internal differences among the graduatesThreads were developed that noted program strengths and indicated where weaknesses occurred.

ResultsResponse rate to the survey was generally 56% with 60% of these responders also doing part 2 of the survey.

Participant Demographics by Frequency and Percent ____________________________________________________________N=49 Frequency PercentClass of 200624.1%Class of 20071224.5%Class of 2008714.3%

Class of 20091122.4%Class of 2010612.2% Class of 20111122.4%

In all answers to MetLife questions, graduates rated themselves more prepared as shown below:to teach subject matter

to maintain order and disciplineThe largest disparity in scores was noted in feeling prepared to work with children of varying abilitiesExP = exceptionally preparedNot P = not preparedA look at those numbers:I. During your first teaching position how prepared were you toEPVPPPNtPNaA1. teach the subject matter25.0%45.8%25.0%4.2%0.0%16%46%32%6%1%2. maintain order and discipline27.1%39.6%27.1%4.2%2.1%11%28%40%17%3%3. work with children of varying abilities41.7%39.6%16.7%2.1%0.0%8%26%40%23%2%4. engage families in supporting their childrens education14.6%45.8%31.3%8.3%0.0%8%25%41%22%4%

On questions related to expectations, graduate scores indicate teaching conditions were either better than or what they expected to encounterInternal differences noted by independent t-tests on earlier (x1) versus later (x2) graduates)Table 2Significant survey items noted by independent sample t-test results comparing graduates of 2006-2008 with graduates from 2009-2011_____________________________________________________________________________________Survey Questions_______________________t-scorex1x2 p ____1. How prepared were you to teach the subject-2.8813.594.24.006matter?3. How prepared were you to work with children-2.9763.864.52.005of varying abilities?10. How prepared were you to help with bullying -2.2842.953.56.027in schools?13. How prepared were you to help students with -3.1233.003.80.003lack of support from parents?15. How prepared were you to help students from -2.0833.093.68.043poverty backgrounds?

Possible explanations for the discrepancy of later graduates feeling more prepared to teach.A) During the first years of implementation, college students only worked with their tutees on assignments given by classroom teachers whereas more currently the college students provide activities during the final 10 sessions of the class.B) Currently students have also been required to produce a transition plan for their tutee as part of their course evaluation.C) A college program change that has gone into effect over the last four years is the requirement of special education majors to be double majors in education which means they have now been required to take additional methods classes in science, mathematics, and history (which often implement contact with actual students as well).

Also note graduates that had not taken additional coursework (x1) versus those that had taken more classes (x2)Table 3Significant items noted in independent sample t-test results comparing teachers that have not taken additional coursework since graduating to those students that have earned additional credit.____________________________________________________________________________________________Survey questionst-scorex1x2p1. How prepared were you to teach the subject2.104.133.59.046matter?3. How prepared were you to work with children2.5724.433.82.015of varying abilities?7. How prepared were you to work collaboratively2.2824.333.76.029with a mentor?12. How prepared were you to help your students2.2713.472.82.030with obtaining/using proper nutrition?

Possible reasons for those taking postgraduate courses feeling less prepared to teachOne possibility that was investigated was that these were students that had also graduated earlier in the program but an examination of the graduations dates proved that this was random.A simple explanation could be that these graduates felt as if they needed more education to become better (more prepared) teachers or that increased education was tied to employment requirements and some of the graduates (especially those working in public schools) had to take more credit hours.Of the graduates that responded to part 2 of the survey

75% were able to correctly identify their tutee by nameand21% accurately recalled the scripture verse that they had used in their final course reflection

Qualitative response themes: What college experiences prepared you to teach?Most significantElim (+17 responses)Student teaching +12Diverse classroom settings +11Tutoring +10Hands-on experiences +7Novice teaching +6Encouraging/knowledge-able professors +5Least helpfulE-portfolios (+4 responses)Writing reflections +3Busywork +3Projects in addition to student teaching +2Learning technology that has not been useful +2Novice teaching hours +2What were the strengths and weaknesses of your college training program?StrengthsRelations with professors/staff (+27 responses)Multiple/diverse teaching experiences +13Small class size +8Going into classrooms early in the program +6Christian worldview +5WeaknessesElectronic portfolio (+6 responses)IEP training +5Class scheduling +4Busywork +3Preparation for working with parents +3Lack of training in a resource setting +2How, if at all, did tutoring a student with special needs help you feel prepared to teach?Planned individualized lessons/differentiated instruction +9 responsesPlanned and used various types of methods taught in class +7 responsesReal world experience +6 responsesWorked one-on-one before moving to taking over a class +5 responsesOpportunity to think outside the box be creative +4 responsesBonded with a student +3 responsesHands-on activities +3 responsesImproved ability to communicate +2 responsesGot direct feedback from the student +2 responsesA difference that we (tutor & tutee) made on each other +2 responsesKnew I was in the right field/re-energized me +2 responsesCould try things out without every move being watched +2 responsesSummary and RecommendationsIndications from this program evaluation would confirm that graduates perceived themselves as being prepared to teach upon entering the profes