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Examining the characteristics of teachers in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in varying exceptionalities

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Title:
Examining the characteristics of teachers in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in varying exceptionalities responding to the "highly qualified" teacher mandate
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Book
Language:
English
Creator:
McCray, Erica Djuan
Publisher:
University of South Florida
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Tampa, Fla
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Subjects / Keywords:
Alternative teacher preparation
Special education
Teacher efficacy
Teacher effectiveness
No Child Left Behind
Dissertations, Academic -- Special Education -- Doctoral -- USF
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bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
ABSTRACT: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (2002) mandated that every teacher be highly qualified by the close of the 2005-2006 school year. However, the means by which newly certified teachers are prepared has been questioned. In addition to understanding how teachers enter the field, researchers have indicated a vested interest in examining who comes into the field. More specifically, the characteristics and experiences of pre-service and in-service special educators are of great interest (McKlesky & Ross, 2003; Rosenberg & Sindelar, 2001). The present study examined the characteristics of six teachers in the final internship phase of a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Varying Exceptionalities at a Research I/Research Extensive University in the Southeast.This study was conducted using both quantitative and qualitative methods, employing a concurrent triangulation mixed-methods design for data collection and analysis. The quantitative phase included descriptive statistics gleaned from pre-existing Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Interview data, results from the Teacher's Sense of Efficacy Scale self-report survey, and an adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation System protocol. The qualitative data collected for complementarity included thick, rich case descriptions, descriptive data from semi-structured interviews with mentors and a focus group interview with participants.Results showed that the participants entered the program with a variety of experiences and backgrounds. Also, the participants demonstrated and reported a range of variability in terms of their classroom effectiveness and their sense of efficacy. Further, the participants discussed several factors that they perceived as contributing to or impeding their professional success. The findings have implications for teacher preparation programs, school districts, and educational policymakers.
Thesis:
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Erica Djuan McCray.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 256 pages.
General Note:
Includes vita.

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University of South Florida
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aleph - 001790100
oclc - 144397248
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0001485
usfldc handle - e14.1485
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ABSTRACT: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (2002) mandated that every teacher be highly qualified by the close of the 2005-2006 school year. However, the means by which newly certified teachers are prepared has been questioned. In addition to understanding how teachers enter the field, researchers have indicated a vested interest in examining who comes into the field. More specifically, the characteristics and experiences of pre-service and in-service special educators are of great interest (McKlesky & Ross, 2003; Rosenberg & Sindelar, 2001). The present study examined the characteristics of six teachers in the final internship phase of a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Varying Exceptionalities at a Research I/Research Extensive University in the Southeast.This study was conducted using both quantitative and qualitative methods, employing a concurrent triangulation mixed-methods design for data collection and analysis. The quantitative phase included descriptive statistics gleaned from pre-existing Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Interview data, results from the Teacher's Sense of Efficacy Scale self-report survey, and an adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation System protocol. The qualitative data collected for complementarity included thick, rich case descriptions, descriptive data from semi-structured interviews with mentors and a focus group interview with participants.Results showed that the participants entered the program with a variety of experiences and backgrounds. Also, the participants demonstrated and reported a range of variability in terms of their classroom effectiveness and their sense of efficacy. Further, the participants discussed several factors that they perceived as contributing to or impeding their professional success. The findings have implications for teacher preparation programs, school districts, and educational policymakers.
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Examining the Characteristics of Teachers in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program in Varying Exceptionalities: Responding to the “Highly Qualified” Teacher Mandate by Erica Djuan McCray A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement s for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Special Education College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D. Deirdre Cobb-Roberts, Ph.D. Anthony Onwuegbuzie, Ph.D. Elizabeth Shaunessy, Ph.D. Daphne Thomas, Ph.D. Date of Approval: March 24, 2006 Keywords: alternative teacher preparation, special education, teacher efficacy, teacher effectiveness, No Child Left Behind Copyright 2006, Erica Djuan McCray

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Acknowledgements I must give honor to my Heavenly Fat her, whose Living Word was a much needed lamp unto my feet and light unto my path throughout this process. To my daughter Brittany Alexia who sacrificed her “mommy time” so that her life and the lives of other children could be improved. I must also thank my mother Gwen, who has always been my biggest cheerlea der and a place of refuge. To my “Sissy”, B.J. who tried many nights to stay awake with me and who is the best “Titi” Brit could have. To the rest of “the village”, my fam ily (Dad, Mommee, and many more) and friends who cared for Brittany on the days she needed more attention and time than had left to give To the friends who completed their degrees before me and kept me focused (Danette, Karen, and Tandria) as well as those who encouraged me and will fini sh soon (Keona, Sandi, Danielle, Arlene, Vixen, LaTonya, Ida, Stacey, Nepor cha, Dee, Julie, Sarah, Kristen, Kati Michael, Simon, and Scott). Thanks to Drs. Epanchin, Townsend, Paul, and other faculty members who expan ded my thinking and provided many opportunities. Also, Drs. Colucci and D oone who welcomed my ideas for this study and supported me. Finally, without my outstanding committee this would not have been possible. I owe them my sincerest gratitude for their high expectations, willing hearts, and hands: Dr s. Cranston-Gingras, Thomas, CobbRoberts, Shaunessy, and Onwuegbuzie.

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i TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES viii LIST OF FIGURES xi ABSTRACT xii CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1 Statement of the Problem 1 Conceptual Basis of the Study 3 Research Questions 8 Significance of the Study 10 Definition of Terms 10 Delimitations 12 Limitations 12 Organization of Remaining Chapters 16 CHAPTER 2 Review of the Relev ant Literature 17 Overview 17 Conceptual Framework 18 No Child Left Behind 19 Overview 19 Title I 20 Title II 21

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ii Supporters 22 Critics 23 The Teaching Force 26 Overview 26 Teacher Demographics 28 Supply and Demand 29 Recruitment and Retention 32 Entering the Profession 36 Overview 36 Traditional Programs 37 Alternative Routes 38 Teacher Quality and Effectiveness 40 Highly Qualified Teacher 40 Teacher Efficacy and Effectiveness 42 Preparation Experiences 43 Summary 45 CHAPTER 3 Methodology 47 Introduction 47 Research Questions 48 Participants 49 Quantitative Instruments 52 Qualitative Instruments 56 Research Design 62

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iii Data Analysis 64 CHAPTER 4 Results 69 RESEARCH QUESTION 1 71 April 71 Candice 73 Cara 75 Marlene 77 Rachel 78 Roslyn 79 Case Summary 81 RESEARCH QUESTION 2 86 Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Interview (HUTSI) 86 Within-Case Analysis 88 April 88 Candice 91 Cara 93 Marlene 96 Rachel 99 Roslyn 101 Cross-Case Analysis 104 Persistence 104 Response to Authority 104 Application to Generalizations 104

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iv Approach to At-Risk Students 105 Personal vs. Professional Orientation Toward Teaching 105 Burnout 105 Fallibility 106 Overall Findings 106 RESEARCH QUESTION 3 110 Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) 110 Within-Case Analysis 112 April 112 Candice 115 Cara 119 Marlene 122 Rachel 126 Roslyn 130 Cross-Case Analysis 134 Overall Sense of Efficacy 134 Efficacy in Student Engagement 135 Efficacy in Instructional Strategies 135 Efficacy in Classroom Management 135 Overall Findings 136 RESEARCH QUESTION 4 141 Adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation System 141 Within-Case Analysis 143

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v April 143 Candice 146 Cara 148 Marlene 150 Rachel 152 Roslyn 154 Cross-Case Analysis 156 Domain A: Planning and Preparation 156 Domain B: Classroom Environment 156 Domain C: Instruction 156 Domain D: Professional Responsibilities 157 Overall Findings 157 Semi-Structured Interviews of Mentor Teachers 161 April’s Mentor 161 Candice’s Mentor 164 Cara’s Mentor 168 Marlene’s Mentor 172 Rachel’s Mentor 175 Roslyn’s Mentor 179 Overall Findings 182 RESEARCH QUESTION 5 186 Focus Group Interview 186 School System and School Culture 190

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vi Program Culture 192 Student Characteristics 195 Building Relationships 196 Teacher Effort and Effectiveness 197 Summary 200 PARTICIPANT PROFILE 200 April 200 Candice 202 Cara 203 Marlene 204 Rachel 206 Roslyn 207 Researcher’s Self-Reflection 208 CHAPTER 5 Discussion 212 Summary of Findings 212 Demographic and Background Information 212 Expectancy to Persist in Difficult-to-Staff Schools 214 Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy 215 Teacher Effectiveness 216 Perceived Factors Attributi ng to Successes and Challenges 216 Limitations 218 Implications 219 Recommendations for Future Research 225

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vii REFERENCES 228 APPENDICES 247 APPENDIX A: Teacher Demogr aphics and Characteristics 248 APPENDIX B: Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale 250 APPENDIX C: Adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation 251 APPENDIX D: Mentor Teacher Interview 255 APPENDIX E: Focus Group Interview Protocol 256 ABOUT THE AUTHOR End Page

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viii LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Course Sequence for Students in an MAT program in Varying Exceptionalities 51 Table 2 Timeline for Data Collection 59 Table 3 Alignment of Research Questi ons With Instruments and Analysis Procedures 65 Table 4 Summary of Teacher Characteristics 83 Table 5 Summary of PPP Characteristics 84 Table 6 Two-Variable Case-Ordered Matrix of Teacher Final Evaluation GPA and UGPA 85 Table 7 April Summary of HUTSI Results 90 Table 8 Candice Summary of HUTSI Results 93 Table 9 Cara Summary of HUTSI Results 96 Table 10 Marlene Summary of HUTSI Results 98 Table 11 Rachel Summary of HUTSI Results 101 Table 12 Roslyn Summary of HUTSI Results 103 Table 13 HUTSI Descriptive Statistics 107 Table 14 April TSES Overall Efficacy 112 Table 15 April Efficacy in Student Engagement 113 Table 16 April Efficacy in Instructional Strategies 114 Table 17 April Efficacy in Classroom Management 115 Table 18 Candice TSES Overall Efficacy 116

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ix Table 19 Candice Efficacy in Student Engagement 117 Table 20 Candice Efficacy in Instructional Strategies 118 Table 21 Candice Efficacy in Classroom Management 118 Table 22 Cara TSES Overall Efficacy 119 Table 23 Cara Efficacy in Student Engagement 120 Table 24 Cara Efficacy in Instructional Strategies 121 Table 25 Cara Efficacy in Classroom Management 122 Table 26 Marlene TSES Overall Efficacy 123 Table 27 Marlene Efficacy in Student Engagement 124 Table 28 Marlene Efficacy in Instructional Strategies 125 Table 29 Marlene Efficacy in Classroom Management 126 Table 30 Rachel TSES Overall Efficacy 127 Table 31 Rachel Efficacy in Student Engagement 128 Table 32 Rachel Efficacy in Instructional Strategies 129 Table 33 Rachel Efficacy in Classroom Management 130 Table 34 Roslyn TSES Overall Efficacy 131 Table 35 Roslyn Efficacy in Student Engagement 132 Table 36 Roslyn Efficacy in In structional Strategies 133 Table 37 Roslyn Efficacy in Classroom Management 134 Table 38 TSES Descriptive Statistics 137 Table 39 Partially-Ordered Matrix: Final Evaluation GPA, HUTSI Ratings, And TSES Ratings 140 Table 40 Pathwise Descriptive Statistics 158

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x Table 41 Partially-Ordered Matrix: Pathwise Data 160 Table 42 Componential Analysis of Cases 185 Table 43 Frequency Effect Sizes and Frequency Distribution for the Focus Group 189

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xi LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Conceptual Basis for the Study 6 Figure 2 Mixed-Method Case Study Design 61 Figure 3 HUTSI Overall Ratings 108 Figure 4 HUTSI Profile Plot Map for All Participants 109 Figure 5 TSES Overall Efficacy 138 Figure 6 TSES Subscale Mean Scores 139 Figure 7 April’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores 145 Figure 8 Candice’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores 147 Figure 9 Cara’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores 149 Figure 10 Marlene’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores 151 Figure 11 Rachel’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores 153 Figure 12 Roslyn’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores 155 Figure 13 Pathwise Domain Mean Scores 159 Figure 14 Thematic Structure of Meta-themes and Frequency 188 Effect Sizes for Focus Group

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xii EXAMINING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF TEACHERS IN A MASTER OFARTS IN TEACHING (MAT) PROGRAM IN VARYING EXCEPTIONALITIES: RESPONDING TO THE “HIGHLY QUALIFIED” TEACHER MANDATE Erica Djuan McCray ABSTRACT The No Child Left Behind Act of 2 001 (2002) mandated that every teacher be highly qualified by the close of the 2005-2006 school year. However, the means by which newly certified teac hers are prepared has been questioned. In addition to understanding how teachers enter the field, researchers have indicated a vested interest in examining who comes into the field. More specifically, the characteristics and exper iences of pre-service and in-service special educators are of great interest (McKlesky & Ross, 2003; Rosenberg & Sindelar, 2001). The present study examin ed the characteristics of six teachers in the final internship phase of a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Varying Exceptionalities at a Research I/Research Extensive University in the Southeast. This study was conducted using both quantitative and qualitative methods, employing a concurrent triangulation mi xed-methods design for data collection and analysis. The quantitative phase included descriptive statistics gleaned from pre-existing Haberman Urban Teacher Select ion Interview data, results from the Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale self -report survey, and an adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation System protoc ol. The qualitative data collected for

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xiii complementarity included thick, rich case descriptions, descriptive data from semi-structured interviews with ment ors and a focus group interview with participants. Results showed that the participants entered the program with a variety of experiences and backgrounds. Also, the par ticipants demonstrated and reported a range of variability in terms of their classroom effe ctiveness and their sense of efficacy. Further, the participants discuss ed several factors that they perceived as contributing to or impeding their professional success. The findings have implications for teacher preparation programs, school districts, and educational policymakers.

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1 CHAPTER 1 Introduction Statement of the Problem Special education is a relatively young field that has been plagued by challenges nearly since its formal inc eption in 1975 (Martin, Martin, & Terman, 1996). Among these challenges has been a persistent short age of teachers (Katsiyannis, Zhang, & Conroy, 2003). The supply of teachers for students with special needs has been forecasted to dimi nish as state and federal initiatives increase the demand for the number of cla ssroom teachers (Brownell, Sindelar, Bishop, Langley, & Seo, 2002). The Indivi duals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) has emphasized the need for best practices and qualified professionals in educating students with disabilities. However, the critical shortage of teachers for these students in particular has been exacerbated by low quantity and quality in the special educ ation teaching force (Carlson, Brauen, Klein, Schroll, & Willig, 2002). Further, the rates of at trition in special education are alarming (McKlesky, Smith, Tyler, & Saunders, 2002). Thus, there is a dilemma of “increasing num bers and improving quality si multaneously” (Brownell et al., 2002, p.1). While leaders in special education we re actively working to improve the state of special education, t he Bush administration devised the No Child Left

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2 Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB, 2002) to address student achievement and teacher qualifications through st atewide assessments, st andards, and accountability (Keele, 2004). Shortly, before President Geor ge W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law, he inducted the Co mmission on Excellence in Special Education (U.S. Department of Educat ion Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services [USDOE OSER S], 2002). The Commission was intended to make data-based recommendations for reforms “to improve America’s special education system and move it from a cu lture of compliance to a culture of accountability” (USDOE OSERS, 2002, p.4). This cadre was charged with analyzing the current state of the field from birth to the terminal degree, documenting areas needing improvemen t, and making sound suggestions for shifting the focus from federal complianc e to excellence in educating children with special needs (USDOE OSERS, 2002 ). Essentially, the Commission was assessing special education’ s ability to promote des ired outcomes for students with special needs by involving families, educators, and researchers in the process. Throughout the course of study the committee came to seven summative findings, one of which include d concerns about teacher preparation (USDOE OSERS, 2002). The concerns of teacher quantit y and quality prompt ed the drive for alternate pathways into education. Former Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, has been criticized for what has been c onsidered the simultaneous deregulation of teacher education and call for highly qualified teachers (Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002; McKlesky & Ross, 2004). Thus, in addition to traditional four-year

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3 undergraduate and/or Mast er’s degree programs, alter nate routes to teaching were provided. Among the gro wing alternate routes are di strict-level alternative certification programs, Post -baccalaureate certification programs, and Master’s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree certificati on programs. However, there is limited research on how well the alternate entryways into teaching are preparing teachers that can be cons idered highly qualified bey ond the narrow conception outlined in NCLB (i.e., Bachelor’s degree, state certification/licensure, and demonstrated competence) or whether these teachers are remaining in the field. Consequently, it is necessary to study how well different training programs prepare teachers for areas of high needs (McKlesky & Ross, 2004; Shepherd & Brown, 2003). Also, understanding who the diffe rent routes of entry are attracting will be vital to developing and improving teacher preparation in the era of accountability. Conceptual Basis of the Study According to NCLB (2004), the highly qualified teacher is one who holds state certification or licensure, and dem onstrates competency in the area being taught. In most states, educators are deemed competent based on the basis of passing a state-approved paper-pencil exami nation (Coble & Azordegan, 2004). This definition has been criticized by so me researchers and teacher educators as being too narrow and void of context (C ochran-Smith, 2003; Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002). Professional education or ganizations such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher E ducation (NCATE; Kaplan & Owings, 2002) and the National Board for Professiona l Teacher Standards (NBPTS, Oakes,

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4 Franke, Quartz, & Rogers, 2002) have sugg ested broader definitions that include cultural awareness, critical reflection, and dispositions. As learners become more diverse, teachers will have to be high ly qualified on these broader terms and be highly effective as well. Before the term highly qualified gai ned national prominence, researchers studied the effectiveness and efficacy of teachers (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo, 1984; Haberman, 1995, 2004). Haberman (1995, 2004) described the effective or star teacher using 14 characteristic domains: persistence, physical and emotional stamina, caring relations hips with students, commitment to acknowledging and appreciating student effort, willingness to admit mistakes, focus on deep learning, commitment to in clusion, organization skills, protect student learning, translate theory to practice, cope with bureaucracy, create student ownership, engage families in student learning, and support accountability for students placed at risk. Haberman (1995) found these attributes to be predictive of success in even the most challenging schools. The Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Interview (HUTSI, Haberman 1995; Haberman Educational F oundation webpage, 2003) protocol and Pre-Screen instruments, both developed by Martin Haberman, are currently being used in school districts and instituti ons of higher education acro ss the country to select and prepare star teachers and administrators to work in high-poverty schools (Haberman, 1995). Bandura’s self-efficacy construct has been found useful in understanding learning and motivation. Teacher efficacy, an extension of this construct, refers to

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5 teachers’ confidence in their abilities to promote students’ learning. More specifically, Hoy (2000) noted that teac her efficacy has been linked with, “such significant variables as student motiva tion, teachers’ adoption of innovations, superintendents’ ratings of teachers ’ competence, teachers’ classroom management strategies, time spent teac hing certain subjects, and teachers’ referrals of students to s pecial education” (p.2). While the three frameworks listed (i.e ., NCLB’s highly qualified teacher, Haberman’s star teacher, and Bandura’s teacher efficacy) vary in their determination of the ideal or potentially successful teacher, each component is critical for K-12 student achievement, wh ich is the ultimate goal. The federal government’s call for highly qu alified teachers (NCLB, 2002) is a call for teachers to have prescribed knowledge measured by degree attainment and certification. Haberman’s (1995, 2004) descriptors of effe ctive teachers portray facilitators of learning and masters of pedagogy, collegiality, and classroom management. Finally, teacher efficacy (Hoy, 2002) takes teachers’ beliefs in their own abilities as critical to overall effectiveness and success. When merged, these conceptions depict a highly qualified teacher as one who has content and pedagogical knowledge, demonstrates proficiency and e fficacy in the teaching, and facilitates learning with consistent success (see Figure 1). Students served by special educati on programs are mo st often those having the greatest need for supports in the academic environment (USDOE OSERS, 2002). However, the means by which the teachers charged with their education are trained have come into question. If, in fact, no child is to be left

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6 behind, students with special needs are in cluded in this mandate and they need and deserve their share of the best prepared and most effective teachers. Figure 1 Conceptual Basis for the Study ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Highly Qualified Teacher (NCLB of 2001) STAR Teacher (Haberman, 1995) Teacher Efficacy (Hoy, 2000) Broader Definition (NCATE, 2002) Conceptual Basis for Present Study

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7 The Master of Arts in Teaching programs gaining national prominence were designed to provide an accelerated graduate program including certification for persons with qualifying undergraduate degr ees who decided on teaching as a second-career option (Kelly & Dietrich, 1995). This option has provided a blended model of the intensive alter native certificati on programs and the traditional university-based programs, providing students already having discipline-related knowle dge with pedagogical and curricular expertise (Post, Wise, Henk, McIntyre Hillkirk, 2004). This innovativ e option has gained notoriety as teacher educators work to develop high-quality altern ative preparation programs that are research based and informed through partnerships with schools. As noted by McKlesky and Ross (2004), most research in special education has focused on the effectivene ss and use of specific interventions. Yet, in order to provide new perspective for policy and teacher preparation, the characteristics of special educators must be studied (McKlesky, Tyler, & Flippin, 2004). Further, there is limited data on the characteristics of those going through the many pathways to teaching, and study is warranted. Additionally, much of the research in special education to dat e is mono-method; a mixed methodology would provide the field with richer information (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2003). There is a dearth of literature on the characteristics of special educators, particularly those who have come into teaching through non-tradi tional programs, and more specifically, accounts of their successes and challenges. Their voices

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8 need to be included in the discussion on t eacher preparation and on what is needed for cultivating highly qualified and e fficacious teachers. A profession is an occupation that self-regulat es and has a specific knowledge base. In order to professionalize the field of education teachers need to be heard and understood (Wise, 2005). Therefore, the purpose of this mixed-me thod case study was to examine the characteristics of select teachers in the final internship phase of the MAT program in Varying Exceptionalitie s at a Research I/Research Extensive university in the Southeast. As suggested by Yin (2002), insight was gained through multiple sources: Analyzing existing data on the interns prior to internship entry and throughout their course of study, Analyzing existing Haberman Urban T eacher Selection Interview data, Measuring teacher sense of efficacy, Conducting structured classroom observations, interviewing mentor teachers, and Conducting a focus group interview. Research Questions This mixed-method case study followe d a concurrent triangulation design (Creswell, Plano Clark, Gutmann, & Hans on, 2003). Through the course of this study, the following resear ch questions were addressed by quantitative and qualitative means. 1. What are the demographic characte ristics (i.e., age, gender, ethnicity, undergraduate degree, why special education was chosen, teacher

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9 performance competencies, teaching a ssignment by exc eptionality) of select teachers enrolled in an MAT pr ogram who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? 2. What are the characteristics of select teachers in an MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities with respect to the seven midrange functions i dentified by Haberman (1995, 2004): persistence, response to authority, app lication of generaliz ations, approach to at-risk students, personal vs. profe ssional orientation toward teaching, burnout, and fallibility? 3. What are the characteristics of select teachers in an MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities with respect to teacher efficacy in the areas of engagement, instruction, and classroom management? 4. How effective is the classroom pr actice of select teachers in an MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? 5. What do select teachers in an MAT pr ogram who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalitie s perceive as attributing to their professional successes and/or challenges?

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10 Significance of the Study Federal and state actions have called into question the ability of institutions of higher education to produce the needed quantit y and quality of teaching professionals to meet the eve r-increasing demands (Boe, Cook, Bobbitt, & Terhanian, 1998). This study examined the characteristics of teachers matriculating through a recently devel oped MAT program that addresses the need for teachers to be prepared with c ontent and pedagogical kn owledge at an accelerated pace. In addition, the in terns have been supported by a federally funded personnel preparation grant aimed at reducing the dearth of fully certified and qualified teachers. To that end, it is hoped that the findings from this study will provide rich information on the broad r ange of characteristics of teachers in the MAT program through the experiences of selected interns. The researcher believes the conclusions will be useful to teacher educators and researchers, school district personnel, and educati onal policymakers (Berry, 2004). Definition of Terms Case Study. A form of research seeking to find out the particulars of a case and not to generalize findings (Stake,1995). Highly qualified teacher. As previously menti oned, there has been some difference in opinion on what is meant by “highly qualified. ” For the purpose of this study, a highly qua lified teacher is one who has content and pedagogical knowledge, demonstrates proficiency and efficacy, and facilitates learning with consistent success (Brownell, Hirsch, & Seo, 2004; Council for Exceptional Children [CEC], 2005; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001).

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11 Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. The MAT program in which the interns are enrolled leads to the MAT degree and certification in Varying Exceptionalities and State Endorsement in English as a Second/Other Language (ESOL). This program is designed fo r individuals with accepted undergraduate degrees seeking Post-baccala ureate training and initial teacher certification in special education. Ideal candi dates have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework or a GRE score of at least 1000. This particular program requires that student s be employed in a special education position by the second-semester due to curriculum requirements. MAT Intern. The MAT Intern is an employed special education teacher who is completing a supervised final internship in the MAT program during the semester the study was conducted. Mixed Methods Research. A type of research that uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative research method s to answer the research questions in a single research study (Johnson & Christensen, 2004). Professional Practice Partner (PPP). The PPP or mentor teacher is a certified special educator with 3 or more years of teaching experienc e with university training in clinical teaching who provides ongoing support to i ndividual teachers who they are paired with in the MAT program. The PPPs consult with their assigned teachers on integrated curriculum projects and conducts formative and summative evaluations on thei r professional practice. Teacher’s sense of efficacy. A teacher’s sense of efficacy is a belief in her own ability to be effective and successful in promoting student l earning (Hoy, 2000).

