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Title:Perceptions of Illinois Preservice Vocational Education Teachers Regarding the Instruction of Special Needs Students (Secondary, Preparation)
Author(s):Evans, Deborah Marinello
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Special
Education, Vocational
Abstract:There has been growing concern among educators, parents and professionals regarding the acquisition of skills needed by regular and vocational teachers to instruct special needs students. This study examined (a) the approaches being used in three Illinois teacher training institutions to address the needs of special students in response to a recent state certification mandate and (b) the perceptions of preservice vocational education teachers concerning their performance abilities, confidence levels and adequacy of preparation in mainstreaming activities. Eleven faculty members and 45 prospective teachers were interviewed, representing four vocational education programs (Agriculture, Business, Home Economics and Industrial Education). Content analysis procedures were used to develop student performance categories in response to six situational vignettes; four-point Likert scales were used to determine confidence levels and perceived adequacy of preparation.
Data indicated that the universities were technically meeting the certification mandate's special needs requirement by using a special overview course or by the infusion approach. However, no monitoring system existed to determine the impact of training upon acquisition of preservice teacher performance skills. A general lack of inter-departmental communication existed concerning the nature and extent of special needs instruction. Student respondents were generally confident to handle the six situational vignettes; however, this appeared more related to student teaching experiences rather than preservice instruction. Much of the special needs information was presented at the awareness level rather than in planning or evaluation and was regarded as "extra" material rather than fundamental teaching components.
Monitoring systems were recommended for determining observable skills acquisition and for coordinating preservice planning and course development. More hands-on experiences, observations and in-class vignette discussions were encouraged as were more active channels of communication between special and vocational educators. Direct involvement of inservice teaching professionals with preservice programs was seen necessary to foster practical awareness and understanding of special needs instruction. Cooperative projects, inservice training for university faculty members and greater initiative by special education teachers represented some additional recommendations. Efforts to follow-up and replicate this study using a larger population and over a longer time period were highly encouraged for future insights.
Issue Date:1985
Description:191 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600170
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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