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Title:Role-Taking as a Factor in Communication Between Home Economics and Special Education Teacher Educators
Author(s):Abbas, Elizabeth Keutgen
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Home Economics
Abstract:There is increasing recognition of the need to prepare regular teachers to work with special needs students. The purposes of this study were to: (1) investigate the application of role theory to the feelings which home economics and special education teacher educators have of the role each can play in preparing home economics teachers to work with special needs students in regular classrooms and (2) identify background variables which may be related to the development of these feelings.
A self-report instrument developed by the author was sent to a random sample of members of the teacher education sections of the American Home Economics Association and the Council for Exceptional Children. Usable returns were received from 67 (48.2 percent) of the home economists and 55 (39.6 percent) of the special educators.
Descriptive data from this study suggest that both home economics and special education teacher educators feel that home economics teachers can best acquire the competence to work with special needs students in a joint home economics/special education program. Both groups also feel that teachers in the other field can provide services to public school teachers faced with certain student problems, although home economists were about three times as likely to consult with a special education teacher than were special education teachers likely to consult with a home economics teacher. However, neither group was actively working with professionals from the other field in the education of teachers.
Role-taking, the ability to put one's self in another person's position, was the pivotal dependent variable. Data were analyzed for two types of role-taking scores: non-directional and directional. The non-directional role-taking score indicated the extent of role-taking ability measured by the survey instrument while the directional role-taking score indicated the direction of bias of the respondents toward home economics or special education. More home economists than special educators could be identified as non-role-takers. For the directional role-taking score, few in either group could be identified as significantly biased in either direction. There were no significant correlations between the role-taking scores and the background variables.
Two perception scores were computed for each respondent and the total groups. One score was computed for the frequency of choosing a home economist for consultation and one score for the frequency of choosing a special educator for consultation on 18 student problems described. There were no significant correlations between the perception scores and the role-taking scores. For the home economics group there were no significant correlations between the perception scores and the background variables; for the special education group there was one negative correlation.
Results of this study indicate several weaknesses in the survey instrument. Before additional role-taking research is conducted, several changes must be made in the questionnaire. The instrument must be modified in order to better discriminate role-taking ability from random responses and to remove significant correlations within the initial responses to the role score questions.
While not providing significant information on the role-taking ability to teacher educators, the study did contribute substantial descriptive information on how home economics teachers can be educated to work with special needs students in regular classrooms. Suggestions were also made for future reseach in this area.
Issue Date:1980
Description:144 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8017907
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1980

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