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12 Varying Exceptionalities. Varying Exceptionalities is one of many descriptors for non-categorical teacher certif ication. Other common descr iptors of this type of certification are cross-ca tegorical or inter-related disabilities. A teacher certification is eligible to teach at any level K-12 in any special education classification. Delimitations This study employed a case study approach using both quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The study was delimited to teachers enrolled in the MAT program in Varying Exceptionalities who were completing t heir supervised final internship at a Research I/Research Extensive universit y in the Southeast during the semester the study was conducted. The MAT interns included in the study had completed protocols from the Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Interview on file with the department. The participants were the same for both the quantitative and qualitative phases of this study. Limitations Limitations involved in educational re search are recognized. Therefore, the researcher intentionally em ployed mixed methods to achieve complementarity and triangul ation (Green, Caracelli, & Graham, 1989). Threats to internal and external validity were evident in the quantitative phase and threats to credibility were evident in the qualitat ive phase. A discussion of the threats to the study will be discussed.

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13 Threats to Internal Validity Internal validity deals with the ability to limit extraneous possible causes of findings (Johnson & Christensen, 2004). Threat s to the internal validity of findings stemming from the quantitat ive phase included instrument ation, construct-related validity, and observational bias Instrumentation refers to the reliability of scores a particular measure yields (Onwuegbuzie 2003). This was of concern because this study included secondary data analysi s of the quantitized HUTSI responses and the use of the Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES, Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). Because these measures we re only administered once, testing did not threaten the internal validity of the findings (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). Constructrelated validity was another threat because efficacy and highly qualified represent higher-order constructs that are determined by precise definitions and explanations (Johnson & Christensen, 2004) Observational bias must also be noted. According to Lincoln and Guba ( 1985), the behavior that was sampled was insufficient to draw any certain conc lusions. As a component of this study, secondary data analysis may have impact ed findings because the HUTSI data was previously collected by persons ot her than the primary researcher in the study (Johnson & Christensen, 2004). Threats to External Validity External validity deals with the degree to which study findings can be generalized (Johnson & Christensen, 2004). The primary threats to external validity for the quantitative phase of this study incl uded: populati on validity, ecological validity, temporal validity, and self-report. Population validity refers to

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14 the generalizability of findi ngs (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). Because the sample was so specific, it is not reasonable to make broad statements about th e findings to other populations or even a different sample from the same populat ion. Ecological validity, like population validity, refers to the generalizability of the findings across settings rather than across groups. While similar programs exist, the researcher would caution the use of findings without fu rther research and/or study replication (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). Temporal validity takes differences in time into account (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). It is the researc her’s hope that the program and its graduates will continuously im prove over time, thus making the findings of this study formative rather than summat ive. Additionally, the TSES (TschannenMoran & Hoy, 2001) is a self-report sca le, which poses another threat. Other threats to external valid ity included specificity of variables and reactive arrangements which also limit the generalizab ility of the findings of this study. Specificity of variables posed a threat to external validity because the specific instruments used to measur e the constructs identifi ed are operationalized for the purposes of this study (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). Further, this researcher has a broadened conceptualization of highly qualified that is unique to this study. Lastly, reactive arrangements acknowledges that the participan ts’ behaviors and responses may have been positively skewed because they were aware of the study and may have performed according to what they believed was desired by the researcher (Onwuegbuzie, 2003).

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15 Threats to Legitimation The researcher opted to use the terms legitimation and credibility instead of validity, which is a more quantitat ive term (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). As in the quantitative phase, the researcher c annot generalize findings to other populations or time because the sample was so specific and the findings represent one group at one point in time (Onwuegbuzie & Leec h, in press). Threats to legitimation included: descripti ve credibility, interpretive credibility, theoretical credibility, trans ferability, and generalizability. Descriptive credibility refers to the accuracy of the researcher’s documentat ion of events (Maxwell, 1996). Interpretive credibility describes the extent to which the researcher accurately interprets and portrays parti cipant responses (Maxwell, 1996). This was especially critical in the analysis of classroom performance and the focus group interview. Theoretical credibili ty describes the degree to which the research findings are credible, trustwor thy, and consistent with the framework guiding the study (Maxwell, 1996). Transferab ilty, similar to population validity, is not probable as student and program dynam ics are likely to change (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Lastly, generalizab ilty refers to the ability to generalize findings from the sample to the population or parti cipants within the stud y. It was not the intention of the researcher to come to broad conclusions about the population or other populations, but to provide in sight and recommendations for future research based on the experiences of sele ct interns in a Master of Arts in Teaching program in Va rying Exceptionalities.

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16 In an effort to limit th reats to the validity and cr edibility of the study, the researcher triangulated t he data, conducted member ch ecks, and left audit trails. The data was triangulated via multiple respondents, data sources, and methods (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, in press). Also member checks were conducted at various stages of the study. Further, audit trails were maintained in raw data, data reduction and analysis, and data synthes is of artifacts (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Throughout the study, researcher bias was a possible threat. The researcher obtained her Master’s degree while employed as an out-of-field special educator in a similar program at the same instit utions. In the same vein, she understands the demands teachers face on a daily basis. Organization of Remaining Chapters Support for the relevance and timeliness of this study is provided in the remaining chapters. Chapter 2 in cludes relevant literature on the No Child Left Behind Act (2002), teacher supply demand, and shor tage, alternate entry into the teaching profession, highly qualified teachers, teacher efficacy and effectiveness, and implications for preparing high-qua lity special educat ors. Next, the methodology used to conduct this study is outlined in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 includes the results and analys is of the data collected as well as the researcher’s self-reflection. Finally, Chapter 5 pr ovides a discussion of the findings, implications for stakeholders, and recomme ndations for future research in this area.

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17 CHAPTER 2 Review of the Relevant Literature Overview Few would argue that par ents and caregivers are a child’s first teacher. However, once formal schooling has begun the classroom teacher has great influence on the child’s success and later ex periences (Sleeter & Grant, 1994). Similarly, researchers have found that the classroom teacher is the greatest determinant of student learning (Darlin g-Hammond, 2000; Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002; Wise 2000/2001). For this reason, it is essential that teachers are of high quality and are effe ctive in the classroom. The literature review will begin with the conceptual framework for the present study. In addition, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB, 2002) will be discussed as it has greatly impact ed the formal call for highly qualified teachers and promoted alternate methods of entry into the field. In particular, Title I and Title II of NCLB (2002) will be discussed; Title I because it emphasizes high-quality education for children living in poverty and Title II because it specifies recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers and school administrators (NCLB, 2002). Title I sc hools, or high-poverty schools, are relevant to the discussion on alternative certification because these schools are considered more difficult to staff and are often st affed by teachers who are

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18 novices, not traditionally trained, and/or are under-certified (Chait, Hardcastle, Kotzin, et al., 2001). Literature also is in cluded on the teaching force relating to concerns of supply and demand and recruitment and retention efforts (Boe et al., 1998). Further, the characteri stics of teachers and the m eans by which they enter the teaching force are discussed, followed by teacher quality and effectiveness. Also relevant to this study is research on the preparation experiences of students trained in different types of programs. Conceptual Framework The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB, 2002) has made teacher quality and qualifications a widely discuss ed and debated topic. The legislation narrowly defines a highly qualified t eacher as one who holds a Bachelor’s degree, has state certificat ion or licensure, and demonstr ates competence in the subject area being taught (Paige, 2002). Yet, educational researchers and learned bodies argue that a broader, more contextualized definition must be adopted to ensure that professional educators are pedagogically trained, culturally aware, critically reflective and have positive dispositions, which will serve them well in diverse classrooms (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education [NCATE], 2002). Broader conceptions of teacher quality treat education as more than content disse mination (Darling-Hammond, Dilworth, & Bullmaster, 1996). Students placed at the greatest risk for failure, including students with special needs, are in need of the most qualified and effective teachers. NCLB acknowledges the need for highly qualified special educators, but gives no more

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19 guidance as to what highly qualifi ed should look like beyond the narrow definition. However, NCLB has impact ed the most recent version of the Individuals with Disabil ities Education Act (IDEA, 2004). In addition to a Bachelor’s degree and certif ication and/or state licensure in special education, special educators also must hold certific ation in the core content area being taught. For the purpose of this study, a hi ghly qualified teacher is one who has content and pedagogical knowledge, demons trates proficiency and teacher efficacy, and facilitates learning with c onsistent success (see Figure 1). As previously mentioned, the classroom teacher has been found to have the greatest impact on student achievement (Darling-Hammond, 2000). Therefore, it is necessary that teachers are effective and c apable of ensuring th at learning is taking place. No Child Left Behind Overview For decades the potential for succe ss in the global community has been predicted by the demonstrated abilities of a nation’s children. The race for educational superiority can be traced back to the launch of Sputnik in 1957. This historic event sparked the National Defense Education Act (1958), which was aimed at improving the academic per formance of the nation’s children, particularly in the areas of mathematics and science. A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983), which could be considered the follow-up report, left the nation outraged at the lack of apparent progress made

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20 post Sputnik. With a new pres ident and administration, the Goals 2000: Educate America Act (1994) was signed into law as an educational reform to align national standards in educ ation through systemic reform. Subsequently, data have been collected and reports such as t he Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS; National Center for Education Stat istics, 2004) have been generated periodically in order to tra ck changes in achievement over time (Gonzales, Guzman, & Partelow, et al., 2004). All the while, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 has been restructured and reauthorized numerous times in an effort to reform education by improving various as pects of the schoolin g experience. The most recent revision, which is driv en by standards and accountability, is the No Child Left Behind Act (2002). NCLB is divided into 10 Titles, with the first two being the most widely discussed: Title I, to improve education for disadvantaged youth, and Title II, to recruit and re tain highly qualif ied teachers and administrators (NCLB, 2002). Title I Since its incepti on in 1965, under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act the primary purpose of Title I has been to provide all children with an optimal opportunity to obtain a highquality education and to develop into good citizens (Chait et al., 2001; US Depar tment of Education, 2005). More specifically Title I is intended to pr ovide the needed resources to close the achievement gap between lowand highperforming students, minority and nonminority students, and students living in poverty and their more affluent peers

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21 (Chait et al., 2001). To this end, addition al funding has been al located to state and local education agencies (i.e., stat e departments of education and schools) identified as serving children from low-income families (McDonnell, 2005). Title I funds have been allocated using two models: (a) targeted assistance, which supports individual students based on need regardless of their school’s need; and (b) the schoolwide m odel, which supports schools with 50% or more students that are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (Chait et al., 2001). According to Chait et al. (2001), t he reauthorization of Title I implemented stronger accountability systems to ensure that the st udents who had the greatest need actually received supports. The acco untability measures are particularly important as districts and individual schools can budget their allocations in a number of ways including instruction, instructional support, and program administration (McDonnell, 2005). Keeping in mind that student achievem ent is the ultimate goal, more still needs to be accomplished to close the achievement gap. A case in point, in a 3year study of lowand high-poverty school s in nine states, the reading gap for elementary students was reduced by 2% to 10% in six of nine states and, in mathematics, the achievement gap declined by 2% to 11% in six of the states (Chait et al., 2001). This is a promis ing improvement, but more work is necessary. Title II Title II of NCLB is intended to raise student achievement by improving the quality of teachers and admin istrators in schools throughout the country. Part A

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22 of Title II is designated to provide grant money to state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), state agencies for higher education, and other eligible partnerships with any of the listed entities that lead to increased student achievement (NCLB, 200 2). These funds are used to prepare, train, and recruit highly qualified educators in addition to preparing paraprofessionals and out-of-field teacher s. State educational agencies must designate 2.5% of Title II funds to reform or develop and implement more rigorous programs for cert ification, mentoring, and professional development. Local educational agency funds are allocated based on need and student population, only after a needs assessment has been conducted on professional development and hiring. Finally, funding for partnerships may only be allocated to a teacher preparation unit of an institution of higher educ ation, a school of arts and sciences, and a high-need LEA. Other eligible activi ties include technical assistance and accountability, activities t hat address needs at the national level. Supporters Supporters of NCLB have applauded the high levels of standards and accountability measures the Act imposes at all levels of the educational system (Burger, 2002). These efforts are ultima tely intended to have all students meet state-identified standards by the end of the 2013-201 4 school year (CochranSmith, 2005). Performance is measured aga inst state-identif ied benchmarks to determine success in addition to Adequat e Yearly Progress (AYP) standards to be met by all individu al students and schools in a number of categories (Cochran-Smith, 2005). It is believ ed AYP standards will provide a common

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23 language for stakeholders to discuss areas of strength and areas still in need of improvement (Simpson, LaCava, & Sampson Graner, 2004). The scores received on the required high-stak es standardized assessments determine success in meeting AYP goals for which schools are held accountable (Simpson et al., 2004). Supporters also tout the funding fo r compensatory programs (Mathis, 2005). As previously noted, Title I is a ma jor force in supplemental funding at the state and local level. Efforts to close the achievement gap by holding students and their schools accountable have been c onsidered a way of bringing “market reform to public educat ion” (Karp, 2004, p.55). Schools that fare well are commended for their success and those that fall short are identified as needing improvement and given supplemental funding for remediation efforts. The demand for highly qualified personnel also is publicized as key to the success of NCLB. It was declared in the Ac t that by the close of the 2005-2006 school year, all teachers of core cont ent would be highly qual ified (NCLB, 2002). Further, because the role of paraprofession als in instruction is undeniable, they must also meet minimum qualifications (Simpson, et al., 2004). This is of particular importance as educational re searchers come to consensus on the significant impact the classroom teacher has on student learning and achievement (Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002). Critics The No Child Left Behind Act (2002) has as many critics as it has supporters because of the controversial nat ure of many of it s mandates. Those

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24 who doubt that NCLB will have a positiv e impact on education do not deny that teachers and schools must be held accountab le for student learning. However, they argue that high-stakes assessmen t, deregulation of teacher preparation, and harsh scrutiny are not the answers to the educational achievement dilemma (Meier & Wood, 2004; Popham, 2004). Students are tested for the sake of accountability in reading and math annually in grades 3 through 8 and at least once during high sch ool. In addition, science will be added to the required cont ent area tested during the 2007-2008 school year. Duran (2005) voiced concer ns, from the perspective of a school administrator and social science res earcher, over the sanctions and consequences that may be imposed based on the results of high-stakes tests. Moreover, he questioned the vali dity and reliability of the scores the tests yield. In a similar vein, Superfine (2004) noted the importance of consid ering the testing practices employed for the sake of NCLB. Among the other issues of assessment is the inclusion of students with disabili ties and students for whom English is a second language (Goertz, 2005). Beyond validity and reliability, the high-stakes designation has caused the focus in school s to shift from teaching for students to learn to teaching for students to pass the test. Kohn (2004) referred to the testing requirement of NCLB as “compromisi ng the quality of teaching by forcing teachers to worry more about raisi ng test scores than about promoting meaningful learning” (p.79). Simply stat ed, mandating high-stakes tests does not provide what many would consider genuine accountability (Darling-Hammond,

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25 2000). Worse yet, many states have had to expand their assessment programs and cost and capacity consequences hav e been considerable (Goertz, 2005). Another area of concern heightened by NCLB is the recruitment, hiring, and retention of teachers for public school s in the United States. According to NCLB (2002), all teachers mu st be highly qualified by the conclusion of the 20052006 school year. While critics do not argue that this lofty goal is worthwhile, it is challenged for its potential deregulation of teacher pr eparation. Former Secretary of Education Rod Paige has been cited on several occasions for comments that belittle traditional teacher preparati on programs (Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002; McKlesky & Ross, 2004). There are essentially two camps in this debate: those for deregulation through alternate routes into teacher education and those for the professionalization of teaching (C ochran-Smith & Fries, 2001). Supporters of the deregulation stance proffer verbal ability and content knowledge as the most important attributes of highly qualified educators (Paige, 2002; Walsh, 2001). Conversely, challengers of this view point believe verbal ability and content knowledge are important, but not enough. Unless these skills are combined with pedagogical skills and the ability to make decisions informed by research and feedback, teachers are reduced to the role of technicians (Cochran-Smith, 2003). Moreover, the alternate routes to teaching that have grown out of the deregulation movement are not all created equal. These initiatives may get more people certified and into the classrooms, but it may not provide each child with a highly-qualified teacher as manda ted in NCLB (Darling-Hammond, 2001).

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26 Another critique of NCLB is the st igmatizing impact it can have on schools and the teachers and students who are there. The AYP results are spoken of in terms of school report cards, with incr easing numbers of schools deemed in need of improvement or faili ng (Popham, 2004). When schools are identified as such, they are allotted additional funding to “fix” the problems with their schools and essentially their children and teachers. If sufficient improvements are not made, then students are allowed to take their enr ollment elsewhere, even to private and charter schools. Meanwhile, the stigma associated with receiving a “failing” designation causes teachers to clamor for other schools with better reputations, in most instances schools in more a ffluent areas (Berry, 2004). In addition, collateral damage occurs with schools retaining in grade, pushing out, and losing students who do not bolster AYP scores (Wood, 2004). As previously stated, NCLB has as many critics as supporters. The long history of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) suggests that equitable education for disadvantaged students is still a work in progress. Efforts made on both sides of the debate present both challenges and opportunities at all levels of the educational system. Ho wever, the ultimate goal of educating children must not get lost in the political crossfire. The Teaching Force Overview If in fact teachers are the most significant factor in student learning, then it is crucial to prepare, employ, and reta in competent, effective, and responsive teachers (Wise, 2000/2001). Unfortunately, the supply has been insufficient to

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27 meet the demands of the rapidly increasing populati on of the United States (Ingersoll, 2001). The school-age d population is expected to rise steadily while the numbers of teachers leav ing the field does the same (Ingersoll, 2001). The population spikes have been greatest in ar eas with considerable immigration and movement south and west, particularly Florida, California, and Texas (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003). Moreover, increases in concentrations of certain ethnic groups in these and other areas suggest a need for representative numbers of those ethnic groups in the teaching force (N ational Center or Education Statistics [NCES], 1996). However, the teaching r anks have remained primarily, White, middle-class, and female—and unreflective of the communities in which many of these educators will teach (Delpit, 1995; NCES, 1996). Compounding these challenges is the overall shortage of fu lly qualified teachers to staff the nation’s schools (Boe et al., 1998). NCLB (2002) has mandated that all schools be staffed with highly qualified teachers by the cl ose of the 2005-2006 school year. It is quite possible that the quantity will be met, but the question still remains as to whether or not the teacher s deemed highly qualified by th e legislation will provide professional educators that demonstrat e the knowledge and skills required to meet the manifold needs of an increas ingly diverse student population (LadsonBillings, 2005). Efforts to recruit and reta in a diverse and qualified teaching force are pivotal. It is believed that having di verse representation at all levels of the educational system will lead to heightened understanding and affirmation of difference (Nieto, 1999).

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28 Teacher Demographics The data available on teacher characte ristics indicates that the teaching force is predominately female, reco rded at just under 75% in 1999 to 2000 (Henke, Peter, Li, & Geis, 2005; see Appendix A). Simila rly, Brookhart and Freeman (1992) reported in a meta-analysi s that 75%-80% of teacher education students were female. Further, the numbers of females in elementary and early childhood education programs have been found higher than in secondary programs (Zumwalt & Craig, 2005). Boyer and Mainzer (2003) reported that the special education teaching force was approx imately 85% female. This proportion was only lower in programs for st udents with emotional disabilities. The data reported to the NCES (Henke et al., 1997) on teacher race and ethnicity show that teachers are also predominately White, non-Hispanic (84%). It has been noted that teaching was once a career common to African Americans more so than other ethnic minority groups primarily due to opportunity (Murnane, Singer, Willett, Kemple, & Olsen, 1991). Ho wever, as other career opportunities for African Americans were presented, t heir representation in the teaching field waned (Murnane et al., 1991). In recent year s, the numbers of candidates in teacher education programs decreased for Whites and for teacher candidates of color. According to the SPeNSE data, 86% of beginning special educators are White (Billingsley, 2002). With regard to age, NCES data (Henke et al., 1997) indicated that the average age for teachers in 1999 to 2000 was approximately 42 years. However, there has been an increase in teachers 50 and over as well as the number of

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29 educators under 30 (Henke et al., 1997). Acco rding to Zumwalt and Craig (2005), the age increase may be attributed to the increasing num ber of graduate programs and second-career alternative cert ification programs that lead to initial certification. According to Boyer and Ma inzer (2003), the median age for special educators is just under 44 years. However, close to 22% of special educators are less than 25 to 34 years of age (Boyer & Mainzer, 2003). Henke et al., (2005) found t hat education majors were more likely to teach than graduates in other fields. Howeve r, students who majored in humanities (17%) and social sciences (9%) were also represented in the teaching force. Other teaching-related experiences such as working as a substitute teacher or teacher’s aide were reported as precurso rs to independent teaching (Henke, et al., 2005). It has also been noted that spec ial educators are more likely to hold master’s degrees (46.5%) than their general education count erparts (38.7%). This may be caused by some state’s r equiring a general education certification and/or degree prior to seeking special education certific ation (Boyer & Mainzer, 2003). Billingsley (2002) noted that 31% of beginning special educators hold master’s degrees and over 60% enter the field certifie d for their primary teaching assignment. Supply and Demand Over the past decade, researcher s have studied the supply and demand of general and special educators (Boe et al., 1998; Ingersoll, 2001). The teacher shortage is discussed in a number of ways, primarily in terms of quantity and quality (Boe et al., 1998). Boe et al. (1998) examined the shortage of public

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30 school teachers in terms of certificati on status and source of supply. The data were obtained from a nati onally representative samp le of more than 46, 000 teachers in both general and special educat ion. The researchers came to six summative findings for the six-year per iod studied: (a) there was a chronic annual shortage of fully-certi fied special educators; (b) the shortage of fully certified special educators was almost twic e as large as in general education; (c) the shortage was exacerbated by entering t eachers in either general or special education, many of whom were only partly certified; (d) the s hortage of teachers was exacerbated regardless of entry cat egory (i.e., certification status and preparation); (e) among continuing t eachers in both categories, those who became established in their assignments had higher levels of full certification, yet special education still had lower levels and significant turnover rates; (f) and transitional teachers in both categories attained lower levels of full certification (Boe et al., 1998). Expanded pr ofessional development and increased graduation of special education teacher candidates are offered as possible solutions to the shortage of fully certified special educators (Brownell, Ross, Colon, & McCallum, 2003). In addition, Brownell et al. (2003) suggested great er incentives could be offered for partially certified teachers to become fully certified and attracting general educators to become fully certified in and t each special education. Ingersoll (2001) analyzed data from the Schools and Staffing Survey (Whitener, Gruber, Lynch, et al., 1997) and the Teacher Follow-up Survey conducted by the National Center for Educ ation Statistics (NCES; Whitener et al., 1997). He found that school staffing chall enges were not due to an inadequate

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31 supply of teachers, but due to teachers leav ing the field for retirement and other reasons related to organizational factor s (e.g., lack of admin istrative support, low salaries, and limited decision-making author ity). Ingersoll’s (2001) findings were consistent with other research in this area documenting that teacher shortages are problematic. Additionally, if factors such as teacher job dissatisfaction and teachers leaving to pursue better jobs or other careers ar e not addressed, teacher attrition will persist (Ingersoll, 2001). Areas of critical teacher shortage include mathematics, science, English as a Second/Other Language (ESOL), and parti cularly special education (Boe et al., 1998). Similar to the overall student population, the numbers of students identified and served in special education is growing while high teacher attrition rates continue rise (Brownell, Sindelar Bishop et al., 2002). McKlesky et al. (2004) have forecasted that shortages wi ll become more dramatic in the coming years. Factors related to teacher attrition in specia l education fall into three categories: teacher characteristics, wo rking conditions, and affective responses to teaching (Brownell et al., 2002). Brow nell et al. (2002) noted that teacher characteristics such as age, experienc e, preparation route, and certification status duration impacted teac her attrition. Also, job satisfaction and persistence is directly related to work conditions including salary, intrinsic rewards of teaching, and administrative support (Inger soll, 2001). Further, commitment to teaching is related to stress, em powerment, and classroom experiences (Brownell et al., 2002). The dire shortage of qualified teachers is a reality and the complexities are well documented (B oe et al., 1998; Ingersoll, 2001).

