AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Examining Special Education Teacher Preparation Programs

by Maritess Gamez

Institution: University of Washington
Year: 2016
Keywords: Cultural competency; Early Childhood Special Education; High Incidence Disability; Low Incidence Disability; Special Education; Teacher preparation; Special education; Education; Teacher education; education - seattle
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2071930
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/36589


Many researchers have asked the question: Why are so many students of color being placed in Special Education? Data has shown that there is a critical need for interventions to reduce the overrepresentation of students of color being referred to K-12 special education programs. In order to create a change in this disturbing trend of disproportionality, it is imperative that teachers in training take multicultural education content courses before entering the field (Sharma, 2007), practice cultural competency (Ford, 2012), understand that students of color have diverse learning styles (Dyce, 2013),(Sullivan, 2016), accommodate diverse learning styles, and draw on student’s strengths. Thirty-two graduate students in Special Education teacher preparation programs at a University in the North West participated in an anonymous survey about their perception of diversity in their program. The survey consisted of 15 items. Quantitative data was summarized, and qualitative data was analyzed by theme. Major findings included: 53% of respondents reported a lack of diversity amongst their cohort and faculty, and 56% of respondents feel like they have only been somewhat prepared by the University to work with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. The respondents made suggestions on how to improve the program at the University by better preparing teachers in training to serve culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Advisors/Committee Members: Meeker, Kathleen (advisor).