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32 Brownell et al. (2004) r eported that despite the amount of money spent by Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to increase the quantity of qualified professionals in the special educ ation teaching force, “the efforts have been insufficient to adequately increase t he number of qualif ied teachers in special education, particularly teachers who are culturally and linguistically diverse” (p.56). The dismal outlook seems more permanent when researchers point to the “revolving door” (Ingersoll, 2001, p.499 abstract) which serves as an entryway for young, inexperienced, and/or under-qualified teachers and an exit for teachers who are lost to factors noted previously by McKlesky et al. (2004). In either instance, students with specia l needs, the students with the most specialized needs, are placed at a disadv antage. Efforts must be made to attract, recruit, and retain teachers who are compet ent, effective, responsive to diversity, and committed to staying in the field. Recruitment and Retention State and district-level administrators are in a considerable bind when it comes to serving students receiving special education. They seek to recruit and retain qualified teachers, those wit h content knowledge and pedagogical skills, who can increase levels of st udent achievement in the mids t of a scarcity of fully qualified professionals (Bro wnell et al., 2004). Therefor e, all entit ies of the educational system must collaborate effe ctively to recrui t and prepare teacher candidates, including graduates of tr aditional programs and participants in alternative route programs (Sheperd & Brown, 2003). Moreov er, attrition will have

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33 to be stifled through effective inducti on programs and mentorship (Danielson, 2002). Attrition appears to be a greater chal lenge than recruitment (Brownell et al., 2002), but recruitment wa rrants discussion. The use of financial incentives and increased salary are often mentioned for attracting teacher in critical shortage areas and difficult-to-staff sc hools (Kaplan & Owings, 2002). Further, teaching is one of the only fields that offe r little reward for productivity and only modest rewards for persistence in the fiel d. However, some of the large city districts are attempting to draw talent ed teachers into their schools by boosting starting pay and piloting performance-pay sca les (Brownell, Bishop, & Sindelar, 2005; Kaplan & Owings, 2002). The success of such programs is mixed because, again, working conditions and si milar factors moder ate the potential effects of pay opportunities. It has been pos ited that teachers ar e more likely to change schools because of student characte ristics than salary (Hanushek, Kain, & Rivkin, 2004). Teacher movement on the basis of student characteristics suggests that Martin Haberman’s (1995) long-held belied that appropriate selection of teachers is critical, especia lly for closing the revolving door to schools considered difficult-to-staff (i .e., high-poverty, low performing). Other recruitment initiati ves suggest early outreach strategies (Brownell et al., 2005). This is particularly hopeful for rural districts that may be more cost effective than recruiting outside of the community and risking teacher migration. Another method of “growing your own” that has shown potential is the preparation of paraprofessionals to become fully certified teac hers (Brownell et

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34 al., 2005). The fact that m any teachers return to t he areas where they were raised suggests that recruiting as ear ly as high school is a viable option (Southeast Center for Teaching Quality [SCTQ], 2003). Another recruitment priority is to increase the number of teachers from ethnic/racial minority backgrounds (LadsonBillings, 2005; Ros enberg & Sindelar, 2001). Henke, Choy, Chen, Geis, and Alt (1 997) reported to the National Center for Education Statistics t hat the proportion of minorit y teachers in schools is significantly lower than the numbers of students in those schools. As a result, many have called for innovative strategies for recruiting college graduates from ethnic/minority backgrounds who show prom ise into the teaching force (National Commission on Teaching and America’s Fu ture, 1996, 2003). As Ayalon (2004) pointed out, the shortage of teachers in urban schools is a continued challenge coupled with the disproportionate lack of te achers of color. It is necessary to make clear the potential benefits of having ethnic minority representation in the teaching ranks. This is not to say that educators of color will be more effective than their White colleagues in their work with children from diverse backgrounds. Yet, Darling-Hammond et al. (1996) ack nowledged the contextual understanding that teachers of color may have that can impact student connections and subsequent learning. Furthermore, teachers of color may be more willing to work in urban and high-poverty areas (Dar ling-Hammond et al., 1996), may empower children of color to strive for acad emic achievement (Nieto, 1999), and mend some of the cultural mismatch betw een families and schools (Delpit, 1995).

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35 There are many nuances to the recrui tment, preparation, and retention of teachers, particularly in schools described as difficult-to-staff. To that end, a variety of strategies have been attempted in order to attract teachers to positions in which they will stay (Berry, 2004; Br ownell et al., 2005; SCTQ, 2003). It has been found that beginning teachers are at gr eatest risk for attrition and goodness of fit is critical (Haberman, 1995). Even more, researchers have noted that once teachers are in the classroom, welldesigned support program increase their likelihood of staying (Brownell et al ., 2004). According to the NCTAF (2003), “Teachers are not finished products when they complete a teacher preparation program” (p.79). Thus, high-quality induc tion and support pr ograms should: (a) indicate clear goals to improve teachi ng, (b) provide engagi ng mentors, (c) include relevant professi onal development, (d) and allocate adequate fiscal and political support (Brownell et al., 2004) The mentoring prov ided in quality induction programs is vital for building su stained collegial relationships that ward off the sense of isolation fe lt by many teachers, parti cularly those who choose to leave prior to retirement (Daniels on, 2002; Lortie, 1975/2002). In addition, learning communities can be built th rough mentoring and other forms of systematic support that will not only lessen attrition, but also help improve the culture of schools and perspec tives on the teaching profession through reflection and increased job satisfacti on (Kaplan & Owings, 2002). As noted, beginning teacher s are vulnerable to attr ition (Danielson, 2002). In fact, 13.3% of teachers with 3 years of experience or less move to different teaching assignments and 8.5% leave the pr ofession all together (Henke et al.,

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36 1997). Due to the specific demands of s pecial education, teachers in this area are at greater risk for attr ition (Brownell et al., 2002). All beginning teacher are expected to perform the same tasks as their veteran count erparts and special educators are no exception (Brownell et al., 2002). Therefore, in addition to instruction, classroom management, and build ing relationships, they must also maintain paperwork, develop needed accommodations, and conduct assessments (Boyer & Gillespie, 2000). That said, beginning special educators may have the least time to participate in induction and mentor ing programs; yet, they have the most unique needs. T hese challenges are compounded when special education teachers come into t he field with less-than-full certification (Billingsley, 2002). Furthermore, as teacher s come into education by alternative routes, special education in particula r, added professional development and support will be essential to their succe ss and the success of their students. Entering the Profession Overview The need for teachers continues as st udent enrollment consistently rises (Kaplan & Owings, 2002). The current feder al Administration has opened several new doorways into the teaching profe ssion, and the trad itional teacher preparation programs of uni versities are no longer the sole educators (Paige, 2002). Former Secretary of Education Paige’ s support for alternative routes into teaching has been ridiculed because it came at the same time he advocated for more rigorous teacher training programs in higher education, which was viewed as the deregulation of the profession with more stri ngent regulation of traditional

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37 preparation programs (Cobl e & Azordegan, 2004; Dar ling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002). Further, the Secretary’s report indi cated that subject-matter competency and verbal ability are the most critic al components to teacher effectiveness. Conversely, educational researchers have found that verbal and academic ability are important, however, teacher’s sens e of preparedness (i.e., coursework, pedagogical training, and supervised teachi ng) and sense of teaching efficacy are critical to their persistence (Browne ll et al., 2002; Darling-Hammond, Chung, & Frelow, 2002). The challenge to prepare te achers effectively in a time and cost efficient manner has caused significant manner has caused significant changes across the spectrum of teac her preparation programs that now include traditional programs, post-baccalaureat e programs, alternative route programs, and other innovative blends such as the Master of Arts in Teaching degree programs (Rosenberg & Sindelar, 2001). Traditional Programs Undergraduate degree programs Traditional teacher education programs are housed in institutions of higher educati on and provide student s with coursework and experiences leading to certificati on and either an undergr aduate or graduate degree. Typically, undergraduat e programs are designed to be completed in four years. According to Brownell et al. ( 2003), teacher preparat ion programs judged as highly effective include: Cohesive coursework and field experiences Faculty use of varied instructional strategies Emphasis on the needs of diverse learners

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38 Collaborative learning communities Emphasis on pedagogical skills Clear vision for high quality teaching Use of active pedagogy Graduate degree programs. Another traditional option is the graduate degree program. Most graduate degree programs in education ar e designed for students with undergraduate degrees in a related disci pline. In recent years, teacher education programs have offered comb ined programs in which students can complete both the undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years (Rosenberg & Sindelar, 2001). Alternative Routes Post-baccalaureate certification. With the advent of emergency certification, some teachers enter the classroo m with no experience and an approved transcript with required coursework taken at a university not a part of a degree program (Darling-Hammond et al., 2002; Sheperd & Brown, 2003). These teachers agree to take the approved certif ication exam and, in an instant, are certified teach. This option is undoubt edly the most questioned by educational researchers (Berry, 2004; Coble & Az ordegan, 2004; Darlin g-Hammond et al., 2002). District-level alternativ e certification programs. School district sponsored certification programs hav e been criticized as short-term fixes (Berry, 2004; Darling-Hammond, 2001). Thes e programs typically offer “crash courses” in classroom management, lesson plan devel opment, and an overview of the

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39 profession. However, some partnership grants for districts and universities have been secured to fund more comprehensiv e, research-based instruction to prepare better alternative-route te achers (Anderson & Bullock, 2004). Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Degree programs, such as the MAT, have been developed and refined across the country in a variety of educational areas including secondary educati on and special education. The MAT is an accelerated graduate degree program designed for initial professional educator certification (Post et al., 2004). It is an innovative opportunity for graduates to receive certification in a relatively short time while benefiting from the core components of a traditional undergraduate degree pr ogram (Kelly & Dietrich, 1995). The advantages and disadvantages of traditional and non-traditional programs have been debated in light of the dire need for highly qualified, effective, and committed teachers. Ad vocates of the traditional teacher preparation programs declare that t he coursework, pedagogical training, and supervised field experiences that are central to those programs are essential to retaining effective teachers (Brownell et al., 2003; Darlin g-Hammond & Youngs, 2002). The sustained involvement in a colle gial environment fosters critical reflection and professionalism (i.e., student teaching, cohort models) (Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-mundi, 2002; Ros enberg & Sindelar, 2001). However, alternative certificati on programs have benefits not afforded by traditional programs. Mid-career prof essionals bring life and work experiences with them. Also, studies have documented the success of alternative programs in recruiting

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40 candidates from culturally and linguistica lly diverse backgrounds (Brownell et al., 2002). Conventional wisdom suggests that the alternative certification programs are here to stay. Teachers are required to become highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year (NCLB, 2002), wh ich makes time of the essence. That said, it is in the best interest of school districts and colleges of education to collaborate in order to provide th e best preparation and professional development opportunities and experiences possible. The NCTAF (2003) has declared the traditional versus alternat ive certification debate a moot point. Students need and deserve the mo st effective and qualified teachers in order to facilitate their learning and achievement. Thus, all pathways to teaching must be of high quality (NCTAF, 2003). Teacher Quality and Effectiveness Highly Qualified Teacher The No Child Left Behind Act (2002) defines the high ly qualified teacher as one who holds a Bachelor’s degree, state certification, and demonstrates competency in the subject area being taught. Although researchers have argued that these qualificatio ns ensure that teachers are cert ified it does not necessarily ensure that they are highl y qualified as stated (C ochran-Smith, 2005). Thus, broader conceptions of highly qualified t eachers have been put forth. The NCTAF (2003) offered the following characteristics abilities for defining a highly qualified beginning teacher: Possess deep knowledge of content

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41 Demonstrate thorough understandi ng of children’s learning and development Demonstrate the necessary teaching skills to ensure learning Foster a positive learning environment Employ a variety of assessment st rategies to monitor student learning Integrate technology into instruction Collaborate with ot her stakeholders Reflect on their practice Pursue professional development activities Instill a love of learning in their students Similarly, NCATE (2002) standards indi cate that “candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other professional schoo l personnel know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students l earn” (p.14). More specific to special educators, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC, 2005) made known its position on highly qualified special educat or in terms of NCLB (2002) and IDEA (2004). It highlighted the spec ial educators’ roles in in dividualizing instruction; collaborating with students, families, school personnel, and other agencies; employing evidence-based instructional strategies; modifying learning environments; and ensuring their own com petence in core academic areas being taught. Carlson, Lee, and Schroll (2004) identified attributes of special education teachers that indicate high quality. T hey noted that many studies on general

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42 educators documented the positive rela tionship between student achievement and teacher experience, attitudes and belie fs, and classroom practices. In their study, Carlson et al. (2004) found the same attributes of great import for special educators. Few would argue that teachers need to be highly qualified to teach. As the 2005-2006 school year unfolds, the debate over how to ensure that each child has a highly qualified teacher is far from over. Optimally, t eachers will be highly qualified beyond the narrow defin ition given in NCLB (2002). Teacher Efficacy and Effectiveness Teacher efficacy is defined as the belie f in one’s ability to teach effectively and promote student learning (Asht on & Webb, 1986; Bandura, 1993; see Appendix A). Research on teacher’s sens e of efficacy has been documented to determine possible effects on student per formance (Gibson & Dembo, 1984). In addition to adequate preparation, res earchers have found that teacher effectiveness also is related to thei r sense of efficacy (Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002). Hoy (2000) st ated that the development of teacher efficacy is influenced by mastery experiences during t he internship period and first year of teaching. This suggests that comprehens ive, supervised preparation programs may positively impact the teaching effi cacy of beginning teachers. In the same vein, Ebmeier (2003) identified supervis ed teaching and peer mentoring are as having a positive impact on teacher efficacy and commitment to teaching. In other studies, efficacious teache rs demonstrated strong characteristics that would benefit them and their students. In particu lar, teachers with high

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43 efficacy believe they can influence student learning (Guskey, 1988). Also, Johnson, Wallace, and Thompson (1999) noted that teachers with high efficacy felt capable of effecting instructional change and solving problems. Furthermore, highly efficacious teachers were more likely to try innovative instructional techniques (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). T hese inclinations are of particular importance for special educator s, as they face greater challenges in the field and may benefit from significant mastery exper iences while in their programs (Boyer & Gillespie, 2000). Preparation Experiences The recent research on teacher pr eparation has ranged from adhering to standards and federal regul ation (Hardman, Rosenb erg, Sindelar, 2005), to working with specific populations of lear ners (Ford, 2004). In addition, the impact of varying pathways to teaching has gar nered attention (Darling-Hammond et al., 2002; Flores, Desjean-Perrotta, & Stei nmetz, 2004; Naka i & Turley, 2003; Rosenberg & Sindelar, 2001). The studies av ailable identify differences between traditionally and non-traditionally pr epared teachers in pedagogical skills, teaching efficacy, and intent to stay in the field. Darling-Hammond et al. (2002) analyzed survey data that asked teachers to rate their preparedness and their persona l views about teaching. The teachers who were trained in a formal university program felt prepared better than those who were prepared through progr ams that minimize pre-se rvice training (DarlingHammond et al., 2002). Stemming from the Darling-Hamm ond et al. (2002) study, Flores et al. (2004) studied differenc es in teacher efficacy as a function of

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44 pathways to certification. Si milarly, they found that traditional ro ute teachers were more confident in their teaching ability to make a difference, possibly because of their pedagogical knowledge. The major finding of Nakai & Turley ( 2003) was that provis ionally certified teachers implied that field experienc es, through pre-service programs and working as a substitute teacher or teac her aide, were invaluable. Further, the opportunity for immediate application of learning was considered advantageous (Nakai & Turley, 2003). Another recent st udy compared the ch allenges identified by beginning teachers from traditional and alternativel y certified teachers such as classroom management, pedagogy, and instruct ional skills (Wayman, Foster, Mantle-Bromley, & Wilson, 2003). The findi ngs of Wayman et al. (2003) indicated that traditionally traine d general education teacher s felt better pedagogically prepared than their alternatively cert ified counterparts based on survey responses. The beliefs on pedagogical pr eparedness were echoed in a study by traditionally prepared career and techni cal education teachers (Ruhland & Bremer, 2003). One interesting conc lusion was that both traditionally and alternatively certified teachers rated positive teaching experience, sense of accomplishment, and positive interactions with students as important in decisions to remain in the field (Ruhland & Bremer 2003). These findings are consistent with those of Zabel and Zabel (2001), who indicated that degree status and certification were often linked to personal attributes or abilities to withstand jobrelated stresses.

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45 Summary The literature shows a persisting n eed for a committed supply of highly qualified, highly competent, and highly effica cious teachers, particularly in special education. The No Child Left Behind Act (2002) mandates that every teacher be highly qualified by the close of the 20052006 school year. However, the limited conceptualization provided will ensure that teachers are hi ghly certified, but may still not be highly qualified. The touted purpos e of this legislation is to close the achievement gap and make certain that a ll students are achieving at high levels (NCLB, 2002). However, the means by which many newly certified teachers are prepared has come into question. If the professionals who come into schools have limited preparation or pedagogical kn owledge, they may further impede student learning. The literature has re vealed that preparation does matter and that there are specific experiences and abilities that will significantly improve teacher effectiveness, success, and persist ence in the field (Darling-Hammond et al., 2002; NCTAF, 2003). Subject-ar ea competence, pedagogical skill, and ongoing supervised field experiences are pivotal to mastery learning and increased efficacy (Hoy, 2000). Researchers have indicated a ve sted interest in examining the characteristics and experiences of preservice and in-service special educators (McKlesky & Ross, 2004; Rosenberg & Sindelar, 2001). The present study examined the characteristics and experiences of teachers in the final internship phase of the MAT program in Varying Exce ptionalities at a Research I/Research Extensive university in the Southeast. More specifically, the researcher hoped to

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46 gain insight into who the interns are as students in an accelerated initial teacher preparation program and as teachers of st udents with special needs. Research in special education primarily has involved mono-method studies of instructional strategies (McKlesky & Ross, 2004). Additiona lly, this study is one of the few that reports on teacher efficacy and also has actual observation data for complementarity (Darling-Hammond et al ., 2002). It is hoped that the findings from this study will provide useful information to teacher educators and researchers, school district personnel and educational policymakers that will ultimately improve educational outco mes for students with special needs and from diverse backgrounds.

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47 CHAPTER 3 Methodology Introduction It is hoped that this study will begin to fill a gap in the ext ant literature by providing empirical findings regardi ng the characteristics and preparation experiences of highly qualified special educators who have entered the field through non-traditional means. This st udy was intended to examine the characteristics of teachers in the final internship phase of a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Varying Exc eptionalities at a Research I/Research Extensive university in the Southeast. Additionally, the researcher hoped to provide data that would inform policy and practice on a federal level, particul arly in reference to the mandates for teacher quality in NCLB (2002) and IDEA ( 2004). Further, Title II of the Higher Education Act (1998) outli nes standards for prepari ng effective teachers and administrators and includes initiatives to support such efforts. The findings from this study have implications for alignm ent of these standards with the types of experiences constructed for educators th rough University preparation and other forms of professional development. Mo reover, the Depart ment of Special Education at this particular institution is committed to research that will improve outcomes for students with disabilities and those who are placed at-risk for

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48 school failure, the very students the afor ementioned federal legislations purport to help (Special Education webpage, 2005). This department also fosters a collegial and respectful environment for preparing practitioners and researchers at the undergraduate, Ma ster’s, and doctoral levels. To that end, this study supported the mission, goals, and values espoused by this academic unit by studying one facet of its preparation program through a sample of the reflective practitioners it trains. Research Questions As a result of the noted federal and local objectives, the following research questions were developed: 1. What are the demographic characte ristics (i.e., age, gender, ethnicity, undergraduate degree, why special education was chosen, teacher performance competencies, teaching a ssignment by exc eptionality) of select teachers enrolled in a MAT pr ogram who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? 2. What are the characteristics of se lect teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internsh ips in Varying Exceptionalities with respect to the seven midrange functi ons identified by Haberman (1995, 2004): persistence, response to authority, application of generalizations, approach to at-risk students, personal vs. professional orientation toward teaching, burnout, and fallibility? 3. What are the characteristics of select teachers enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program who are co mpleting their final internships in

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49 Varying Exceptionalities with respect to teacher efficacy in the areas of engagement, instruction, and classroom management? 4. How effective is the classroom prac tice of select teachers enrolled in a Master of Arts (MAT) pr ogram who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? 5. What do select teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exc eptionalities perceive as attributing to their professional succe sses and/or challenges? Participants This mixed-method case study focus ed on the characteristics of teachers enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teachi ng program, who were completing their final internships in a program in Varying Exceptionalities at a large Research I/Research Extensive university in the Southeast. During the fall 2005 semester, there were approximately 25 students, both male and female, from diverse ethnic/racial backgrounds, age ranges, and educational backgrounds completing the final internship for the program. In addition, all of these teachers had completed Haberman Urban Teacher Selecti on Interview protocols on file in the academic department. Of the targeted population, twelve agreed to participate. However, the sample was reduced to t he six teachers teaching within one school district to further bound the case (Merriam, 1988). This particular MAT program in Varying Exceptionalities provides extensive coursework and other types of experiences leading to certification in Varying Exceptionalities and Endorsement in English to Speakers of Other

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50 Languages (ESOL). The 48-hour program (see Table 1) is designed for employed out-of-field teachers seeking initia l professional educat or certification, but teachers with undergraduat e degrees in elementary and secondary education also are admitted and they follow a s lightly modified curriculum (Special Education webpage, 2005). Ideal candidate s have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their last 60 hours of coursework in their under graduate program or a score of at least at least 1000 on the GRE. Also, admitted students must be employed in a special education position by the second seme ster of the pr ogram. Students are admitted annually in the summer term and are enrolled in a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours each semester. Thei r coursework includes three core courses on educating students with disabiliti es, two reading methods courses, a math methods course, a psychologica l foundations course, an educational measurement course, 3 ESOL courses, and a final internship and seminar.

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51 Table 1 Course Sequence for Students in an MAT pr ogram in Varying Exceptionalities Summer I Fall I Spring I Summer II Fall II EEX 6051 Creating Positive Learning Environments (6 hrs) EEX 6225 Developing Individualized Education Programs for Students with Disabilities (6 hrs) EEX 6253 Implementing and Evaluating Programs for Students with Disabilities (6 hrs) EDF 6211 Psychological Foundations (3 hrs) EEX 6947 Internship and Classroom Research (6 hrs) RED 6510 Reading Process in the Elementary School (3 hrs) MAE 6117 Math Methods FLE 5430 ESOL I: Theory and Practice of Teaching English Language (3 hrs) EDF 6432 Foundations of Measurement (3 hrs) FLE 5432 ESOL III: Language Principles, Acquisition, and Assessment for Teaching English Language Learners (3 hrs) RED 6544 Remediation of Comprehension Problems (3 hrs) FLE 5432 ESOL II: Second Language Acquisition and Literacy in Children and Adolescents (3 hrs) Selection of Participants This study employed a concurrent and identical sampling scheme to recruit participants (Onwuegbuzie & Co llins, 2004). The sampling scheme was concurrent because the sample for bot h the quantitative and qualitative phases were selected at the same time and i dentical because the participants were the same for both the quantitative and qualit ative phases. Teachers completing their final internships in an MAT program in Varying Exceptionalities at a large Research I\Research Extensive universit y in the Southeast were solicited for

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52 participation in both the quant itative and qualitative phase s of this study. The sample included six students who met the af orementioned criteria and completed the Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Inte rview prior to entering the program. Quantitative Instruments Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Interview (HUTSI) The HUTSI, often referred to as the St ar Teacher Interview, was selected because of its reported wides pread use in teacher tr aining programs and school districts across the country (Haberman Educational Foundation webpage, 2003). The domains identified by Dr. Mart in Haberman (1995) are geared toward identifying teachers who will not only enter the teaching field, but also will have success and remain in classes considered challenging to ensure success for students described as at-risk for school failure. This instrument was developed a nd refined by Haberman (1995) to identify teachers who will remain in the field and be effective teachers of students living in poverty and those placed at-ri sk for school failure. This structured interview protocol contains 14 items bas ed on his research that assess beliefs on seven mid-range functions (i.e., persistence, response to authority, application of generalizations, approach to at-risk students, personal vs. professional orientation toward teaching, burnout, and fallibility). Responses are rated from 0 to 3 yielding the following overall ratings: 40 to 45, Star; 30 to 39, High; 15 to 29, High Average; and 1 to 14, Low Average. Haberman (1995) not ed that if the instrument was administered correctly with appropriate probi ng, participants’ should have a minimum rating of 1.

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53 According to the developer, the interviewer is score-validated by initial entry responses compared to ratings on teacher performance evaluations (Haberman, 1995). In addition there have been numerous dissertations studying the HUTSI as well as a number of publis hed research articles regarding the use and evaluation of this instrument (Baski n, Ross,& Smith, 1996; Haberman, 1995; Klussman, 2004); some of which will be di scussed here. Upon further exploration of its use, the HUTSI has received mixed reviews. For example, Klussman (2004) found that students t aught by high scorers on the HUTSI performed better than their counterparts on reading and math scores of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (Texas Education A gency, 2005); yet Klussman’s (2004) overriding finding was that student perfo rmance was not significantly dependent on the method of teacher selection. On the other hand, it was noted that the HUTSI process should not be dismissed as it “offers benefits that go beyond quantifiable measures of student achievement and adhere to pedagogic principles related to how students learn” (Klussman, 2004, abstract). In another example, Baskin, Ross, and Smith (1996) examined the HUTSI and found that it did not indicate high predictive validity. However, Baskin et al. (1996) did note that such interview procedures are most effective at identifying attitudes and predispositions, which are included in t he National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Educators (NCATE) professiona l standards (NCATE, 2002). Hence, the various aspects of teacher effectivene ss are best measured by multiple data sources (Baskin, et al., 1996) as is the ca se in the present study. This instrument was used by the MAT program staff as a part of the initial interview process.

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54 Thus, HUTSI data included in this study was from a secondary data source and provided useful information on the partici pants’ thinking prior to beginning the program. Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale The Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES; Tschannen-Moran, & Hoy, 2001, see Appendix B) was identified by the researcher as an appropriate measure of efficacy because its develop ers asserted that it was based on existing research and widely used measures developed in this area including Rotter’s (1966) social lear ning theory, Bandura’s (1993 ) self-efficacy theory, and the work of Ashton and Webb (1986), and Gibson and Dembo (1984). The influence of Bandura’s (1997) and Gibs on and Dembo’s (1984) theoretical frameworks are apparent in this measure. However, it must be acknowledged that several of these foundations and subsequent measures are criticized for their validity, primarily due to concept ual and theoretical inconsistencies (Dellinger, 2005).The developers affirmed that care was ta ken in their design to improve upon existing measures while ensuring inter-correlation (TschannenMoran & Hoy, 2001). The TSES is available in long and s hort form, using Likert-type scales to assess efficacy across three dimensions : instructional strategies, student engagement, and classroom management. The re searcher used the long form in this study because the items included could provide more information relevant to the research questions addressed. Further, participant responses on this scale informed the development of the questions for the focus group interview.

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55 Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001) indicated that this measure provided more useful information when compared to t he two Rand items related to teacher efficacy (Armor et al., 1976) and the Gibson and Dembo (1984) scales by assessing a broader range of teaching tasks. The developers noted that this selfreport instrument has dem onstrated reasonable validity and score reliability (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001) exam ined the TSES, also called the Ohio State Teacher Efficacy Scale, in three separate studies during development. During the final study, t he developers performed factor analyses for the three teacher efficacy sub scales (instruction, management, and engagement) yielding score reliability of .94 for the long form and .90 for the short form (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001) Additionally, construct-related validity was determined on both forms by assessing the correlation of this measure with other instru ments that meas ure eficacy (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). According to Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001), the long form of the TSES was positively correlated with R and items (Armor et al., 1976) ( r = .16, p <.01). Adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation System The adapted Pathwise Classroom Obse rvation System (see Appendix C) was selected for this study to add anot her layer of information in understanding teacher effectiveness. The researcher went through the video training modules provided by the developer and received addit ional training from a researcher in the academic unit who underwent formal training in the use and rating of the

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56 system. The adapted Pathwise is a struct ured classroom observation system originally developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS, 2005), one of the nation’s leading test developers. The system is designed to be a flexible, constructivist, and active diagnostic tool useful for professional development. The Pathwise offers a common definiti on and means of discussing teaching and professional practice based on empirical research categorized in four domains: (a) Organizing content knowledge fo r student learning, (b) creating an environment for student learning, (c) teaching for student learning, and (d) teacher professionalism (ETS, 2005). As noted by Good and Brophy (1994), a teacher’s ability to describe their behav ior in the classroom heightens their awareness and hopefully make informed dec isions about how to improve their practice. In this way, the Pathwise is intended to guide professional development by examining instructional planning, formative classr oom observation, a class profile, and semi-structured pre-and post-observation interviews. Research conducted using this system in a c ontrol-treatment designed study yielded statistically significant differences at or above the .05 level in classroom performance based on 11 of the 19 areas addressed (Giebelhaus & Bowman, 2002). The academic unit had previosuly ad apted the observation system for its own use and the adapted forms were used in this study. Qualitative Instruments Semi-Structured Interviews The mentor teachers pair ed with the interns were interviewed as a followup to the Adapted Pathwise Observati ons. Even though the observations are

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57 thorough and offer prolonged engagement (Danielson, 19 96), the researcher conducted interviews as a means of tri angulating the data from the observations. The interviews were semi-structured and the questions were aligned with the domains of the Adapted Pathwise Observ ation (Creswell, 1998; see Appendix D). Focus Group Interview Additional data was collected in a fo cus group interview, with the desired number of six partici pants in the group to address re search question number five (Krueger & Casey, 2000). The focus group questions were also based on participants’ responses from the HUTSI, TSES, and the adapted Pathwise classroom observations (see Appendix E). Krueger and Casey (2000) suggest a ma ximum of five guiding questions to garner information on a given topic. As suggested by Krueger and Casey (2000), the researcher fac ilitated the focus group with the assistance of another doctoral student who took notes, and the session lasted approximately 90 minutes. Both the facilitator and the assistant were trained in focus group research methodology. In addition, indivi dual member checks were conducted as a necessary form of verification. The fo cus group interview was tape-recorded for transcription and analysis. Ethical Considerations As an educational researcher, my intent is to do no harm and to make every attempt to leave the participant site better for my having been there. This study was approved by the university Institut ional Review Board (IRB) as well as

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58 by the Director of Assessment, Account ability, and Supervision of the school district in which the participants were em ployed prior to any contact with potential participants. Through the informed cons ent documents, all participants were provided with information about the resear cher, the purpose of the study, and why their participation was being solicited. Participants were free to withdraw from the study at any ti me without penalty. Participant information was kept in confidence. All study materials were kept in the researcher’s locked file cabinet and password-protected computer. Procedures The researcher was the primary data collector for this study. The researcher is trained in research met hods, having completed two graduate-level statistics courses, a mixed-methods research design course, and a course exploring philosophies of inquiry, and fo cus group research methods. A doctoral student with similar training was enlisted to assist with the focus group data analysis. The quantitative and qualitative data for this study was collected using concurrent triangulation des ign (see figure 2; Creswell, Plano Clark, Gutmann, & Hanson, 2003). This design is comm only used when different methods are employed to corroborate or strengthen findi ngs within a single study (Creswell et al., 2003). For example, in one study on speech language pathologists’ professional efficacy beliefs a resear cher administered a survey and later conducted interviews with a sub-sample (Harris, 2005). In this study, the researcher collected all data within the internship seme ster and the concurrent

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59 design allowed for a shorter data collect ion period (Creswell, et al., 2003). Despite the small sample size, the qua litative and quantitative components held equal priority. The findings from bo th components were integrated during interpretation and analysis. Timeline for Data Collection Table 2 Data Collection Timeline September October November December -Approval from dissertation committee; school district -Approval from university IRB -TSES -Compile existing data (i.e., demographics, HUTSI) -Observations -Mentor teacher interviews -Observations -Mentor teacher interviews -Focus group Once the study was approved by the dissertation committee and Institutional Review Board (IRB), the researcher contact ed potential participants and obtained informed consent from the parti cipants. The researcher collected all data during the fall 2005 semester. The teac hers who participated in the study were completing their supervised final inte rnships, participating in a classroom action research course, and a course on Language Acquisitions, Principles, and Assessment. The TSES was administered dur ing one of the class meetings of the action research course. Also, once c onsent was obtained, existing participant data was compiled. The next phase of data collection was the completion of the adapted Pathwise Classroom observations. The obs ervations included a pre-observation

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60 interview, an instructional profile/le sson plan review, cla ssroom profile, the formative observation, and the post-observation interview. Due to time constraints, five of the si x participants preferred to co mplete the pre-observation interview and profiles indepen dently as a questionnaire. Also, two of the six postobservation interviews were conducted by phone. After all of the observations were comp leted, the researcher contacted the teachers’ assigned mentors. The mentor teachers all ag reed to be interviewed by the researcher. Three of t he six mentors were interviewed face-to-face and three were interviewed by phone. The resear cher used a semi-structured interview protocol (see Appendix D) based on the Pathwise domains in order to triangulate the data collected using the adapted Pathwise. Finally, a focus group interview wa s conducted with all participants. The researcher negotiated with t he action research course instructor to have the participants excused during one of the la st class sessions to respect the participants’ time. The focus group interv iew included questions directly related to the qualitative research questions and others stemming from other data collected (see Appendix E).

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61 Figure 2 Mixed-Method Case Study Design Concurrent Triangulation Complementarity Quantitative HUTSI data TSES Adapted Pathwise observation Qualitative Demographic characteristics Mentor teacher interviews Focus group interview

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62 Research Design This study utilized a mixed-method case study design to examine the characteristics of teacher s enrolled in an MAT program who were completing their final internships in Varying Except ionalities (Creswell, 1998). According to Stake (1995), the three core elements of case study research are description, issue, and interpretation in an attempt to find out the parti culars of a case and not to generalize findings. More specifically, th is was a collective case study seeking to gain an understanding of the characteri stics of six teachers who chose the same MAT program in Varying Exceptiona lities to become certified to teach special education (Stake, 1995). Similarl y, Merriam (1988) described the case study as particularistic, descriptive, heur istic, and inductive. Further, she offered this method as most appropriate when a bounded system, such as teachers in an MAT program all employed by the same school district, are the focus of study. In this case study, the quantitative and qual itative components held equal priority. Quantitative Design The quantitative component of this study was framed in the post-positivist paradigm (Philips, 2004). This paradigm seeks objective answers, often in the form of a questionnaire. This phase of the study involved a descriptive research design with descriptive statistical analys is on participant responses on the HUTSI (Haberman, 1995), TSES (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001), and ratings on the Adapted Pathwise observation system. Participant information was kept in confidence.

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63 Qualitative Design The qualitative component of the study followed the constructivist paradigm (Lincoln, 2004). This paradigm a sserts that meaning is constructed by individuals and groups. This component of the study also followed the tenets of phenomenology with a case perspective, a llowing the variables to interact to yield synergistic findings on the essence of the experience (Creswell, 1998). The participants’ mentor teachers were in terviewed as a follow-up to the adapted Pathwise observations. In addition, par ticipants were engaged in a focus group interview. Again, confi dentiality was maintained. Mixed-Methods Design While many paradigms provide support for mixed-method s research, the researcher held the pragm atist perspective, believing that mixed-methods research involves employing the mo st appropriate methods to answer the research questions posed (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2003). The mixed-methods design was QUAN+QUAL concu rrent triangulation (see Fi gure 2; Creswell et al., 2003). The quantitative and qualitative components of the study were interspersed as indicated in the timeline of data collection (see Table 2). The data analysis was exploratory in nature, not seeking to confirm any hypotheses, but to better understand a sample of t eachers who chose an MAT program as their route to becoming highly qualif ied (Onwuegbuzie & Teddlie, 2003).

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64 Data Analysis Table 3 provides a pictorial display of how the research questions aligned with the instruments used to collect t he data and the analysis procedures used for analysis for this study. The data co llected for this case study was analyzed both within and cross case (Stake, 1995).

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65 Table 3 Alignment of Research Questions With Instruments and Analysis Procedures Research Questions Instruments/Procedures 1. What are the demographic characteristics (i.e., age, gender, ethnicity, undergraduate degree, why special education was chosen, teacher performance competencies, teaching assignment by exceptionality) of select teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? Pre-existing data Qualitative description 2. What are the characteri stics of select teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities with respect to the seven midrange functions identified by Haberman (1995, 2004): persistence, response to authority, application of generalizations, approach to at-risk students, personal vs. professional orientation toward teaching, burnout, and fallibility? Pre-existing HUTSI data Descriptive statistics 3. What are the characteri stics of select teachers enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities with respect to teacher efficacy in the areas of engagement, instruction, and classroom management? TSES Calculation of frequencies/percentage of responses Descriptive statistics 4. How effective is the classroom practice of select teachers enrolled in a Master of Arts (MAT) program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? Adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation System Descriptive statistics Semi-structured interviews with mentor teachers Qualitative analysis of respondents’ comments and alignment with Pathwise results 5. What do select teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities perceive as attributing to their professional successes and/or challenges? Focus group interview Qualitative analysis of respondents’ comments

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66 Quantitative Analysis The researcher obtained descriptive statistics including the mean, range, and standard deviation of ratings from the existing demographic data and the responses on the TSES, HUTSI, and adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation System. Version 13.0 of SPSS (2005) was used to analyze the quantitative data because it enables users to enter and analyze data quickly with high-quality output in a variety of formats. In order to provide data in a user friendly and meaningful way tables and gr aphs were constructed. Qualitative Analysis Semi-Structured Interviews. The interviews with the mentor teachers were tape recorded and transcribed by the researc her. The responses of the mentor teachers were triangulated with the obser vation data the researcher collected (Green, Caracelli, & Graham, 1989). Focus group interview. The focus group interview was audio taped and transcribed using Dragon Naturally Speak ing, version 8 speech recognition software (Nuance, 2005). The data were analyzed using NVivo software (QSR International, 2005). Themes and categorie s were developed by the researcher and an independent coder through multiple iterations (Constas, 1992; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The coders met to di scuss their coding and to resolve any discrepancies before developing the final themes and meta-themes (Onwuegbuzie & Teddlie, 2003). The res earcher then solicited participant feedback on codes prior to summarizing the findings.

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67 Mixed-Methods Analysis The researcher followed selected stages of the mixed-methods data analyses process outlined by Onwuegbuzie and Teddlie (2003). For the first stage, data reduction, the quantitative component yield ed descriptive statistics and the qualitative component involved exploratory them es. The second stage, data display, involved reduc ing the quantitative data into concise tables and the qualitative data was organized using NViv o software. The third stage, data integration, involved compiling both the quantitative and qualitat ive data into case study format allowing the researcher to make within-case and cross-case interpretations. Legitimation of Quantitat ive and Qualitative Data The researcher understands the need for legitimation of quantitative and qualitative data and will therefore reiterat e what precautions were taken to improve the soundness of t he study (Maxwell, 1996). Most importantly, the researcher disclosed bias and personal inte rest in the subject studied because she was the primary data collector, analyst, and interpreter of findings. The researcher had prolonged engagement with the parti cipants’ existing data through observations and interviews. In addi tion, audit trails were left through all raw data including field notes, audio tapes, and transcripts (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, in press). Participants were so licited for member checks and a colleague assisted in verifying themes. Because this study was explorat ory and descriptive in nature, the researcher did not employ any methods involving confirmatory analysis. This

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68 study was designed to examine the characte ristics of a selection of teachers who chose an MAT program to fulfill the highl y qualified teacher mandate. Through this study, insight was gained on who chooses to enroll in a program such as this, how efficacious they feel, the e ffectiveness of their practice, and their perceived success and challenges.

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69 CHAPTER 4 Results Overview The overall purpose of this study wa s to examine the characteristics of teachers matriculating thr ough a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in special education. This program is unique in that it addresses the need for teachers to be prepared with cont ent and pedagogical knowledge at an accelerated pace and targets second-career professionals. Participants in this study, referred to under pseudonyms, were in-service teachers completing their final internships (summary data provi ded in Table 4) in elementary and middle schools within one large school district in the Southeast, which was referred to using the pseudonym Riverton School Dist rict (RSD). These interns were supervised by Professional Practice Part ners (PPP), also referred to as mentor teachers. PPPs are responsible for prov iding support on integrated curricular projects, and providing formative and su mmative evaluations of teaching performance. The Department of Special Educ ation employs the Professional Development School (PDS) model and trains the PPPs to supervise and mentor interns effectively at the undergraduat e and graduate levels (summary data provided in Table 5).

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70 This study incorporated both quantit ative and qualitative methods. The concurrent triangulation design allowed for the corroboration of findings and integration of the results (Creswell et al., 2003). The findings were presented in relation to each research question. In addition, the researcher concluded this chapter with a self-reflection. The following research questions were addressed in this study: 1. What are the demographic characte ristics (i.e., age, gender, ethnicity, undergraduate degree, why special education was chosen, teacher performance competencies, teaching a ssignment by exc eptionality) of select teachers enrolled in a MAT pr ogram who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? 2. What are the characteristics of se lect teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internsh ips in Varying Exceptionalities with respect to the seven midrange functi ons identified by Haberman (1995, 2004): persistence, response to authority, application of generalizations, approach to at-risk students, personal versus professional orientation toward teaching, burnout, and fallibility? 3. What are the characteristics of select teachers enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program who are co mpleting their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities with respect to levels of teacher efficacy in the areas of engagement, instructi on, and classroom management?

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71 4. How effective is the classroom prac tice of select teachers enrolled in a Master of Arts (MAT) pr ogram who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? 5. What do select teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Except ionalities perceive as attributing to their professional succe sses and/or challenges? RESEARCH QUESTION 1 What are the demographic characterist ics (i.e., age, gender, ethnicity, undergraduate degree, teacher perfo rmance competencies, teaching assignment by exceptionality) of select teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? The first research question in volved describing the demographic characteristics of the case study participants. Miles and Huberman (1994) recommend the researcher provided rich, thick descriptions of each participant. April. April is a White female in her early 30’s. She completed her undergraduate degree in Span ish with a 2.63 Grade Poin t Average (GPA). April had 3 years of experience as a Spanish teacher prior to entering the MAT program. April revealed the following, “I have found the world’s gr eatest feeling is standing at my door as one of my TMH classes walks by and says ‘hola’ and gives me a big hug to go with it.” April expressed the reasons why s he chose to pursue the MAT degree in her letter of application. She explained t hat she wanted to inspire children by

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72 teaching them how to overcome diversit y, an issue she faced firsthand as a nonnative Spanish speaker in her undergraduat e program. Also, she worked at a local hospital for children as a patient ca regiver for more than three years while completing her undergraduate degree. In ad dition, as a middle school Spanish language teacher, she included students with special needs in her classes. April worked with students identified as having em otional/ behavioral disorders, mental retardation, and physical impairments. During the semester of her internship April was employed at Guido Middle School, a Title I school in a rural area of the Riverton School District. Guido has a student population of approximately 1,000 students. Bec ause the school is in its inaugural year, no data have been collected for the State Report Card or for the Adequately Yearly Progress (AYP) indicat ed in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act (NCLB, 2002). April’s class was a sixththrough ei ghthgrade resource room setting for students with emotional and behavioral diso rders (E/BD) and specific learning disabilities (SLD). There were approximat ely 15 students in each of her four class periods. April’s PPP was a White fema le with a Master’s degree in special education and 7 years of special educati on teaching experience. She also has more than 7 years of experience as a so cial worker in anot her state. April and her PPP were employed at the same school at the time the internship was completed. April received high ratings on her final evaluation, which was completed by her PPP. The final evaluation measures the intern’s level of performance on the

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73 State’s Accomplished Practices, whic h is comprised of the following 12 components: Assessment, Communication, Continuous Improvement, Critical and Creative Thinking, Diversity, Et hics and Professionalism, Human Development and Learning, Knowledge and Presentation of Subject Matter, Learning Environment, Planning, Role of the Teacher, and Technology (College of Education, 2005). The interns are rated from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. A 5 indicates that the inte rn demonstrated this Accomplished Practice at a level exceeding that expected of a beginning teacher. A 4 indicates that the intern proficiently demonstrates this Accomplishe d Practice at a level expected of a beginning teacher. A 3 indicates that the intern demonstrates the behavior at a level expected of a beginning teacher wit h some inconsistencies over time. A 2 indicates that the intern demonstrates the Practice inconsistently at a level less than expected of a beginning teacher and improvement is needed. Finally, a 1 indicates that the intern is unsucce ssful in demonstrating the Accomplished Practice. April received all 5’s except one rating of 4 in one of the Learning Environment indicators, which was calculated as a 4.99 final evaluation GPA. Candice. Candice is a White female in her mid 40’s. She completed her undergraduate degree in Bib lical Languages with a 3. 94 GPA. Candice worked as a one-on-one aide for a high school st udent with autism and Down Syndrome after living as a missionary in another c ountry where she taught a Bible class and an ESOL class. Candice shared that, “As a one-on-one aide for a student who has autism and Down Syndrome, t he world of ESE was opened up to me.”

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74 According to Candice’s letter of app lication, she began her official career in education after returni ng from mission work and deci ded that she would enjoy teaching in the public school. Bec ause she did not have an academic background she began working as a parapr ofessional at a high school in the Riverton School District. Candice enjoyed helping people and decided that special education was the field for her and the MAT program would provide the preparation she needed. During the semester of her internsh ip, Candice was employed at Buckles Middle School, a Title I school located just outside of the inner city. Buckles has a student population of approximately 900 students. Based on the State Report Card for 2005, this school earned a “C” and did not make Adequate Yearly Progress for NCLB, with 77% of the AYP crit eria satisfied. In reading, it was determined that African American, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged students in the school need to make im provements. In ma th, students with disabilities, African American students, and economically disadvantaged students were not demonstrating sufficient achievem ent. However, in writing, all students met the criteria. Candice’s class was a self-contai ned class for students in the sixththrough eighth-grade identified as severely and profoundly mentally handicapped (SPMH). Additionally, 4 of the 11 st udents in her class had other physical impairments, and the majority of t he students have limited communication abilities. Candice works with a co-teac her, two paraprofessionals, and a nurse assigned to one of the st udents. Candice’s PPP was a White female with a

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75 Master’s degree in special education and 30 years of experience in special education in RSD. Candice’s PPP was employed at a nearby elementary school at the time of her final internship. Candice received high ratings on her final evaluation, which was completed by her PPP. She received twent y-one 5’s and forty ratings of 4 across the Practice indicators. In Ethics and Professionalism and Human Development and Learning, Candice received ratings of all 5’s. In Learning Environment, she received three ratings of 5 and the re maining were ratings of 4. In Communication, she received two ratings of 5 and the remaining were ratings of 4. In Continuous Improvement, Diversity Planning, Role of the Teacher, and Technology, Candice received one rating of 5 and the remaining were ratings of 4. Finally, in the domains of Critical and Creative Thinking and Knowledge and Presentation of Subject Matter, she receiv ed ratings of all 4’s. Candice’s final evaluation GPA was ca lculated to be 4.34. Cara. Cara is a White female in her late 20’s. She completed her undergraduate degree in Communication Sc iences and Disorders with a 2.84 GPA. After completing her degree program, she worked at a medical center for children assisting speech pathologists wit h therapy and instructional activities. Cara also had prior experience teac hing pre-school aged children. Cara explained that, “Going through such a difficu lt journey with my own family has strengthened the unique qualit ies needed to work in the field of special education.”

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76 In her letter of application, Cara described her reasons for pursuing a career and a Master’s degree in special education as per sonal and professional. Cara’s personal experiences with children wi th disabilities ste mmed from years of advocating for a younger Deaf sibling. In addition to her previous work experience, Cara volunteered at a st ate school for the Deaf. All of her experiences led her to purs ue a Master’s degree and car eer in special education. During the semester of her internsh ip, Cara was employed at Eagle’s Ranch Elementary School, located in the heart of an affluent, suburban community. Eagle’s Ranch has a st udent population of approximately 600 students. Based on the State Report Card for 2005, this school earned an “A” and made Adequate Yearly Progress for NCLB. Cara’s class was an Early Excepti onal Learning Program (EELP) class. The students in her class were receiving services for language and developmental delays. There were 14 student s ranging in age from 3-5 years old. Cara’s PPP was a White female with a Bachelor’s degree in regular education with an emphasis in Specific Learning Dis abilities. She taught for twenty-seven years, two years as a Ki ndergarten teacher, and 25 year s as an SLD teacher at one elementary school in RSD. Ca ra’s PPP was employed at a nearby elementary school at the time of her final internship. Cara received average ratings on her final evaluation, which was completed by her PPP. She received four ra tings of 5, nine ratings of 4, and 46 ratings of 3 across all Practice indicato rs. Cara received ratings of all 3’s in Assessment, Communication, Critical and Creative Thinking, Knowledge and

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77 Presentation of Subject Matter, Lear ning Environment, and Technology. In Continuous Improvement, she received one ra ting of 5, one rating of 4, and two ratings of 3. In Diversity, she received three ratings of 3 and one rating of 4. In Ethics and Professionalism, Cara received two ratings each of 5, 4, and 3. In Human Development and Learni ng, she received two ratings of 4 and two ratings of 3. In Planning, she received five ratings of e and one rating of 4. Finally, in the Role of the Teacher, she received one rating of 5 and two ratings of 4. Cara’s calculated final evaluation GPA was 3.33. Marlene. Marlene is a White female in her early 40’s. She completed her undergraduate degree in Crimin ology with a 3.5 GPA. Marlene had no teaching experience prior to entering the MAT progr am. She expressed her belief that, “all children need a safe, nurturing, and stimul ating environment regardless of their disabilities.” Marlene shared the very personal reason why she chose to pursue the MAT degree in her letter of application. S he is the parent of a child with special needs and is aware of the call for compet ent teachers in spec ial education. Marlene felt that the MAT program would provide her with the skills to enter a classroom with confidence in her ability to plan and deliver lessons to stimulate learning. During the semester of her internsh ip, Marlene was employed at Lakeside Elementary School, a Title I school in an urban area of the Riverton School District. Lakeside has a student population of approximately 600 students. This school earned a “D” grade on the State Report Card and did not make

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78 Adequately Yearly Progress (AYP) indicat ed in NCLB, with 63% of the criteria satisfied. In reading, it was determined that students with dis abilities and African American students in the school need to ma ke improvements. In math, African American, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged student s, students with disabilities, and with Limited English Pr oficiency are lacking the basic skills expected by grade level. In writing, t he school was identified as not having met the federal criteria fo r writing proficiency. Marlene’s class was a self-contained setting for firstthrough third-grade students identified as having severe emoti onal disturbances (SED). There were five students in her class and she worked with one paraprofessional. Marlene’s PPP was a White female with a Bachel or’s degree in special education and seven years of special education t eaching experience. Marlene and her PPP were employed at the same school at t he time the internship was completed. Marlene received high ratings on her final evaluation, which was completed by her PPP. She received ratings of all 5’s and one 4 across Practice indicators. She received her only rating of 4 in the Learning En vironment domain. Marlene’s calculated final evaluation GPA was 4.99. Rachel. Rachel is a White female in her early 30’s. She completed her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology wit h a 3.31 GPA. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, she worked as a paraprofessional in an elementary class for students with autism. Rachel wrote in her letter of application that, “I look forward to the rewards of working with these students and unlocking their potential.”

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79 In her initial statement, Rachel ac knowledged the frustrations and rewards of working with students with special nee ds, which influenced her decision to pursue a Master’s degree in special educat ion and a career in teaching children with autism. Additionally, she noted the dem and for qualified professionals in the field and lauded her peers and mentors for their work and for encouraging her to enter the MAT program. During the semester of her internsh ip, Rachel was employed as a teacher at Pierre Elementary School, a Title I sc hool, which is also the school where she worked as a paraprofessional. Pierre is a Title I school in an urban area of the Riverton School District. Pierre has a student population of approximately 1,000 students. This school earned a “B” grade on the State Report Card and made Adequately Yearly Progress (AYP) for NCLB. Rachel’s class was a self-contain ed setting for Kindergarten through firstgrade students with autism. There were nine students in her class and she worked with one paraprofessional. Rache l’s PPP was a White female with a Bachelor’s degree in Hear ing Impaired and Elementary Education and close to 20 years of special education teachi ng experience. She also worked as an Administrative Resource Teacher in aut ism in another state. Rachel and her PPP were employed at the same school at t he time the internship was completed. Rachel received high ratings on her final evaluation, which was completed by her PPP. In fact, Rachel received a ll 5’s in across all indicators with a calculated final evaluation GPA of 5.0.

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80 Roslyn. Roslyn is a Latina in her early 50’s. She completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Bili ngual Education with a 2.86 GPA. Roslyn had 3 years of expe rience as a special education teacher prior to entering the MAT program. She stated from her exper ience as a special educator that, “It is no doubt a challenging job, but with many rewards.” Roslyn explained in her letter of application that she has always had a desire to work with students with specia l needs. Roslyn decided to pursue the MAT to gain knowledge and expertise in behavior and behavior management and explore the effects of environmental and cultural factors on the increasing numbers of students in special education. She felt that as a result she would be better able to provide the tools her students needed to be successful in school and the community. During the semester of her internsh ip, Roslyn was employed at Childs Middle Magnet School, a Mathematics, Science, and Technology magnet school located in the inner city. Childs has a student population of approximately 700 students. This school earned a “B” gr ade on the State Report Card and made Adequately Yearly Progress (AYP) for NCLB. Roslyn teaches students identified with E/BD and SLD in the sixththrough eighth-grade in the resource room setting, as well as in the general education setting as a facilitative teacher There are approximately 15 students with disabilities in each of her seven class periods. Roslyn’s PPP was a White female with a Master’s degree in spec ial education and 18 years of special

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81 education teaching experience. Roslyn’s PPP was employed at a nearby middle school at the time the internship was completed. Roslyn received high ratings on her final evaluation, which was completed by her PPP. She received ratings of 5 in all Practice Indicators with a calculated final evaluation GPA of 5.0. Case Summary The participants in this study were all females and all White with the exception of one Latina. In age they ranged from their early twenties to early fifties. All of the participants were teaching in a different type of setting (i.e., selfcontained, resource, and inclusion facilitation) and with students who had different disabilities, except two teachers who both ta ught students with emotional and behavioral disord ers at the middle school le vel. All of the teachers had different academic backgrounds. When exploring why the teachers had chosen special education, two of the six teachers indicated that they chose special education because they had immediate relatives with disabilities. Sim ilarly, two of the six teachers worked with children with disabilities in some capacit y prior to accepting a special education position. Finally, two of the participant s discussed having had a desire to teach students with special needs. Based on the final evaluations from the final internship, the teachers ratings were a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5. Based on the rubric, all of the teachers were at least performing in all competencies at a level expected of a beginning teacher with some consistency. Fu rther, all of the t eachers received at

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82 least one rating of 5, which indicates that in some areas all of the teachers were performing at a level that exceeded what was expected of a beginning teacher. A two-variable case-ordered matrix (see T able 6) displays teachers’ demographic characteristics.

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83 Table 4 Summary of Teacher Characteristics Relative With Prior Disability Grade School Case Age Race Dis ability Degree UGPA Exper ience Area Level Grade Title I ________________________ _____________________ ___________________________ _________________________ April 30’s W No Spanish 2.63 Yes LD/BD MS NR Yes Candice 40’s W No Biblical Languages 3.94 Yes SPMH MS C Yes Cara 20’s W Yes Communication 2.84 No EELP ES A No Science Disorders Marlene 40’s W Yes Criminology 3.5 No SED ES D Yes Rachel 30’s W No Speech Pathology 3.31 Yes Autism ES B Yes Roslyn 50’s H No Sociology/Bilingual 2.86 Yes LD/BD MS D No Education

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84 Table 5 Summary of PPP Characteristics Race Gender Years of Highest Degree Experience Earned __________________ __________________ __________________ __________ April’s W F 7 Master’s PPP Candice’s W F 30 Master’s PPP Cara’s W F 27 Bachelor’s PPP Marlene’s W F 7 Bachelor’s PPP Rachel’s W F 19 Bachelor’s PPP Roslyn’s W F 18 Master’s PPP

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85 Table 6 Two-Variable Case-Ordered Matrix of Teacher Final Evaluation GPA and UGPA Final Grade Relative PPP Highest Evaluation Prior level of with PPP PPP # Years degree Case GPA UGPA Age Race Experience school Disability Race Gender Experience Earned ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Rachel 5.0 3.31 30’s W Yes ES No W F 19 B Roslyn 5.0 2.86 50’s H Yes MS No W F 18 M Marlene 4.99 3.5 40’s W No ES Yes W F 7 B April 4.99 2.63 30’s W Yes MS No W F 7 M Candice 4.34 3.94 40’s W Yes MS No W F 30 M Cara 3.33 2.84 20’s W No ES Yes W F 27 B ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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86 RESEARCH QUESTION 2 What are the characteristics of sele ct teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internsh ips in Varying Exceptionalities with respect to the seven midrange functi ons identified by Haberman (1995, 2004): persistence, response to authorit y, application of generalizations, approach to at-risk students, personal vs. professional orientation toward teaching, burnout, and fallibility? The second research question involv ed analyzing the characteristics of the participants with respect to the se ven mid-range functions identified by Haberman (1995). Their ratings on the Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Interview (HUTSI) were analyzed. The re searcher provided within-case analyses for each participant followed by a cross-case analysis of the descriptive statistics yielded from the responses. Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Interview (HUTSI) The Haberman Urban Teacher Selection Interview was developed by Dr. Martin Haberman as a tool for selecting teachers who have attributes linked with success and persistence in metropolit an schools (Haberman, 1995). This ideology is founded on the belief that teachers who will remain in urban schools and have a positive impact on student outco mes share attributes that fit under seven mid-range functions: persistence, re sponse to authority, application of generalizations, approach to at-risk st udents, personal versus professional orientation to teaching, burnout, and fallibility (Haberman, 1995). According to the developer, the HUTSI has been used to se lect recent graduates without teacher

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87 preparation for alternative certification (Haberman, 1995; 2004). In this study, the participants were interviewed with the HUTSI as a part of the application process. The data included here were collected and preliminarily scored using +/on the continuum rating scale by three MAT progr am administrators, all of whom were trained to conduct the interview. Once the researcher gained access to these data, which included notes on participants’ responses, she finalized the ratings using the scoring guide includ ed with the instrument manual. The first function, persistence, is intended to determine how a candidate will persist in trying to re solve a seemingly unending problem. Also, this function addresses whether a candidate feels that persistent and creative problem-solving is a part of the teacher’s ro le or if they feel it is an unreasonable expectation. The second function, response to authority, is intended to identify how a candidate would pursue an activity with which an administrator may not agree and the manner in which they advocate for t hemselves and compromise when dealing with authority figures. Also, this functi on seeks to determine how the candidate feels about her authority and takes responsib ility for the change in activity with students. The third function, application of generalizations, asks a candidate to share a principle on teaching or learning in order to see the degree to which a candidate can deal with generalizations Also, this function speaks to a candidate’s ability to apply the principle t hey have identified with specific teaching behaviors. The fourth function, approach to at-risk students, is intended to find out how a candidate places the responsibil ity for failure on the child’s background rather than as the teacher’s and school’s responsibility to foster student success.

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88 Candidates also are expected to provi de responsive solutions that are teacher and school involved. The fifth function, per sonal versus professional orientation to teaching, is intended to determine the degree of expectation and need for pupil support. Additionally, the realism of the respondent’s expectations is taken into account. The sixth function, burnout, is intended to determine the candidates’ ability to recognize the ex ternal sources of teacher burnout and their ability to counteract the pressures by seeking s upport and collaboration to make positive change. The seventh function, fallibilit y, seeks to determine the candidate’s ability and willingness to admit serious mi stakes that may affect others and how they would work to improve their practi ce, even in major ways. Each mid-range function is worth from 1 to 6 points (2 items for each functi on) except for the application of generalizations which ranges from 1 to 9 poi nts (3 items). Three is the highest rating for all items. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the scores, whereas the normative data were us ed to classify each student as a Star (40-45), High (30-39), High Average (15-29), and Low Average (1-14). Within-Case Analysis April Persistence. April received ratings of 3 and 2.5 respectively for her responses to both items in this domain. She was able to provide several possible solutions to deal with student behavior. Apr il also reported that she thinks about behavior once or twice a day so it appears that she perceives this to be a significant part of her role as a teacher.

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89 Response to Authority. On this domain, April received ratings of 3 for her responses to both items. April was able to offer appropriate solutions for compromising with an administrator on an activity even when it meant stopping the activity. Further, she did not blame the administrator w hen notifying students of the change. Application of Generalizations. This domain included th ree items, and April received a rating of 3 on all of them. For the first item, April shared her general principle on learning tha t, “It does not matter who y ou are, you can learn any subject especially a foreign language.” On the second and third items, April was able to connect this principle with specific teacher behaviors. Approach to At-Risk Students. April received scores of 1.5 and 3 for the questions in this domain. Her response to the meaning and causes of students being placed at-risk suggested that the pr oblem was within the child and family. However, the solutions she provided to am eliorate the at-risk status placed the responsibility on the teacher (e.g., give extra support and understanding). Personal vs. Professional Orientation Toward Teaching. For the items on this domain, April received scores of 2 and 3 respectively. The first item deals with a teacher’s expectation for student adul ation in order for learning to take place. April reported that they could l earn from someone they did not love, but they would not get much out of it. For the second item, April’s response indicated that she could teach students she did not love because it was her professional responsibility. Also, she shi fted the focus from not loving the student to not loving the behavior.

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90 Burnout. April’s responses to the two items in this domain were rated as a 2.5 and a 1, respectively. On the first it em, she discussed stress, class size and need, student behavior, and content and st andardized testing as sources of burnout for teachers. Her solution involv ed removing herself from the situation rather than seeking support and co llaboration to effect change. Fallibility. On this domain, April received a rating of three for both items. The mistakes she discussed were directly related to working effectively with students and families. Her solutions in volved increasing her knowledge on the needs of students with disabilities and collaborating with teachers and administrators to meet individual student needs. Table 7 April: Summary of HUTSI Results Domain Raw Scores ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Persistence 5.5 Response to Authority 6.0 Application of G eneralizations 9.0 Approach to At-Risk Students 4.5 Personal vs. Professional Orientation to Teaching 5.0 Burnout 3.5 Fallibility 6.0 ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Total 39. 5 (High/Star)

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91 Candice Persistence. Candice received ratings of 2.5 and 3 respectively for her responses to both items in this domain. She was able to provide viable possibilities for managing student behavior. April also reported that she thinks about behavior management every day and ev ery moment; thus, it appears that she perceives this to be one of the most im portant facets of her role as a teacher. Response to Authority. On this domain, Candice received ratings of 2.5 and 2 respectively for her responses to the items. Candice was able to offer appropriate solutions for handling the si tuation and intended to include students in the process of deciding on another activity. When asked about how she would inform students of the change she said she would be upfront, but it was not clear whether she would take full responsibility for the change. Application of Generalizations. This domain included three items, and Candice received a rating of 3 on the fi rst two and a 2 on the third question. For the first question, Candice shared a fe w general principles on learning. For example, “Everyone learns best w hen they are happy and comfortable.” On the second item, Candice was able to connect this principle with specific teacher behaviors. When asked to generalize this belief to a specific method the connection to t he principle was less clear. Approach to At-Risk Students. Candice received scores of 1.5 and 2.5 for the items in this domain. Her respons e to the meaning and causes of students being placed at-risk suggested that this problem was owned by the student with regard to home life, disabilities, and peers. However, she suggested shared

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92 responsibility to counter the at-risk st atus (e.g., teamwork between teachers and parents). Personal vs. Professional Orientation Toward Teaching. For the items on this domain, Candice received a score of 2 on each. The first item deals with a teacher’s expectation for student adulation in order for learning to take place. Candice reported that it would be difficult for them to learn from a teacher they did not love, but not impossible. Fo r the second item, Candice’s response appeared more conflicted. She posited that love was a moral obligation and that a teacher’s personal feelings toward a student should not cause differential treatment. Burnout. Candice’s responses to the two items in this domain were both rated as 3s. She believed that burnout wa s a real possibility for anyone. When asked about the causes, Candice menti oned systemic factors such as lack of administrative support, paperwork, and work -related tasks such as assessments, dealing with student behavior, and parent c onferences. For solutions, Candice recommended that administrators and ment or teachers work with teachers and reduction in class size. Fallibility. On this domain, Candice received a rating of 2.5 for both items. The mistakes she discussed were directly related to working effectively with students and effective teaching practices. Her solutions involved making assignments more appropriate and communicating with parents.

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93 Table 8 Candice: Summary of HUTSI Results Domain Raw Scores ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Persistence 5.5 Response to Authority 4.5 Application of G eneralizations 8.0 Approach to At-Risk Students 4.0 Personal vs. Professional Orientation to Teaching 4.0 Burnout 6.0 Fallibility 5.0 ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Total 37.0 (High) Cara Persistence. Cara received ratings of 2 and 3 respectively for her responses to both items in this domain. She was able to provide possible solutions to address behavior problems. Cara also reported that she thinks about correcting students’ behaviors constantly; th us, it appears that she perceives this to be a significant part of her role as a teacher. Response to Authority. On this domain, Cara re ceived ratings of 3 for her responses to both items. Cara was able to offer appropriate solutions for compromising with an administrator on an acti vity she felt was relevant. Further,

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94 she did not blame the admin istrator when notifying st udents of the change. Cara instead offered to find other activities for students to enjoy with their parents. Application of Generalizations. This domain included three items, and Cara received a rating of 3 on the first two items and a 2.5 on the third. For the first item, Cara shared her belief that, “Students go through many challenges and teachers need to help them r each their full potential.” On the second item, Cara was able to connect this principle with specific teacher behaviors through a variety of teaching mo dels and a student focu s. On the third item, she felt that lecturi ng, the method specified, was not the only way to teach and that was not the only way students can learn. Approach to At-Risk Students. Cara received scores of 1 and 1.5 for the items in this domain. Her response to t he meaning and causes of students being placed at-risk pointed to factors in the ch ild’s background as the cause (e.g., disabilities, family problems, divorce, drugs, and alcohol). Further, the solutions Cara gave placed little onus on the teacher or school for the child’s outcomes. She did suggest working with parents and teachers to see what could be undertaken to help the student. Personal vs. Professional Orientation Toward Teaching. For the items on this domain, Cara received a score of 3 on both. The first item deals with a teacher’s expectation for student adulation in order for learning to take place. Cara reported that they could learn from someone they did not love and that it was the teacher’s role to teach so that students could learn. Similarly, Cara felt

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95 that it was the teacher’s responsibilit y to try to connect with students and to ensure that learning was taking place, regardless of personal feelings. Burnout. Cara’s responses to the two items in this domain were rated as a 1.5 and a 1, respectively. On the first item, she discussed personal challenges, long hours, workload, student issues, and a long teaching career as sources of burnout for teachers. Her solution invo lved trying to be positive and removing herself from the situation rather t han seeking the support and collaboration of colleagues, which suggest feelings of isolation. Fallibility. On this domain, Cara received a rating of three for both items. The mistakes she discussed were directly related to teaching students effectively within school expectations. The solutions she posed involved seeking out resources.

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96 Table 9 Cara: Summary of HUTSI Results Domain Raw Scores ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Persistence 5.0 Response to Authority 6.0 Application of G eneralizations 8.5 Approach to At-Risk Students 2.5 Personal vs. Professional Orientation to Teaching 6.0 Burnout 2.5 Fallibility 6.0 ________________________ __________________ ______________________ Total 36.5 (High) Marlene Persistence. Marlene received ratings of .5 and 3 respectively for her responses to both items in this domain. She was able to provide several possible challenges, but only one solution to deal with conflict. Marlene reported that she thinks about the keeping the classroom in order, teaching on the appropriate level, talking with parent s, students’ personalities, and paperwork frequently. Marlene added that it is the biggest part of being a teacher and she thinks about it several times a day. Response to Authority. On this domain, Marlene received ratings of 2 and 3 respectively for her responses on it ems. Rather than providing convincing

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97 arguments, Marlene chose not to take st udents off-site, but chose to bring elements from the intended site to the classroom. However, she did not blame the administrator when notifying students of the change and took full responsibility and moved on to an alternative activity. Application of Generalizations. This domain included three items, and Marlene received a rating of 3 on the firs t and second and a rating of 2.5 on the third. For the first item, Marlene shar ed her general principle on learning that teachers should teach students how to l earn. On the second item, Marlene was able to connect this principle with s pecific teacher behaviors. When given a specific method, she was able to provide a rationale for its use, but less able to directly connect it to th e principle she provided. Approach to At-Risk Students. Marlene received scores of 1.5 and 2.5 for the items in this domain. Her respons e to the meaning and causes of students being placed at-risk rooted the problem within the child and family (e.g., disabilities, family life). However, the so lutions she provided to ameliorate the atrisk status included providing resour ces not present in the home and getting students involved in extracurricular activities. Personal vs. Professional Orientation Toward Teaching. For the items on this domain, Marlene received scores of 1.5 and 2 respectively. The first item deals with a teacher’s expectation for st udent adulation in order for learning to take place. Marlene reported that they could learn from someone they did not love, but that respecting and liking a teac her was important. For the second item

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98 that addressed a teacher’s ability to t each a student they did not love, Marlene simply responded yes. Burnout. Marlene’s responses to the two items in this domain were both rated as a 1.5. On the fi rst item, she discussed going through stages, stress, and personal and professional challenges. He r solution involved removing herself from the situation and finding ways to offset stress rather than addressing systemic issues that may directly impact job satisfaction and retention. Fallibility. On this domain, Marlene receiv ed a rating of three for both items. The mistakes she discussed were di rectly related to working effectively with students and families (e.g., paper work, communication with parents). Marlene provided appropriate solutions for resolving these issues. Table 10 Marlene: Summary of HUTSI Results Domain Raw Scores ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Persistence 3.5 Response to Authority 5.0 Application of G eneralizations 8.5 Approach to At-Risk Students 4.0 Personal vs. Professional Orientation to Teaching 3.5 Burnout 3.0 Fallibility 6.0 ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Total 33.5 (High)

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99 Rachel Persistence. Rachel received a rating of 3 for both of her responses to the items in this domain. She was able to provide a number of challenges that could arise as well as solutions to deal with each. Rachel reported that she thinks about these challenges, particu larly behavior, all of the time. It appears that she sees solving a number of problems to be central to her role as a teacher. Response to Authority. On this domain, Rachel received ratings of 3 for her responses to both items. Rachel was able to offer appropr iate solutions for compromising with an administrator on an activity even when it meant stopping the activity. Rachel did not blame the administrator when not ifying students of the change. Instead, she chose to conclude the activity with a discussion and to go on to the next topic. Application of Generalizations. This domain included three items, and Rachel received a rating of 3 on the first two and a 1.5 on the third. For the first question, her general principle on learning, Rachel offered that it takes a whole team (e.g., parents, teac her, paraprofessionals, and therapists) to teach. On the second item, she described how sh e would involve all members of the team in the teaching of different cont ent. When Rachel was asked to apply her principle to lecturing, she only m ade a minimal connection to its use. Approach to At-Risk Students. Rachel received scores of 1.5 and 3 for the items in this domain. Her response to t he meaning and causes of students being placed at-risk suggested that the problem was within the child and family (e.g., home life, undiagnosed disability). Howeve r, the solutions she provided to

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100 ameliorate the at-risk status placed the re sponsibility on the teacher to find what works for each student. Personal vs. Professional Orientation Toward Teaching. For the items on this domain, Rachel received scores of 2.5 and 3 respectively. The first item deals with a teacher’s expectation for st udent adulation in order for learning to take place. Rachel reported that they could learn from someone they did not love, but they may not learn a lot. Howe ver, she did place the responsibility on teachers for learning. Similarly, Rachel’s response to the second item indicated that she could teach students she did not love because it was her professional responsibility. Burnout. Rachel’s responses to the two items in this domain were rated as a 2 and 3, respectively. Responding to t he first item, she discussed frustration and behavior problems as potential sour ces of burnout. Rachel discussed reflecting on her reason for becoming a teacher and seeking support from colleagues. Fallibility. On this domain, Rachel received a rating of three for both items. The mistakes she discussed were directly related to consistently using appropriate teaching methods and behavior ma nagement strategies for students with significant learning and behavior issues. Her solutions involved reflecting and taking the appropriate next steps in each situation.

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101 Table 11 Rachel: Summary of HUTSI Results Domain Raw Scores ________________________ ___________________________ _____________ Persistence 6.0 Response to Authority 6.0 Application of Generalizations 7.5 Approach to At-Risk Students 4.5 Personal vs. Professional Orientation to Teaching 5.5 Burnout 5.0 Fallibility 5.5 ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Total 40.0 (Star) Roslyn Persistence. Roslyn received ratings of 3 for both of her responses to the items in this domain. She was able to pr ovide several possible solutions to deal with student behavior. Roslyn also report ed that she thinks about behavior daily and it appears that students are “acting out” more frequent ly. It appears that she perceives behavior management to be a signific ant part of her role as a teacher. Response to Authority. On this domain, Roslyn received ratings of 3 and 2.5 respectively. Roslyn was able to o ffer appropriate solutions for compromising with an administrator on an activity even when it meant stopping the activity. It

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102 was unclear how much responsibility she w ould take for ending the activity early based on her response that she would fo llow the rules and work as a team. Application of Generalizations. This domain included three items, and Roslyn received a rating of 3 on the first two items and a 2.5 on the third. For the first item, Roslyn shared a few guidi ng principles on teaching and learning including, “All children can learn to high expectations given support.” On the second item, Roslyn was able to connect this principle with specific teacher behaviors, specifically usi ng higher-order thinking questioning techniques. With respect to the third item, high expectations were apparent, but the stance was more authoritative. Approach to At-Risk Students. Roslyn received scores of 1.5 and 2 for the items in this domain. Her response to the meaning and causes of at-risk suggested that the problem within t he child’s family and community. The solutions Roslyn provided to ameliorate the at-risk status placed the responsibility on the family, community, and school. Personal vs. Professional Orientation Toward Teaching. For the items on this domain, Roslyn received scores of 2 and 2.5 respectively. The first question deals with a teacher’s expectation for st udent adulation in order for learning to take place. Roslyn reported that they c ould learn from someone they did not love, a belief that stemmed from her own experience learning from a teacher she did not like. For the second item, Roslyn’s response indicated that she could teach students she did not love because s he would have an open heart and would be professional.

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103 Burnout. Roslyn’s responses to the two items in this domain were both rated as 3. On the first item, she i dentified job-related demands and unrealistic personal demands as sources of burnout for teachers. Her solution involved administrative support in terms of reduc ing paperwork and numbers of meetings, and working as a team to resolve academic and behavioral issues, as well as personally enjoyable activities. Fallibility. On this domain, Roslyn received a rating of three for both items. The mistakes she discussed were directly related to working effectively with students and professionalism. Her soluti ons involved reflection and making changes in behavior and interpersonal relations. Table 12 Roslyn: Summary of HUTSI Results Domain Raw Scores ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Persistence 6.0 Response to Authority 5.5 Application of Generalizations 8.5 Approach to At-Risk Students 3.5 Personal vs. Professional Orientation to Teaching 4.5 Burnout 6.0 Fallibility 6.0 ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Total 40.0 (Star)

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104 Cross-Case Analysis Persistence Based on the raw scores on the domai n items related to persistence, Rachel and Roslyn rated the highest with scores of 6. They were followed closely by April and Candice with 5.5 and Cara with 5. Marlene scored the lowest with a rating of 3.5. This suggests that Rachel and Roslyn have a realistic expectation of the amount of persistenc e and problem solving ability required in the role of the teacher. The mean score for this domain was 5.25 with a standard deviation of .94. Response to Authority Based on the raw scores on the domai n items dealing with response to authority, April, Rachel, and Cara scored the highest with scores of 6. Roslyn and Marlene were close in rating with 5.5 and 5 respectively. Candice scored the lowest on this domain with a 4.5 rating. This suggests that April, Rachel, and Cara are most able to articulate how they would respond to criticism and compromise with an authority figure on an acti vity they believed was relevant to their students’ education. The mean sco re for this domain was 5.5 with a standard deviation of .63. Application to Generalizations April scored the highest when asked to propose and apply a generalization about the teachi ng and learning process with a rating of 9. Cara, Marlene, and Roslyn also were quite capable of making these connections with scores of 8.5. Candice and Rachel had t he lowest scores on this domain with 8

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105 and 7.5 respectively. The mean score fo r this domain was 8.333 with a standard deviation of .52. Approach to At-Risk Students Overall, the participants received the lowest ratings when defining the atrisk child, determining the causes, and proposing solutions. April and Rachel received the highest rating of 4.5 Candice and Marlene each received a rating of 4. Roslyn and Cara received the lowest ratings with 3.5 and 2.5 respectively. The participants primarily placed the cause for a child’s at-risk status within the child, family, and community. When proposing solutions, they were able to communicate that it was their professiona l responsibility to make the curriculum and school more responsive to the st udents’ needs. The mean score for this domain was 3.83 with a standar d deviation of .75. Personal vs. Professional Orientation Toward Teaching The total raw scores for this domai n indicated that Cara had the most realistic expectations with regard to pupil support and fulfillment with a rating of 6. Rachel and April also scored relatively we ll in this domain with scores of 5.5 and 5 respectively. Roslyn’s score of 4.5 and Candice’s score of 4 were just above Marlene, who scored the lowest with a 3. 5. The mean score for this domain was 4.75 with a standard deviation of .94. Burnout The items on this domain are intended to determine the participants’ ability to recognize the great ph ysical and emotional demands associated with teaching and the issues at work in large school dist ricts. Even more important is the ability

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106 to recognize the sources of burnout as systemic and not internal and the willingness to seek support networks to ef fect positive change. On this domain Candice and Roslyn were rated the highes t, both receiving a 6, followed closely by Rachel who received a 5. April and Marlene were less able to identify the systemic issues at work and the collaborat ive efforts necessary to stay in the field. Cara’s response was rated the lowe st with a 2.5. The mean score for this domain was 4.33 with a standar d deviation of 1.54. Fallibility When asked to identify mistakes that could be made as a teacher and offer appropriate responses to rectify the issues, the participants all scored relatively well. The responses provided al l recognized that significant mistakes might be made and may require the teacher to go to great lengths to correct them. April, Cara, Marlene, and Roslyn all received a rating of 6 for their responses. Rachel and Candice received 5.5 and 5 respectively. The mean score for this domain was 5.75 with a standard deviation of .42. Overall Findings Based on the total raw scores, Ra chel and Roslyn were considered “Stars” with 40 points. The “Star” ra ting indicates that these teachers demonstrate “withitness” (Kounin, 1970). A ccording to the developer they are able to implement advice and act on their own plans (Haberman, 1995). They would be expected to do well starting out, even in the most difficult schools and act as change agents. The other participants were all rated as “High”, April was not far behind with a 39.5, Candice received a 37.5, Cara received a 36.5, and

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107 Marlene received a 33.5. The “High” rati ng means that these teachers have great potential as teachers, but may be hesitant (see Figure 3). The developer suggested that these teachers are able to conceptualize about teaching and be sensitive to the purposes of activities but may find implementing their ideas challenging (Haberman, 1995). The participants’ scores varied the l east on Fallibility and the greatest on their feelings about Burnout. It appears as a whole, the participants had the greatest difficulty in their Approach to At-Risk Students, based on their scores which ranged from 2.5 to 4. 5. Conversely, all responses were rated high for their ability to reflect on serious mistakes and propose appropriate solutions (See Table 13 for descriptive statistics acro ss the domains). A profile plot map displays the ratings for a ll participants (Figure 4). Table 13 HUTSI Descriptive Statistics for All Participants Domain Minimum Maximum M SD ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Persistence 3.5 6.0 5.25 0.94 Authority 4.5 6.0 5.50 0.63 Generalizations 7.5 9.0 8.33 0.52 At-Risk 2.5 4.5 3.83 0.75 Orientation 3.5 6.0 4.75 0.94 Burnout 2.5 6.0 4.33 1.54 Fallibility 5.0 6.0 5.75 0.42

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108 Figure 3 HUTSI Overall Ratings Overall HUTSI Rating 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 April Candice Cara Marlene Rachel Roslyn Overall Rating

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109 Figure 4 HUTSI Profile Plot M ap for All Participants ________________________ _____________________ ___________________________ _________________________ 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1234567 HUTSI Domain Rachel Roslyn April Candice Cara Marlene 1= persistence; 2= authority; 3= generalizations; 4= at-risk; 5=orientation; 6= burnout; 7= fallibility ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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110 RESEARCH QUESTION 3 What are the characteristics of select teachers enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program who are co mpleting their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities with respect to teacher efficacy in the areas of engagement, instruction, and classroom management? The third research question examined the teachers’ sense of efficacy in the areas of engagement, instructi on, and classroom management. The Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale (T SES; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001) was administered to address these areas. The researcher provided frequencies/percentage of responses withincase and descriptive statistics crosscase. Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) Teacher’s sense of efficacy was m easured in this study using the TSES (Tschannen-Horan & Hoy, 2001), a self-repor t scale. It has been noted that when teachers feel efficacious, they are more likely to adopt innovations, use more effective classroom management strat egies, and be rated higher on overall teaching competency measures by school administrators (Hoy 2000). In this particular study, the 24-item long form of the TSES was used (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). The TSES comprises three subscales: Student Engagement, Instructional Strategies, Classroom Management. Ef ficacy in student engagement addresses the respondent’s belief in her/his own abi lity to keep students involved in the

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111 educational process (e.g., “How much c an you do to help your students to think critically?”). The subsca le dealing with efficacy in instructional strategies considers the teacher’s belief in his/her ability to facilitate learning through appropriate strategies, monitoring, and f eedback (e.g. “How much can you do to adjust your lessons to the proper leve l for individual students?”). The final subscale, efficacy in classroom management focuses on the teacher’s belief in her/his capacity to maintain a positive classroom environment to ensure that learning is taking place (e.g., How well can you establish a classroom management system with each gr oup of students?”). Each of the three subscales on the long form includes eight response items. The 24 items on the TSES were represented via a 9-point scale anchored at fi ve points: (1) Nothing, (2) Very little, (3) Some degree, (4) Quit e a bit, or (5) A great deal. For scoring purposes, the ratings were demarcated as follows: 1 and 2 rated as “Nothing”, 3 and 4 rated as “Very little”, 5 and 6 rated as “Some degree” 7 and 8 rated as “Quite a bit”, and 9 rated as “A great deal.” The scale yielded a possible total and subscale mean score of 9. The developers reported that the normative sample size was 410 participants that included 103 pre-service teachers, 255 inservice teachers, and 38 respondents who did not indicate t heir teaching status (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). The mean scores for the sample were as follows: Overall, 7.1 (SD= .94); Instruction, 7.3 (S D= 1.1; Management, 6.7 (S D= 1.1); Engagement, 7.3 (SD= 1.1). The results for overall effi cacy and efficacy for each subscale were

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112 reported in mean scores. In addition, each participant’s response patterns were reported in percentages. Within-Case Analysis April Sense of Efficacy. April’s total mean score on the TSES was 6.33.The majority (62.5%) of her responses fell in the “some degree” r ange. Overall, more than one-third (37.5%) of April’s responses fe ll in the “quite a bit” range. Table 14 shows the data for April’s overall sens e of efficacy. April’s overall mean response of 6.33 was slightly below t he overall TSES mean (6.42) of the participant group (SD= -0.07). Further, her overall mean score was below the normative mean score of 7.1. Table 14 April: TSES Overall Efficacy ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little Some Degree 62.5% Quite a Bit 37.5% A Great Deal ________________________ _____________ Efficacy in Student Engagement. April’s mean score on this subscale was 6.38. April’s responses on this sub scale were equally divided between “some degree” (50%) and “quite a bit” (50%). Table 15 shows the data for April’s

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113 efficacy in student engagement. Her mean response of 6.38 on this subscale was slightly higher than the mean re sponse for the sample group (6.31; SD=0.05). Further, her subscale mean score was below the normative mean score of 7.3. Table 15 April: Efficacy in Student Engagement ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little Some Degree 50% Quite a Bit 50% A Great Deal ________________________ ____________ Efficacy in Instructional Strategies. On this subscale, April’s mean score was 6.25. Three-fourths (75%) of her responses were in the “some degree” range and the remaining one-fourth (25%) fell in the “quite a bit” range. Table 16 shows the data for April’s efficacy in inst ructional strategies. Her mean response of 6.25 was lower than the group mean of 6.37 for this subscale (SD= -0.09). Further, her subscale mean score was below the normative mean score of 7.3.

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114 Table 16 April: Efficacy in Inst ructional Strategies ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little Some Degree 75% Quite a Bit 25% A Great Deal ________________________ ____________ Efficacy in Cla ssroom Management. On this subscale, April’s raw score was 6.38. The majority (62.5%) of her responses fell in the “some degree” range. The remaining (37.5%) responses were in the “quite a bit” range. Table 17 shows the data for April’s efficacy in classr oom management. Her mean response of 6.38 was below the mean response of the sample (6.59; SD= -0.16). Further, April’s mean score was below th e normative mean of 6.7.

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115 Table 17 April: Efficacy in Classroom Management ________________________ ______________ Response Frequency ________________________ ______________ Very Little Some Degree 62.5% Quite a Bit 37.5% A Great Deal ________________________ _______________ Summary. Based on these data, April’s sense of efficacy was similar across the three subscales. Her sense of effi cacy in student engagement and classroom management was equal with a mean score of 6.38. Additionally, April’s sense of efficacy in instructional strategies was only slightly lower at 6.25. Candice Sense of Efficacy. Candice’s total mean score on the TSES was 6.63.The majority (70.9%) of her responses fell in the “quite a bit” range. The next highest response category was the “some degree” range with 20.8%. Two responses (8.3%) fell in the “very li ttle” range. Table 18 shows the data for Candice’s overall sense of efficacy. Candice’s overall mean response of 6.63 was slightly above the overall TSES mean (6.42) of the par ticipant group (SD= 0.16). However, her overall mean score was lower than the normative group (7.1).

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116 Table 18 Candice: TSES Overall Efficacy ________________________ ____________ Response Frequency ________________________ ____________ Very Little 8.3% Some Degree 20.8% Quite a Bit 70.9% A Great Deal ________________________ ____________ Efficacy in Student Engagement. Candice’s mean score on this subscale was 6.63. Candice’s responses (75%) on this subscale primarily fell in the “quite a bit” range. One of her responses ( 12.5%) fell in the “some degree” range and one (12.5%) fell in the ”ver y little” range. Table 19 s hows the data for Candice’s efficacy in student engagement. Her mean response of 6.63 on this subscale was slightly higher than the mean respons e for the sample group (6.31; SD= 0.25). However, her mean score was lo wer than the score for the normative group (7.3).

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117 Table 19 Candice: Efficacy in Student Engagement ________________________ ______________ Response Frequency ________________________ ______________ Very Little 12.5% Some Degree 12.5% Quite a Bit 75.0% A Great Deal ________________________ ______________ Efficacy in Instructional Strategies. On this subscale, Candice’s mean score was 6.75. The majority (87.5%) of her responses were in the “quite a bit” range and the remaining response (12.5%) fe ll in the “very little” range. Table 20 shows the data for Candice’s efficacy in instructional strategies. Her mean response of 6.75 was higher than the group mean of 6.37 for this subscale (SD= 0.30). However, it was lower than the normative mean score of 7.3.

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118 Table 20 Candice: Efficacy in In structional Strategies ________________________ ______________ Response Frequency ________________________ ______________ Very Little 12.5% Some Degree Quite a Bit 87.5% A Great Deal ________________________ ______________ Efficacy in Cla ssroom Management. On this subscale, Candice’s raw score was 6.5. Her responses were equally distributed between the “some degree” range and the “quite a bit range” with 50% in each. Table 21 shows the data for Candice’s efficacy in classr oom management. Her mean response of 6.5 was slightly below the mean response of t he sample (6.59; SD= -0.07). Further, Candice’s mean response on this subscale was below the normative mean (6.7). Table 21 Candice: Efficacy in Classroom Management ________________________ ______________ Response Frequency ________________________ ______________ Very Little Some Degree 50% Quite a Bit 50% A Great Deal ________________________ ______________

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119 Summary. Based on these data, Candice’s sense of efficacy was similar across the three subscales. Her mean sco re for sense of efficacy in student engagement was 6.63. Candice’s raw score fo r sense of efficacy in instructional strategies was slightly higher at 6.75 and her sense of efficacy in instructional strategies was only slightly lower at 6.5. Cara Sense of Efficacy. Cara’s total mean score on the TSES was 5.54.The majority (66.7%) of her responses fe ll in the “some degr ee” range. An equal percentage of Cara’s responses (12.5%) fe ll in the “very little” and “quite a bit” range. Two of her responses (8.3%) were in the “a great deal” category. Table 22 shows the data for Cara’s overall sens e of efficacy. Cara’s overall mean response of 5.54 was below the overall TSES mean (6.42) of the participant group (SD= -0.68). Further, her overall score was below the normative group mean (7.1). Table 22 Cara: TSES Overall Efficacy ________________________ _______________ Response Frequency ________________________ _______________ Very Little 12.5% Some Degree 66.7% Quite a Bit 12.5% A Great Deal 8.3% ________________________ _______________

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120 Efficacy in Student Engagement. Cara’s mean score on this subscale was 6.75. The majority of Cara’s responses ( 62.5%) on this subscale fell in the “some degree” range. Two responses (25%) fell in the “a great deal” category and one response (12.5%) fell in the “quite a bit range”. Table 23 shows the data for Cara’s efficacy in student engagement. He r mean response of 6.75 on this subscale was somewhat higher than t he mean response for the sample group (6.31; SD= 0.34). However, her mean subscale score was lower than the normative mean score of 7.3. Table 23 Cara: Efficacy in Student Engagement ________________________ ____________ Response Frequency ________________________ ____________ Very Little Some Degree 62.5% Quite a Bit 12.5% A Great Deal 25.0% ________________________ ____________ Efficacy in Instructional Strategies. On this subscale, Cara’s mean score was 4.88. The majority (62.5%) of her responses were in the “some degree” and one-fourth (25%) fell in the “very little” range. Only one response (12.5%) fell in the “quite a bit” range. Tabl e 24 shows the data for Cara’s efficacy in instructional strategies. Her mean response of 4.88 wa s lower than the group mean of 6.37

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121 for this subscale (SD= -1.17). Further Cara’s mean subscale score was lower than the normative mean of 7.3. Table 24 Cara: Efficacy in Instructional Strategies ________________________ ____________ Response Frequency ________________________ ____________ Very Little Some Degree 75% Quite a Bit 25% A Great Deal __________________ _________________ Efficacy in Cla ssroom Management. On this subscale, Cara’s mean score was 5.0. Three-fourths (75% ) of her responses fell in the “some degree” range. The remaining responses were equally distributed between (12.5% each) the “very little” and the “quite a bit” ra nge. Table 25 shows the data for Cara’s efficacy in classroom management. Her mean response of 5.0 was well below the mean response of the sample (6.59; SD= -1.20). Further, her mean score was below the normative mean (6.7).

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122 Table 25 Cara: Efficacy in Classroom Management ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little 12.5% Some Degree 75.0% Quite a Bit 12.5% A Great Deal ________________________ ______________ Summary. Based on these data, Cara’s sense of efficacy varies across the three subscales. Her sense of efficacy in student engagement was the highest with a mean score of 6.75. Cara’s mean score for sense of efficacy in classroom management was 5.0. Similarly, her mean score for sense of efficacy in instructional strategies was her lowest at 4.88. Marlene Sense of Efficacy. Marlene’s total mean score on the TSES was 6.88.The majority (70.9%) of her responses fell in the “quite a bit” range. Marlene had 20.8% of her responses in the “som e degree” range. Two of her responses (8.3%) were in the “very little” cat egory. Table 26 shows the data for Marlene’s overall sense of efficacy. Marlene’s ov erall mean response of 6.88 was above the overall TSES mean (6.42) of the par ticipant group (SD= 0.36). However, her overall sense of efficacy was below the mean of the normative sample (7.1).

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123 Table 26 Marlene: TSES Overall Efficacy ________________________ ____________ Response Frequency ________________________ ____________ Very Little 8.3% Some Degree 20.8% Quite a Bit 70.9% A Great Deal ________________________ ____________ Efficacy in Student Engagement. Marlene’s mean score on this subscale was 6.13. Half of Marlene’s responses (50% ) on this subscale fell in the “quite a bit” range. The remaining responses are equally distributed (25% each) the “very little” and “some degree” categories. T able 27 shows the data for Marlene’s efficacy in student engagement. Her mean response of 6.13 on this subscale was slightly lower than the mean response for the sample group (6.31; SD= -0.14). Further, her mean response was below the mean of the normative group (7.3).

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124 Table 27 Marlene: Efficacy in Student Engagement ________________________ ____________ Response Frequency ________________________ ____________ Very Little 25% Some Degree 25% Quite a Bit 50% A Great Deal ________________________ _____________ Efficacy in Instructional Strategies. On this subscale, Marlene’s mean score was 7.25. The majority (87.5%) of her responses were in the “quite a bit” range. The remaining response (12.5%) fell in the “some degree” range. Table 28 shows the data for Marlene’s efficacy in instructional strategies. Her mean response of 7.25 was higher than the group mean of 6.37 for this subscale (SD= 0.69). However, her mean subscale score was lower than the normative mean of 7.3.

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125 Table 28 Marlene: Efficacy in Inst ructional Strategies ________________________ ______________ Response Frequency ________________________ ______________ Very Little Some Degree 12.5% Quite a Bit 87.5% A Great Deal ________________________ ____________ Efficacy in Cla ssroom Management. On this subscale, Marlene’s mean score was 7.25. Three-fourths (75%) of her responses fell in the “quite a bit” range. The remaining two responses ( 25%) were in the “some degree” range. Table 29 shows the data for Marlene’s efficacy in classroom management. Her mean response of 7.25 was above the mean response of the sample (6.59; SD= 0.5). Similarly, her mean score was higher than the normative group’s score at 6.7

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126 Table 29 Marlene: Efficacy in Classroom Management ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little Some Degree 25% Quite a Bit 75% A Great Deal ________________________ ______________ Summary. Based on these data, Marlene’s sense of efficacy is equal on two of subscales. Her sense of efficacy in instructional practices and efficacy in classroom management were equal with m ean scores of 7.25. Marlene’s mean score for sense of efficacy in student engagement was somewhat lower with a mean score of 6.13. Rachel Sense of Efficacy. Rachel’s total mean score on the TSES was 6.92. Half (50%) of her responses fell in the “quite a bit” range. The next highest category of responses (41.7%) was in the “some degree” range. Two of her responses (8.3%) were in the “a great deal” categor y. Table 30 shows the data for Rachel’s overall sense of efficacy. Rachel’s ov erall mean response of 6.92 was above the overall TSES mean (6.42) of the participant group (S D= 0.39). However, her overall mean was lower than the m ean of the normative group (7.1).

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127 Table 30 Rachel: TSES Overall Efficacy ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little Some Degree 41.7% Quite a Bit 50.0% A Great Deal 8.3% ________________________ _____________ Efficacy in Student Engagement. Rachel’s mean score on this subscale was 6.0. More than half of Rachel’s responses (62.5%) on this subscale fell in the “some degree” range. The remaining responses (37.5%) were in the “quite a bit” category. Table 31 shows the data for Rachel’s efficacy in student engagement. Her mean response of 6.0 on this subscale was slightly lower than the mean response for the sample group (6 .31; SD= -0.24). Also, her mean score was lower than the normative group’s mean score of (7.3).

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128 Table 31 Rachel: Efficacy in Student Engagement ________________________ ____________ Response Frequency ________________________ ____________ Very Little Some Degree 62.5% Quite a Bit 37.5% A Great Deal ________________________ _____________ Efficacy in Instructional Strategies. On this subscale, Rachel’s mean score was 6.63. The majority (62.5%) of her responses were in the “some degree” range. One-fourth of her responses (25% ) fell in the “quite a bit” range and one response (12.5%) was in the “a great deal ” category. Table 32 shows the data for Rachel’s efficacy in instructional st rategies. Her mean response of 6.63 was slightly higher than the group mean of 6.37 for this subscale (SD= 0.20). Conversely, her mean response was lower t han that of the normative group (7.3).

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129 Table 32 Rachel: Efficacy in Inst ructional Strategies ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little Some Degree 62.5% Quite a Bit 25.0% A Great Deal 12.5% ________________________ ______________ Efficacy in Cla ssroom Management. On this subscale, Rachel’s mean score was 8.13. The majority (87.5%) of her responses fell in the “quite a bit” range. The remaining response (12.5%) wa s in the “a great deal” range. Table 33 shows the data for Rachel’s effica cy in classroom management. Her mean response of 8.13 was well above the mean response of the sample (6.59; SD= 1.17). Similarly, Rachel’s mean respons e was higher than the normative group (6.7).

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130 Table 33 Rachel: Efficacy in Classroom Management ________________________ _______________ Response Frequency ________________________ _______________ Very Little Some Degree Quite a Bit 87.5% A Great Deal 12.5% ________________________ _______________ Summary. Based on these data, Rachel’s sense of efficacy is noticeably higher in classroom management (8.13). He r sense of efficacy in instructional practices was the next highest rating with a raw score of 6.63. Rachel’s raw score for sense of efficacy in student engagement was the lowest with a raw score of 6.0. Roslyn Sense of Efficacy. Roslyn’s total mean score on the TSES was 6.25.The majority (66.7%) of her responses fe ll in the “some degree” range. The next highest response category was the “quite a bit” range with 16.7%. Roslyn also had responses (12.5% and 4.2% respectively ) in the “great deal” and the “very little” categories. Table 34 shows the data fo r Roslyn’s overall sense of efficacy. Roslyn’s overall mean response of 6.25 was slightly below the overall TSES mean (6.42) of the participa nt group (SD= -0.13). Further, her overall sense of efficacy was lower than the normative group at 7.1.

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131 Table 34 Roslyn: TSES Overall Efficacy ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little 4.2% Some Degree 66.7% Quite a Bit 16.7% A Great Deal 12.5% ________________________ ______________ Efficacy in Student Engagement. Roslyn’s mean score on this subscale was 6.0. Roslyn’s responses (62.5%) on th is subscale primarily fell in the “some degree” range. The remaining responses we re equally distributed (12.5% each) across the ”very little”, “quite a bit”, and “a great deal” ranges. Table 35 shows the data for Roslyn’s efficacy in student engagement. Her mean response of 6.0 on this subscale was slightly lower t han the mean response for the sample group (6.31; SD= -0.24). Further her mean response was lowe r than the mean of the normative group (7.3) for this subscale.

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132 Table 35 Roslyn: Efficacy in Student Engagement ________________________ ______________ Response Frequency ________________________ ______________ Very Little 12.5% Some Degree 62.5% Quite a Bit 12.5% A Great Deal 12.5% ________________________ ______________ Efficacy in Instructional Strategies. On this subscale, Roslyn’s mean score was 6.5. The majority (62.5%) of her responses were in the “some degree” range. One-fourth of her responses (25%) fell in the “quite a bit” range. Roslyn had one response (12.5%) in the “a great deal” range. Table 36 shows the data for Roslyn’s efficacy in instructional strategies. Her mean response of 6.5 was slightly higher than the group mean of 6.37 for this subscale (SD= 0.10). However, it was lower than the normative mean of 7.3.

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133 Table 36 Roslyn: Efficacy in Instructional Strategies ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little Some Degree 62.5% Quite a Bit 25.0% A Great Deal 12.5% ________________________ ______________ Efficacy in Cla ssroom Management. On this subscale, Roslyn’s mean score was 6.25. Three-fourth s of her responses (75%) we re in the “some degree” range. Her remaining responses were equally distributed between the “quite a bit” range and the “great deal” range with 12.5% in each. Table 37 shows the data for Roslyn’s efficacy in classroom management. Her mean response of 6.25 was below the mean response of the sample (6.59; SD= -0.26). Further, Roslyn’s mean response was lower than the normati ve group (6.7) for this subscale.

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134 Table 37 Roslyn: Efficacy in Classroom Management ________________________ _____________ Response Frequency ________________________ _____________ Very Little Some Degree 75.0% Quite a Bit 12.5% A Great Deal 12.5% ________________________ ______________ Summary. Based on these data, Roslyn’s sense of efficacy was similar across the three subscales. Her mean score for sense of efficacy in instructional practices was the highest at 6.5. Roslyn ’s mean score for sense of efficacy in classroom management was slightly lower at 6.25 and her sense of efficacy in student engagement was only slightly lower at 6.0. Cross-Case Analysis Overall Sense of Efficacy The data from the TSES indicate t hat Rachel (6.92) had the highest overall sense of efficacy followed by Marl ene (6.88), Candice (6.63), April (6.33), and Roslyn (6.25). Cara had the lowest ov erall teacher sense of efficacy (5.54). The mean score of the participants wa s 6.42 (SD= 1.29). Rachel, Marlene, and Candice scored above the m ean of the sample and April, Roslyn, and Cara scored below the group mean.

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135 Efficacy in Student Engagement The subscale raw scores indicated t hat Cara (6.75) had the highest sense of efficacy in student engagement followed by Candice (6.63), April (6.38), and Marlene (6.13). The lowest scores on this subscale were reported by Rachel and Roslyn with raw scores of 6.0. The mean score for efficacy in student engagement was 6.31. Cara, Candice, and April scored above the group mean and Marlene, Rachel, and Roslyn scored below. Efficacy in Instructional Strategies The subscale raw scores showed t hat Marlene (7.25) scored the highest in efficacy in instructional strategies. S he was followed by Candice (6.75), Rachel (6.63), Roslyn (6.5), and April (6.25). Cara (4.88) scored the lowest in this area. The group mean for this response set was 6.38. All of the participants except April and Cara scored better t han the mean on this subscale. Efficacy in Classr oom Management The subscale raw scores indicated t hat Rachel (8.13) scored relatively high in efficacy in classroom managemen t. She was followed by Marlene (7.25), Candice (6.5), April (6.38), and Roslyn (6 .25), respectively. Cara (5.0) scored the lowest in this area. The group mean fo r this subscale was 6.59. Rachel and Marlene scored higher than the mean and C andice, April, and Cara scored below the mean.

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136 Overall Findings The findings from the TSES self-r eport instrument suggested that the participants felt fairly confident in t heir abilities in the areas of student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management. Overall, Rachel rated her abilities the highest with a total mean score of 6.91 and Cara rated her abilities the lowest with a raw score of 5.54. The scores on all subscales ranged from 3 to 9. The over all mean score was 6.42 and the mean scores for student engagement, instruct ional strategies, and classroom management were 6.31, 6.37, and 6.59 respec tively. This indicates that overall, the participants felt most confident in t heir ability to manage the classroom. Table 38 shows the descriptive statistics from the TSES. In addition, Figure 5 shows each participant’s total score and Figure 6 shows their scores by subscale raw score. A partially-ordered matrix revealed in teresting findings (Table 39). Rachel and Roslyn had the highest ratings on the HUTSI (Star=40) and the highest final evaluation rating GPAs with 5.0 each. However, Rachel had a higher mean sense of efficacy (6.92) than Roslyn (6.25). April and Marlene had equally high final evaluation GPAs (4.99) but differ ed on both their HUTSI ratings (39.5 and 33.5, respectively) and their sense of effi cacy (6.33 and 6.88, respectively). This finding was particularly interesting becaus e April and Roslyn had more classroom experience than Rachel and Marlene yet, they had both had a lower sense of efficacy. Further, Marlene had a higher final evaluation GPA and sense of

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137 efficacy than Candice and Cara (4.34 and 3.33, respectively). However, both Candice and Cara had higher ratings on t he HUTSI (37.0 and 36.5, respectively). Table 38 TSES Descriptive Statistics Subscale Minimum Maximum M SD ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ Overall 3 9 6.42 1.29 Student 3 9 6.31 1.29 Engagement Instructional 3 9 6.37 1.27 Strategies Classroom 3 9 6.58 1.32 Management

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138 Figure 5 TSES Overall Efficacy Mean Scores Overall Efficacy 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 April Candice Cara Marlene Rachel Roslyn Overall Efficacy

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139 Figure 6 TSES Subscale Mean Scores TSES Efficacy by Domain0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 April Candice Cara Marlene Rachel Roslyn Student Engagement Instructional Practices Classroom Management

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140 Table 39 Partially-Ordered Matrix: Final Evaluatio n GPA, HUTSI Ratings, and TSES Ratings ________________________ __________________ _____________________ _____________________________ Final HUTSI TSES TSES TSES TSES Evaluation Overall Overall E ngagement Instruction Management Case GPA Rating Rating S ubscale Subscale Subscale ________________________ __________________ ______________________________ ____________________ Rachel 5.0 40.0 6.92 6.0 6.63 8.13 Roslyn 5.0 40.0 6.25 6.0 6.5 6.25 April 4.99 39.5 6.33 6.38 6.25 6.38 Marlene 4.99 33.5 6.88 6.13 7.25 7.25 Candice 4.34 37.0 6.63 6.63 6.75 6.5 Cara 3.33 36.5 5.54 6.75 4.88 5.0 ________________________ __________________ _____________________ _______________ ______________

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141 RESEARCH QUESTION 4 How effective is the classroom practi ce of select teachers enrolled in a Master of Arts (MAT) pr ogram who are completing their final internships in Varying Exceptionalities? The fourth research question wa s examined both quantitatively and qualitatively. The Adapted Pathwise Cla ssroom Observation yields quantitative ratings of teacher performance. Descripti ve statistics are provided withinand cross-case. To gain another perspective on the teacher’s effectiveness, their mentor teachers were interviewed. Co mments from the ment or teachers were aligned with the ratings from t he Adapted Pathwise for each case. Adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation System The Pathwise Classroom Observation System was adapted for use in the academic unit in which this particular MAT program is housed. This comprehensive tool was originally desi gned by the Educational Testing Service (ETS, 2005) as a formative and summative tool to provide a common language for mentors and pre-service and/or in-s ervice teachers to discuss teacher performance (Danielson, 1996). The Path wise is described as a flexible, constructivist tool that provides a ho listic picture of the way a teacher makes sense of the teaching and learning proc ess in a comprehensive way (Danielson, 1996). This system, which is a component of the Praxis III, has been used in school districts and universities across the country and is correlated with the standards put forth by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) (Danielson, 1996).

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142 The Pathwise divides the components of professional practice into four domains: (a) Planning and preparation, (b) Classroom environment, (c) Instruction, and (d) Professional responsibil ities. Domain A is broken down into the following five criteria: demonstr ating knowledge of students, selecting appropriate instructional goals, dem onstrating knowledge of content, demonstrating knowledge of pedagogy, and assessing student learning appropriately. Domain B has five criteria : creating an environment that promotes fairness; creating an environment of respect and rapport; communicating challenging learning expectations; es tablishing and maintaining consistent standards of behavior; and organizing physical space for maximal learning and safety. Domain C is divided into eight criteria: communicating learning goals and instructional procedures; making content comprehensible to students; extending student thinking; monitoring learning, pr oviding feedback, and adjusting learning activities to meet learner needs; usi ng instructional time effectively; communicating clearly and accurately; integrating technology; and impacting student learning evidenced by assessment. Finally, the following four of the criteria from Domain D were addressed in this study including, reflecting on teaching; demonstrating a sense of effica cy; building professi onal relationships; and communicating with families and co mmunities. This system relies on the teachers’ self-report for the data co llected for Domains A and D and the researcher collected the data through obs ervation for the data collected for Domains B and C. A rubric yielded scores from 1 to 4 for each criteria was used: 1 being unsatisfactory, 2 being basic, 3 being proficient, and 4 being

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143 distinguished (Danielson, 1996). The rubrics are design ed to assist teachers as they develop from teachers working to grasp the fundamentals of teaching (unsatisfactory) to continuously improv e and progress toward the Distinguished level of performance, that of a master teacher. The re sults were reported in raw scores with the corresponding level of perfo rmance by domain (Danielson, 1996). Within-Case Analysis April Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. April’s raw scores for the five criteria on this domain were A1=3; A2=2.5; A3=3 .5; A4=3; and A5=3. The mean rating was 3.0 (SD=0.43), which placed her overall ability to plan and prepare for instruction in the proficient range. Domain B: Classroom Environment. April’s raw scores for the five criteria in this domain were B1=3; B2=3; B3=3 .5; B4=3; and 3.5. The mean rating was 3.2 (SD= 0.85), which placed her overall ability to create a learning environment that is conducive for learning ju st above the prof icient range. Domain C: Instruction. April’s raw scores for the eight criteria on this domain were C1=3; C2=3; C3=3; C4=3 ; C5=3; C6=3; C7=2.5; and C8=3. The mean rating was 2.93 (SD= .58), which plac ed her overall ability on the fringe of the proficient range in instruction. Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. April’s raw scores for the four criteria included were D1=2; D2=3; D3=3 ; and D4=2.5. The mean rating was 2.6 (SD= -1.65), which placed her over all ability to manage her professional responsibilities between the basic and profici ent range as it related to reflecting

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144 on teaching, efficacy, building professi onal relationships, and communicating with families and communities. Summary. April’s ratings across the f our domains indicate that she demonstrated a proficient level of teachi ng performance. She was strongest in her ability to create an environment conducive to learning (3.2), specifically in communicating challenging learning expect ations. She had the greatest room for improvement in managing her pr ofessional responsibilities (2.6), specifically in reflecting on her teaching. Figure 7 show s data for April’s level of teaching performance based on the adapted Pathwise system.

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145 Figure 7 April’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores Domain Means 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 Domain A Domain B Domain C Domain D Domain Means

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146 Candice Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. Candice’s raw scores for the five criteria on this domain were A1=3; A2 =3; A3=3; A4=3.5; and A5= 3. The mean rating was 3.1 (SD= 0.87), which placed her overall ability to plan and prepare for instruction in the proficient range. Domain B: Classroom Environment. Candice’s raw scores for the five criteria in this domain were B1=3; B2=3; B3=3.5; B4=3; and B5=3. The mean rating was 3.1 (SD= .46), which placed her overall ability to create a learning environment that is conducive for lear ning at the proficient level. Domain C: Instruction. Candice’s raw scores for the eight criteria on this domain were C1=3; C2=3; C3=2.5; C4=3 ; C5=3; C6=3.5; C7=3.5 and C8=3. The mean rating was 3.06 (SD= 1.13), which placed her overall ability between the slightly above the profici ent range in instruction. Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Candice’s raw scores for the four criteria included were D1=3; D2=2.5; D3 =3; and D4=3. The mean rating was 2.9 (SD= 0.12), which placed her overa ll ability to manage her professional responsibilities just below the proficient range as it related to reflecting on teaching, efficacy, building professiona l relationships, and communicating with families and communities. Summary. Candice’s ratings across the f our domains indicate that she demonstrated a proficient level of teachi ng performance. She was equally strong in her planning and preparation and her ability to create an environment conducive to learning (3.1), specific ally in using appropriate pedagogy and

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147 communicating challenging learning expect ations. She also performed well in the area of instruction (3.06). Figure 8 show s data for Candice’s level of teaching performance based on the adapted Pathwise system. Figure 8 Candice’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores Domain Means 2.8 2.85 2.9 2.95 3 3.05 3.1 3.15 Domain A Domain B Domain C Domain D Domain Means

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148 Cara Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. Cara’s raw scores for the five criteria on this domain were A1=3; A2=2; A3=2.5; A4=2.5; and A5=2.5. The mean rating was 2.5 (SD= -1.74), which placed her overall ability to plan and prepare for instruction midway between the basic and the proficient range. Domain B: Classroom Environment. Cara’s raw scores for the five criteria in this domain were B1=3; B2=2; B3=2.5 ; B4=2; and B5=3. The mean rating was 2.5 (SD= -1.85), which placed her overall abi lity to create a learning environment that is conducive for learning between t he basic and the proficient levels. Domain C: Instruction. Cara’s raw scores for the eight criteria on this domain were C1=2.5; C2=2.5; C3=2.5; C4=2.5; C5=2.5; C6=3; C7=3; and C8=2. The mean rating was 2.6 (SD= -0.79), wh ich placed her overa ll ability between the basic and proficient range in instruction. Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Cara’s raw scores for the four criteria included were D1=3; D2=; D3 =2; D4=3; and D5=3. The mean rating was 2.8 (SD= -0.47), which placed her over all ability to manage her professional responsibilities below the prof icient range as it related to reflecting on teaching, efficacy, building professional relationshi ps, and communicating with families and communities. Summary. Cara’s ratings across the f our domains indicate that she demonstrated a level of teaching perform ance between the basic and proficient levels. She was strongest in her abilit y to manage professiona l responsibilities (2.75). She had the greatest room for im provement in plann ing and preparation

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149 and the classroom environment (2.5), specific ally in selecting instructional goals and establishing and maintaining consis tent standards of behavior. Figure 9 shows data for Cara’s level of teaching performance based on the adapted Pathwise system. Figure 9 Cara’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores Domain Means 2.35 2.4 2.45 2.5 2.55 2.6 2.65 2.7 2.75 2.8 2.85 Domain A Domain B Domain C Domain D Domain Means

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150 Marlene Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. Marlene’s raw scores for the five criteria on this domain were A1=3; A2 =2.5; A3=3; A4=2.5; and A5=3. The mean rating was 2.8 (SD= -0.43), which placed her overall ability to plan and prepare for instruction slightly bel ow the proficient range. Domain B: Classroom Environment. Marlene’s raw scores for the five criteria in this domain were B1=3; B2=3.5; B3=3; B4=;3 and B5=3. The mean rating was 3.1 (SD= 0.46), which placed her overall ability to create a learning environment that is conducive for lear ning at the proficient level. Domain C: Instruction. Marlene’s raw scores for the eight criteria on this domain were C1=3; C2=3; C3=3; C4=3; C5=2.5; C6=3; C7=3; and C8=3. The average rating was 2.9 (SD= 0.46), which placed her overall ability on the fringe of the proficient r ange in instruction. Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Marlene’s raw scores for the four criteria included were D1=3; D2=3; D3=3 ; and D4=2.5. The mean rating was 2.9 (SD= .012), which placed her overa ll ability to manage her professional responsibilities just below the proficient range as it related to reflecting on teaching, efficacy, building professiona l relationships, and communicating with families and communities. Summary. Marlene’s ratings across the f our domains indicate that she demonstrated just below a proficient leve l of teaching performance. She was strongest in her ability to create an envir onment conducive to learning (3.1),

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151 specifically in creati ng an environment of res pect and rapport. She had the greatest room for improvement in planni ng and preparing for instruction (2.8), specifically in selecting appropriate instructional goals and pedagogy. Figure 10 shows data for Marlene’s level of teac hing performance based on the adapted Pathwise system. Figure 10 Marlene’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores Domain Means 2.65 2.7 2.75 2.8 2.85 2.9 2.95 3 3.05 3.1 3.15 Domain A Domain B Domain C Domain D Domain Means

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152 Rachel Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. Rachel’s raw scores for the five criteria on this domain were A1=3; A2=2.5; A3=3; A4=3; and A5=3. The mean rating was 2.9 (SD= 0.0), which placed her overall ability to plan and prepare for instruction on the fringe of the proficient range. Domain B: Classroom Environment. Rachel’s raw scores for the five criteria in this domain were B1=3; B2 =3; B3=3; B4=3; and B5=3.5. The mean rating was 3.1 (SD= 0.46), which placed her overall ability to create a learning environment that is conducive for l earning at the proficient range. Domain C: Instruction. Rachel’s raw scores for t he eight criteria on this domain were C1=3; C2=3; C3=2.5; C4 =3; C5=3; C6=3; C7=2; and C8=3. The mean rating was 2.4 (SD= -1.63), whic h placed her overall ability between the basic and proficient range in instruction. Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Rachel’s raw scores for the four criteria included were D1=3; D2=3; D3=3 ; and D4=3. The mean rating was 3.0 (SD= 0.71), which placed her overa ll ability to manage her professional responsibilities in the prof icient range as it related to reflecting on teaching, efficacy, building professional relationshi ps, and communicating with families and communities. Summary. Rachel’s ratings across the f our domains indicate that she demonstrated slightly below the proficient level of teaching performance. She was strongest in her ability to create an environment conducive to learning (3.1), specifically in organizing the physical space for maximum learning and safety.

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153 She had the greatest room for improvement in instruction (2.4), specifically in integrating technology. Figure 11 shows data for Rachel’s level of teaching performance based on the adapted Pathwise system. Figure 11 Rachel’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores Domain Means 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 Domain A Domain B Domain C Domain D Domain Means

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154 Roslyn Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. Roslyn’s raw scores for the five criteria on this domain were A1=3.5 ; A2=3; A3=3; A4=3; and A5=3. The mean rating was 3.1 (SD= 0.87), which placed her overall ability to plan and prepare for instruction in the proficient range. Domain B: Classroom Environment. Roslyn’s raw scores for the five criteria in this domain were B1=3; B2=3; B3=3; B4=2.5; and B5=3. The mean rating was 2.9 (SD= -0.31), which placed he r overall ability to create a learning environment that is conducive for learning slightly below the proficient range. Domain C: Instruction. Roslyn’s raw scores for the eight criteria on this domain were C1=3; C2=3; C3=3; C4=3; C5=2.5; C6=3; C7=3; and C8=3. The mean rating was 2.9 (SD= 0.46), which plac ed her overall ability on the fringe of the proficient range in instruction. Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Roslyn’s raw scores for the four criteria included were D1=4; D2=3; D3=3 ; and D4=2.5. The mean rating was 3.1 (SD= 1.29), which placed her overa ll ability to manage her professional responsibilities in the prof icient range as it related to reflecting on teaching, efficacy, building professional relationshi ps, and communicating with families and communities. Summary. Roslyn’s ratings across the f our domains indicate that she demonstrated her abilities at the proficient level of teaching performance. She was equally strong in her ability to plan and prepare for instruction and managing her professional respons ibilities (3.1), specifically in demonstrating knowledge of

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155 her students and reflecting on her t eaching. She had equal room for improvement in creating a learning environment conducive to learning and in instruction (2.9), specifically in estab lishing and maintaining consistent standards of behavior and using instructional time effectively. Figure 12 shows data for Roslyn’s level of teaching perform ance based on the adapted Pathwise system. Figure 12 Roslyn’s Pathwise Domain Mean Scores Domain Means 2.8 2.85 2.9 2.95 3 3.05 3.1 3.15 Domain A Domain B Domain C Domain D Domain Means

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156 Cross-Case Analysis Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation The mean scores on this domain indica ted that Candice and Roslyn (3.1) demonstrated the greatest ability to plan and prepare for instruction. They were followed closely by April with a mean score of 3.0, and they were all in the proficient range. Rachel and Marlene demon strated abilities slightly below the proficient range with scores of 2.9 and 2.8, respectively. Cara scored the lowest on this domain with a mean domain score of 2.5, midway between the basic and proficient level of teacher performance. Domain B: Classroom Environment The mean scores on this domain indi cated that April (3.2) was most capable of creating an envir onment conducive to learning. Candice, Marlene, and Rachel demonstrated equal abilities in th is area of the framework with scores of 3.1, which placed them all in the profici ent range. Roslyn was slightly below the proficient level with a mean score of 2.9. Cara (2.5) showed the greatest room for growth in this domain rating midway bet ween the basic and proficient levels. Domain C: Instruction The mean scores on this domain indica ted that Candice demonstrated the greatest overall ability in instructi on (3.06). April, Marlene, and Roslyn demonstrated equal ability in instruction (2.9), performing slightly below the proficient level. Cara followed closely with a score of 2.6, which placed her between the basic and proficient leve ls of performance. Rachel (2.4)

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157 demonstrated the greatest room for growth in this area with demonstrated ability between the basic and proficient levels. Domain D: Professional Responsibilities The mean scores on this domain indica ted that Roslyn demonstrated the greatest ability in this domain with a mean rating of 3.1 and Rachel scored just below with a mean rating of 3. Both we re in the proficient range. Candice, Marlene, and Cara demonstrated abilities sl ightly below the pr oficient range with mean scores of 2.9, 2.9, and 2.8 respec tively. April (2.6) demonstrated the greatest room for growth in this domain. Overall Findings The data from the adapted Pathwise indicated that the teachers demonstrated abilities at or slightly below the proficient level of performance. As a group, the teachers demonstrated the greatest ability to create classroom environments conducive to learning (3.0). The group showed the greatest room for growth in the area of instruction (2.79). The mean scores for the other two domains, planning and preparation and professional responsibilities, were both 2.9. The range of mean scores for all domains was 2.4 to 3.2. Table 40 shows the descriptive statistics for the adapted Pathwise and Figure 13 shows all the domain mean scores by participant. A partially-ordered matrix (Table 41) showed that with the exception of Rachel, the teachers (i.e., Roslyn, Marlene, and April) who received the highest ratings on the adapted Pathwise also had the highest final evaluation GPAs. In addition, both the adapted Pathwise rating and final evaluation GPA indicated

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158 that Cara had the greatest room for grow th. However, the sa me table (Table 41) did not have the same level of co rrelation for sense of efficacy. Table 40 Pathwise Descriptive Statistics Domain Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Deviation ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ A. Planning 2.5 3.1 2.90 .23 And Preparation B. Classroom 2.5 3.2 2.98 .26 Environment C. Instruction 2.4 3.06 2.79 .24 D. Professional 2.6 3.1 2.88 .17 Responsibilities

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159 Figure 13 Pathwise Domain Mean Scores Pathwise Domain Mean Scores0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 April Candice Cara Marlene Rachel Roslyn Domain A Domain B Domain C Domain D

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160 Table 41 Partially-Ordered Matrix: Pathwise Data ________________________ _____________________ ___________________________ _________________________ Final TSES Pathwise Pathwise Pathwise Pathwise Evaluation Overall Case Domain A Domain B Domain C Domain D GPA Rating ________________________ _____________________ ___________________________ _________________________ Roslyn 3.1 2.9 2.9 3.1 5.0 6.25 Marlene 2.8 3.1 2.9 2.9 4.99 6.88 April 3.0 3.2 2.9 2.6 4.99 6.33 Candice 3.1 3.1 2.6 2.9 4.34 6.63 Rachel 2.9 3.1 2.4 3.0 5.0 6.92 Cara 2.5 2.5 2.6 2.8 3.33 5.54 ________________________ _____________________ ___________________________ _________________________

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161 Semi-Structured Interviews of Mentor Teachers The purpose of the ment or teacher interviews was to obtain additional information regarding the participants’ levels of performance based on the domains of the adapted Pathwise Classroom Observation System. Each mentor teacher was interviewed using a set of aligned semi-structured questions (see Appendix D) in order to ma ke connections and to triangulate the data collected using the adapted Pathwise. The researcher conducted the interviews with each mentor face-to-face or by phone a fter the teacher’s observation had been conducted. Each interview was audi o taped and manually tr anscribed by the researcher. Next, the researcher conduc ted a word analysis (Ryan & Bernard, 2000) examining the transcripts for words associated with the goal indicators on the adapted Pathwise rubric. Finally, the re searcher ratings were compared to the text gathered fr om the mentors. April’s Mentor Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. April’s mentor began the discussion on April’s ability to plan and prepare for instruction by noting how she gets to know her students’ strengths and weaknes ses (A1=3). She also mentioned that April uses assessment data to determine her students’ abilities in order to differentiate instruction (A2=2.5; A3=3 .5; A5=3). April also was described as creative and well organized. As exem plified by the following statement: She does great because she does a lot of pre-testing to see what they do know. Especially in math, she wants to know where they are and then she

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162 takes it from there. The way she di fferentiates it [instruction] and she meets all the learners (A4=3). She uses all the modalities. Similarly, April was rated at the profici ent level (Mean= 3.0) by the researcher, which indicated that she has a t horough understanding of content and pedagogy and understands and affirms what student s bring to the classroom. Domain B: Classroom Environment. April’s mentor described her ability to create a classroom to maximize learning and safe ty as consistent. Her mentor noted that April makes learning accessible by us ing visual aides (B5=3.5). She stated that: She’s a very visual person. A lot of th ings are just on her board as review, the steps. With her math, step 1, st ep 2, and she left it up there [on the board]. Also, her mentor discussed how April is always visible and available and makes sure that students are held to hi gh standards of behavior and learning (B4=3). Additionally, she noted how April’ s students are comfortable in sharing what they have learned with their classmat es (B2=3). For exampl e, April’s mentor revealed that: For safety, she’s always at her door she’s always made available, she always circulates around the room. She has rules posted and she’s firm. Another illustration of the safe environment that April creates is the following: They feel comfortable going up th ere doing problems on the board and teaching the class (B1=3).

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163 Similarly, the researcher noted April’s st rength in this area. Her mean rating (3.2) on this domain was slightly above t he proficient level of performance. Domain C: Instruction. As far as instruction, April’s mentor discussed how she uses the information she has on her students to engage students in content learning (C1=3). She described how Ap ril allows the students to demonstrate their learning and enhance the learning of their peers by working through math problems on the board (C2=3; C4=3). She stated, That’s a great way for other kids to learn and having them come up and say well ‘I divided these two digits,’ and they’re talking it through and they feel comfortable, she’ll use that (C3=3; C6=3). According to her mentor, April also uses a variety of technology to present new material and to reinforce student underst anding of concepts (C7=2.5). Although April’s mentor did not ment ion indicators of goals C5 (uses instructional time effectively), the researcher document ed smooth pacing and transition during the lesson observed. The researcher noted Apri l’s strengths in this domain, rating April just below the prof icient level at 2.93. Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Continuous improvement and growth is a component of managing profe ssional responsibility. April’s mentor teacher indicated that, as for most teachers, classroom management would be an area in which April coul d improve. She mentioned, Classroom management, I think is t he hardest part for everyone and anyone because you’re getting a mix of kids in the ESE population…I

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164 think that’s the hardest part. Maybe hav ing different tactics to keep them interested. This indicated to the researcher that classroom management is inextricably tied to instruction and as April’s strengths in instruction progress so will her ability to manage behaviors in the classroom. Furt her, April’s mentor noted that her interactions with her students and peers are open (D3=3) and she is conscientious about participating in her students’ educational planning and special education program meet ings (D2=3). In this dom ain, the researcher saw room for improvement in April’s reflec tion on her teaching and in communicating with families and communities (D1=2; D4 =2.5). Also, these aspects (i.e., reflection on teaching; and communicating with families) of professional responsibility were not mentioned by Ap ril’s mentor teacher. The researcher’s mean rating in this domain was 2.6. Summary. Overall, both April’s mentor teacher and the researcher observed her as a teacher at the prof icient level of performance. She has demonstrated ability in all four domains above the basic level of performance, including her ability to create a cla ssroom environment conducive to learning slightly above the proficient level. April’ s ability to reflect on her teaching will be critical to her continued progress toward the Disting uished level of performance. Candice’s Mentor Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. When asked about Candice’s ability to plan and prepare for instruction, C andice’s mentor teac her noted that she knows her students and what each child needs (A1=3). She also mentioned that

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165 Candice plans appropriate activities for the students with whom she works in the SPMH class. She stated, Candice does demonstrate a knowled ge of her students, she seems to know what each child needs, how each child can perform in the classroom, and what she needs to do to help each child perform in the classroom (A2=3). In addition, her mentor noted that she tries different me thods such as picture and object schedules in order to teach time sequencing (A3=3; A4=3.5). Further, Candice’s mentor also re vealed that assessment with these particular students can be challenging because of their cognitive levels. She noted that: I’ve been there mostly during circle time, so if they’re able to identify their name, she’s going to observe that and keep data on whether they can identify their name or not. She has to do that over time and I’ve seen her do that (A5=3). Similarly, the researcher rated Candice’s ability to plan and prepare for instruction slightly above the proficient level (Mean=3.1). The researcher visited Candice’s class during circle time and noted how the lessons were appropriate for the students’ ability levels and how she documented student progress continually. Domain B: Classroom Environment. Candice’s mentor em phasized the ability to create a classroom to maximize lear ning and safety as being of great importance. Many of Candice’s students also have physical challenges. Her

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166 mentor discussed the import ance of organizing the room effectively for safety and accessibility (B5=3). S he indicated the following: As far as safety, the kids are safe and they move around safely. I’ve seen her put kids in standers and she had to learn to do that. On another note, she de scribed Candice’s interact ions with students as respectful and fair. She shared that, She includes everybody. She doesn’t fo rget anybody, which is really good because some teachers, when they’r e being observed, have a tendency to work with the ones that can respond. She gets them up and moving and that’s good (B1=3; B2=3; B3=3.5). The researcher observed similar interactions and an equal respect for all members of the learning community. Ev en though the mentor did not mention any specific indicators for Goal B4 (consistent standards of behavior), the researcher observed a student taunti ng another and Candice immediately and discretely addressed the behavior. When the behavior continued, the student was asked to go to the designated time out area (B5=3). Candice encouraged all students and provided equitable access to instructional activities (Mean=3.1). Domain C: Instruction. Candice’s mentor indica ted that she is very enthusiastic about her teaching and seeks out and tries different methods of instruction (C4=3). She uses assistive tec hnology like Tech Talk and visual aids to include students who are non-verbal (C 2=3; C6=3). Further, she accesses information and activities on the Internet (C7=3.5):

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167 She was doing tooth brushing and she did a very good sequence of how to brush their teeth (C1=3). She got some things off the internet, some interactive things for them to do. Candice’s mentor teacher did not comment spec ifically on Goals C3 (extends students thinking) or C5 (uses inst ructional time effectively). However, the researcher observed some attempts by Candice to extend student thinking for students who were higher functioning (2.5). For these students, she added more steps to the tasks t he other students were to comp lete (i.e., students were required to select their name out of a group three or more). As far as using instructional time effectively, Candice’s transitions were routine and her students appeared to know what acti vity was next (C5=3). The researcher’s rating of Candice on this domain was slightly above the proficient level (Mean=3.06). Further, t he mentor’s observations suggest that Candice is making progress expected of a beginning teacher in this area. Further, the unique demands of the students in this class may present specific challenges that she will mast er over time (C8=3). C andice’s mentor teacher noted that she asks for help in this ar ea and accepts the feedback and adjusts her teaching accordingly. Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Collaboration is an important part of managing profe ssional responsibility. Candice’s mentor mentioned that Candice is very professiona l, but could improve in her self-advocacy with her coteacher (D3=3). It appeared t hat Candice is taking on mo re than her share of the

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168 responsibilities in order to meet the needs of the students (D2=2.5). She observed: She just takes over if she needs to…She’s very professional about that…in fact she didn’t even mention it to me, I’m the one that brought it up to her and she didn’t say a word. Other than the concern about Candice ta king unequal responsibility in the classroom, Candice’s mentor teacher says she’s doing well for a beginning teacher. Similarly, the researcher rat ed Candice’s performance in this domain just below the proficient level (Mean=2.9). Summary. Overall, Candice’s mentor teacher and the researcher observed her teaching abilities close to the proficient level, particularly well for a beginning teacher. Candice’s willingness to seek feedback on her teaching and incorporate suggestions will help her progress. This will be critical in the area of instruction where she had the greatest r oom for improvement, specifically in extending student thinking. Cara’s Mentor Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. Cara’s mentor noted that she understands what the childr en in her class need (A1=3) and realized that the curriculum she was using was developmentally inappropriate (A2=2). This awareness indicated that Cara had at l east a basic understanding of the content and knew that her students needed instru ction that was more developmentally appropriate (A3=2.5). Also she mentioned that Cara had to regroup and reassess the group she had constantly (A5=2.5).

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169 Although the mentor t eacher did not address Goal A4 (knowledge of pedagogy and methods) specifically, the re searcher observed Cara’s use of various techniques and materials during her visit including: mu sic, books, arts and crafts (A4=2.5). Based on the resear cher’s observation, Cara demonstrated a basic level of understanding what would work for her students with regard to instructional goals and learni ng activities (Mean=2.5). Domain B: Classroom Environment. Cara’s mentor teacher described her ability to create a safe and caring learni ng environment. She noted that Cara was intentional in planning t he physical layout of the classroom (B5=3). She made sure that areas were designated for different activities and that the flow of the room would prohibit students from leav ing the room unsupervised. Also, she noted some challenging behaviors spec ific to the EELP population. She mentioned that these difficu lt behaviors can be attributed to the young ages of the children and the developmental delays that are common to students in the program. However, the researcher noticed some inconsistencies in the standards of behavior, which negatively impacted t he classroom environment (B2=2; B4=2). Cara was careful to provide all students access to learning and to ensure they all felt valued in the classr oom. Her mentor mentioned, As far as creating a warm environment, they had a lot of their things up, she had a lot of pictures of them so t hat things were labeled and were very personal (B1=3). Cara’s mentor did not discuss her co mmunication of challenging learning expectations (Goal B3). She did discuss factors that have affected the overall

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170 classroom environment, including a cha llenging combination of children and paraprofessional attrition. During the researcher’s visit, she documented Cara’s attempts to engage all of her students in the group and individual activities (B3=2.5). Cara demonstrated an overall ab ility level on this domain between the basic and proficient ranges (Mean=2.5). Domain C: Instruction. When discussing Cara’s instruction, her mentor teacher indicated that s he looked at the needs of each child and tried new methods and activities (C4=2.5). In fa ct, she used books, pr ops, and music that interested the students and asked questions that engaged them in discussion (C3=2.5; C7=3).The mentor noted that the students in Cara’s class were on many different instructional levels and t hat the challenging behaviors in the class may have affected Cara’s confidence and subsequently her instruction. The researcher observed that the activities Cara implemented were appropriate for most of the children in her class (C2=2. 5). However, managing individual student behavior impeded the instructional process at times, which was alluded to by the mentor (C5=2.5). Cara’s mentor teacher did not addre ss Goals C1 (communicating learning goals and instructional procedures), C6 (c ommunicates clearly and accurately), or C8 (impacts student learning). He r mentor focused more on the behavior challenges in the classroom and how it was impeding Cara’s self-efficacy and her teaching effectiveness. She revealed that: [Cara] She kept looking at those situations and trying new things and I think she’s very good at reflecting on what needs to be changed. So

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171 I think it’s the confidence level in dealing with behavior issues in a large group of children. It’s not that I thin k she can’t handle them she just had an extremely challenging group of children. I felt for her the moment I went in the room. I think the worst thing is when you don’t realize others have those situations. The researcher did note that Ca ra expressed the learning goals and procedures during the observation. Yet, again the various behaviors kept some of the students from know ing what was expected and participating (C1=2.5; C6=2.5; C8=2). Cara’s overall ability in instruction was between the basic and proficient ranges (Mean=2.5). Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. In this domain, Cara’s mentor indicated that she was proficient. Also, as previously noted, she reflected on her practice and tried different methods (D 1=3). She noted that Cara sought out assistance and collaborated to improve her work in the classroom (D3=3). Also, she mentioned that Cara appeared to have built relationships with parents and was not hesitant about getting them involv ed in their child’s education (D4=3). For example, Cara’s mentor stated that: She seems to have a very good rapport with the parents that come in. She does a good job in expressing her concerns and asking for help and easing parents’ minds which turned out, in the situation she was in, to be a very good skill. Cara’s tendency to reflect on her teac hing and to work collaboratively with peers, are strengths that will help her to improve continuously as an educator.

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172 This also suggested that she felt res ponsible for her students learning (D2=2). Cara’s mean rating in Domain D was 2.8. Summary. Cara performs above the basic level in all domains, but is still working to demonstrate proficiency, wh ich should come with experience. The challenges noted by Cara’s mentor and t he researcher are primarily in behavior management, which is impacting her perform ance in planning for instruction, implementation of instruction, and t he classroom environment as a whole. Marlene’s Mentor Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. Marlene’s mentor began the discussion on her ability to plan and prepare for instruction by noting how well she knew her students and their families (A 1=3). Additionally, she indicated that Marlene plans fun, curriculum-based activi ties that are indi vidualized (A4=2.5). She noted, She tries to pick things that interest the kids that also follows along with her curriculum…Everything she does in her class is individualized (A2=2.5; A3=3). Similarly, the researcher rated Ma rlene’s ability to plan and prepare for instruction close to the proficient level (Mean=2.8). Marlene shared several methods for making instruction appropr iate, including student and parent conferences, pre-assessments, and co llaborating with ot her teachers. Domain B: Classroom Environment. Marlene’s mentor teacher described again how she takes the time to get to know her students and what may be triggers for undesirable behaviors in the cl assroom, which is critical for working

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173 with students identified as severely emoti onally disturbed (SED). In this way she creates an environment of respect and rapport by treating students equitably (B1=3; B2=3.5). She stated, With her population she does a lot of getting to know the students and what sets them off and what doesn’t se t them off... (the re’s a student) that when he gets mad he starts rocking… and if she leaves him alone he’ll kind of come together and get back on tra ck, but if you keep trying to get him on track while he’s upset, it’ll kind of set him off and he’ll end up right in time out. Marlene’s mentor teacher further expl ained that there are set behavior expectations in the classroom, but it is also understood that each student has different needs in order to maintain order in the classroom environment. In this way, what is an appropriate consequenc e for one student may not be appropriate for another (B4=3). The researcher documented similar aspects of the interactions in the classroom envir onment and rated Marlene’s performance slightly above the proficient le vel in this domain (Mean=3.1). Although the mentor t eacher did not specifically address Goals B3 (challenging learning expectations) or B5 (organizes physical space for learning and safety), the researcher noticed t he designation of areas for reading, independent work, and small group instruct ion (B5=3). Also, she documented the questioning techniques Marlene used duri ng individual instruction with each student (B3=3).

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174 Domain C: Instruction. On this domain, Marlene’s mentor indicated that she is aware of the educational needs of her students as evidenced by her pacing and monitoring and adjusting of lessons (C2=3; C4=3): …it didn’t work in the regular classr oom, so she knows she has to go slow and she might have to re-teach things with them, but she’s very positive with everything. Also, she mentioned that Marlene is willing to try new methods of instruction and also seeks feedback on her teaching. Her mentor also noted how Marlene uses ongoing assessment to inform her instru ction and re-teaches concepts when necessary (C8=3). The researcher noted si milar strengths (Mean=2.9) as well as the use of technology to extend student thinking and to reinforce the concepts learned (C7=3). Although not mentioned by the mentor, the researcher documented the extent to which Marlene explained the learning objectives to each student and connected it to skills learn ed previously (C1=3; C3=3; C6=2.5). During the observation, Marlene worked wit h each student individually, but was aware of what other students were doing. It appeared that most of the students knew what they should be doing and were on task for most of the instructional period (C5=2.5). Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Marlene’s mentor indicated that she manages her professiona l responsibility well. She had mentioned previously that Marlene communicates with the fam ilies of her students to determine what strategies are used at home to incr ease their comfort and success in the classroom (D4=2.5). She also noted that Marlene reflects on her teaching and

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175 self-corrects (D1=3). The mentor did compliment Marlene on her willingness to collaborate with other professionals and participate in additional training to meet the needs of her students (D2=3; D3=3). She felt the only area that she could improve in was in the collaborative re lationship with her paraprofessional. She shared that they had a good relationship, but the roles were not well established. The researcher rated her close to the prof icient level on this domain (Mean=2.9). Summary. Overall, Marlene’s mentor and the researcher observed her teaching practices close to the profici ent level of performance. She was rated close to the proficient level across a ll four domains, even above the proficient level in her ability to create a cla ssroom environment conducive to learning. Marlene’s ability and willingness to build re spectful relationships with students and families and collaborate with colleagues will be helpful in her progress toward the distinguished level of performance. Rachel’s Mentor Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. Rachel’s mentor teacher stated that she plans thematic units with the team of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) teachers. Also, she indicated that Rach el increases her knowledge of content and pedagogy by supplementing the adopted cu rriculum (A3=3; A4=3). Rachel’s mentor shared, This is a group who she has all prai se for nine children with one assistant. It’s a tough situation and there are lots of needs in this class. She’s really looking at how to meet the diverse needs of that group of kids (A1=3).

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176 Also, the mentor teacher indicated t hat she has been assisting Rachel in using the adopted language program and how to design lessons to supplement the program to meet each student’s learning goals (A2=2.5). Rachel’s mentor did not specifically address student asse ssment (Goal A5), but Rachel explained to the researcher that t he assessments that she uses are incorporated with the curricular materials used and described the steps she takes for remediation when needed (A5=3). The researcher noted Rache l’s attention to detail planning and preparation and rated her slightly below the proficient level (Mean=2.9). Domain B: Classroom Environment. Rachel’s mentor identified safety as a big priority. She mentioned Rachel’s use of sensory-type activities for calming and specific areas for students to go to for activities or for time alone (B5=3.5). Also, she noted Rachel’s behavior managem ent system that offered several opportunities for students to feel successf ul (B2=3). Rachel’s mentor mentioned specifically that: They’re day is quite segmented, where they’re earning either a happy face or a sad face at the end of each segment. So really, I think that helps contribute to the safety in the classroom…A big part with this group, is planning enough events to keep ahead of the game (B1=3; B4=3). Further, she emphasized t hat the student’s day is scheduled for purposes of behavior management as well as for st udents to be aware of what learning activities were to come. During the obser vation, Rachel worked with two students at-a-time on language arts and praised t hem consistently for what they had accomplished during previous lessons and the skills they were adding (B3=3).

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177 The researcher observed that Rachel’s in teractions with students were consistent and students seemed to know the behav ior expectations when engaged in different activities. Rachel was rated slightly above the pr oficient level of performance in creating an environment conducive to learning (Mean=3.1). Domain C: Instruction In this domain, Rachel’s mentor noted that she is consistently improving and trying differ ent strategies (C1=3; C2=3): Looking at their individ ual needs and looking at the strategies that are going to best meet their needs throughout the day. The sensory activities have been really nice. She’s trying hard to find different ways to integrate technology (C7=2)…She’s also im plemented PECS [personal exchange communication system] with one of the students and created this wonderful PECS notebook for this youngster (C6=3). The mentor stressed the use of the PECS notebook as a means of helping a non-verbal student to communicate and also to enhance social skills development. Also, Rachel’s mentor teac her noted that she is still building her repertoire of methods in the core content areas (C4=3). Similarly, the researcher observed limited use of higher-order questioning (C3=2.5). This may have been difficult because of the young ages of t he students and their exceptionalities. As previously shared, Rache l’s schedule incorporated behavior and learning expectations and helped students with transitions, which can be particularly difficult with the ASD populati on (C5=3). Similarly, the researcher noted that Rachel is still dev eloping in this area, but wit h the support of her team

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178 and her pursuit of innovative methods she will make progress in this area (Mean=2.4). Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Rachel’s mentor noted that she is good about reflecting on her teaching and incorporating feedback to improve continuously (D1=3). She mentioned that Rachel is a team player and builds collaborative relationships with co lleagues and parents D3=3; D4=3): She’s a team player. Again, as a tea mmate she definitely pulls her weight when we plan. We have a parent support group here, and we meet monthly and she certainly pulls her share. Additionally, her mentor discussed how Rachel attends to her students’ individualized educational plans (IEP) and communicates regularly with parents about academic and behavioral issues. Also she shared that Rachel takes responsibility for her student’s success (D2=3) and is always willing to ask for assistance in meeting the needs of her students (i.e., aski ng for ideas). The researcher observed that Rachel wor ks well with her paraprofessional to meet the needs of her students. Rachel was rated at the proficient level on this domain Mean=3). Summary. Overall, Rachel’s mentor teac her and the researcher rated her abilities close to the proficient level. She is still developing in her teaching of the core academic areas, but her reflecti on and willingness to work collaboratively will help her progression. Also, her strength in creati ng an environment conducive to learning is a benefit to her students. Her mentor commented,

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179 It takes time and experience and being able to work with kids, seeing what works and what doesn’t. She doesn’t give up and that’s…I’m telling you, perseverance in this field is everything. Roslyn’s Mentor Domain A: Planni ng and Preparation. Roslyn’s mentor described how she prepared for instruction in terms of ge tting to know her students personally and based on their academic records and indivi dualized educational plans (A1=3.5). She described how she used this informa tion to find appropr iate materials, specifically materials that her st udents will be able to read and comprehend (A2=3). The mentor also discussed Ro slyn’s planning incorporates ongoing assessment and how she will re-teach when necessary and build on content as students are ready developmentally (A5=3; A3=3). She highlighted that the extent of her planning allowed Roslyn to provide “solid instruction with the kids (A4=3).” Similarly, the res earcher noted that Roslyn sp ent a significant amount of time researching activities that were of high interest to students and aligned with the curriculum and standards. She was rated s lightly above the proficient level in planning and prepar ation (Mean=3.1). Domain B: Classroom Environment. On this domain, Roslyn’s mentor teacher observed how she organized the ph ysical space to meet the needs of students with emotional and behav ioral challenges (B5=3): The kids all have their assigned ar eas and she keeps a distance between those that have behavior al needs and that need to have a little more space than others.

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180 Also, she mentioned Roslyn’s use of different grouping strategies to promote respect and rapport among students and to facilitate learning (B1=3; B2=3). She shared, When the kids are working in groups and things, I had an opportunity to observe them, and they had the opportunity to pretty much formulate their own groups as needed for the task. She did monitor and make sure that everything and everybody was still on task (B3=3). The mentor did not explicitly address Goal B4 (consistent standards of behavior). However, the researcher documented how Roslyn managed discretely the behavior of a student who was off task. In this way, she was maintaining a consistent standard of behavior while tr eating him with respect. During the observation there were other behavio rs that were managed with less success (B4=2.5). She was rated just below the proficient level in this performance domain (Mean=2.9). Domain C: Instruction. Roslyn’s mentor teacher de scribed her strengths in implementing high interest activities (C2=3) and providing students with high expectations and learning goals (C1=3). Further, she commented that Roslyn uses activities that are out of the ordinary, accesses t he internet for lesson ideas and allows students to use the comput ers in the room for research and enrichment (C7=3). Also, she described spec ific strategies that were observed: She incorporates hands-on time and a ti me to discuss their opinions. It works out very well (C6=3).

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181 The mentor also shared that Roslyn asked for assistance in structuring activities for maximum effectiveness (C5= 2.5). As previously noted, Roslyn’s mentor sees her as capable of monito ring student learning through the use of ongoing assessments (C4=3). The researcher observed a lesson that involved a fable where she used props and allo wed students to demonstrate their understanding in a variety of ways (C1=3; C8=3). She was rated close to the proficient level in this skill area (Mean=2.9). Domain D: Professional Responsibilities. Roslyn’s mentor discussed her relationships with her colleagues (D3=2.5). She noted that, She seems to have a pretty good relati onship with the faculty there. We’ve discussed on a couple of occasions w here the teachers share with her the successes of her kids in the classroom She ran a social skills program for her final internship. Some of the th ings transferred into the mainstream classes and the teachers came and ol d her specific things that the children had said to the teachers. This also indicated that Roslyn felt re sponsible for her student’s learning in her class and in other classes by teaching t hem self-advocacy skills (D2=3).Although not mentioned specifically by the mentor, the researcher also noticed how Roslyn reflects on her teaching. She was able to express very concisely the strengths and weaknesses of the observed lesson and provide several alternatives that she planned to implement with future ac tivities (D1=4). In addition, Roslyn mentioned two of the behavior challenges observed during the lesson. She discussed the reasons why she would need to contact the parent and discussed

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182 the rapport already estab lished and how it would be helpful in addressing the inappropriate behavior (D2=3). She took the success of the lesson personally and articulated how it may have impacted student learning. Roslyn’ mean rating was 3.1, which indicated that her overall ability in this area was slightly above the proficient level. Summary. Overall, Roslyn was viewed by both her mentor and the researcher to be at the prof icient level of performance. The depth of her planning and reflection on instruction will help her to continuously improve toward the distinguished level of perform ance. Her mentor remarked, There are people out there who know what they’re doing and who care. It’s kind of refreshing. Overall Findings The mentor teachers were clear on w hat the teacher’s strengths were and the areas in which they were still developi ng. Much of the information provided by the mentors was consistent with the obser vations of the researcher. However, discrepancies were uncovered t hat warrant discussion. Table 42 provides a componential analysi s of each case. Spradley (1979) offers componential analysis as a means for understanding distinctive features using binary terms (i.e., +/-) The features included are: the researcher’s ratings using the adapted Pathwise, the researcher ’s interpretations of the mentor teacher data by domain, and the teacher’s sense of efficacy ratings by domain using the TSES. Through componential analysis, it was determined that Pathwise Domain A did not closely a lign with any of the TSES domains.

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183 However, Pathwise Domain B ali gned with the TSES Classroom Management domain, Pathwise Domain C aligned with the TSES Instructional Strategies domain, and Pathwise Domain D most closely aligned with the TSES Student Engagement domain, encompas sing teacher responsibility for student learning. The pluses for the Pathwise ratings were determined by a rating of 2.8 or greater and a TSES rating of 6.5 or greater. Cara was given a mean rating of 2.5 in Domain A. The researcher noted her abilities between the basic and profic ient levels. Cara’s mentor discussed challenges in this area, but felt they we re more external (i .e., administrative) and that Cara knew what was appropriat e for her students. This discrepancy may have had more to do with Cara’s mentor being more familiar with her specific situation than the researcher. Rachel was given a mean rating of 2.4 in Domain C. The researcher noted her abilities between the basic and profici ent levels. Rachel’s mentor discussed that she was still building her repertoire in content-specif ic methods, but that she was making great progress. The discrepancy in this instance may be attributed to the specific lesson the res earcher was invited to observe. The lesson involved a scripted language program that allowed for minimal variation in instruction. The componential analysis (see Table 42) revealed that Candice and Marlene rated their abilities si milar to the researcher and their mentors. However, April rated her abilities across all TSES domains lower than her mentor and the researcher. April’s limited self-effi cacy may have been the result of both professional and personal issues alluded to over the course of the study. Also,

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184 Roslyn rated herself lower in cl assroom management and student engagement as measured by the TSES. During the postobservation interview, Roslyn expressed a desire to connect more with her students and discussed specific students she was working on managing in the classroom.

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185 Table 42 Componential Analysis of Cases ________________________ __________________ _____________________ __________________________________ Domain Teacher Domain Teacher TSES Domain Teacher TSES Domain Teacher TSES Case A Interview (A) B Interview (B) Management C Interview (C) Instruction D Interview (D) Engagement _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ April + + + + + + + + Candice + + + + + + + + + + + Cara + + + + Marlene + + + + + + + + + + + Rachel + + + + + + + + + Roslyn + + + + + + + + + _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Pathwise Domain +=2.8 or higher rating; TSES +=6.5 or higher rating

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186 RESEARCH QUESTION 5 What do select teachers enrolled in a MAT program who are completing their final internships in Varying Except ionalities perceive as attributing to their professional succe sses and/or challenges? The fifth and final question explored what the teachers perceived as impacting their work. The researcher conducted a single focus group with all participants to address this question. Intensity effect sizes, frequency distributions, and a thematic analysis were provided. Focus Group Interview The purpose of the focus group interv iew was to gather qualitative data on what the participating teac hers perceived as attributing to their professional successes and challenges. The researcher facilitated the focus group interview and a graduate student assisted by ta king notes during the discussion. Responses were solicited using five prompts: a) Talk about a ti me you felt really certain in your ability to teach your student s; b) To what would you attribute your success?; c) What experiences have been the most challenging for you?; d) What about the program has worked well fo r you?; and e) What do you feel was missing? Eight themes emerged fr om the group’s responses a posteriori (Constas, 1992). The categories were specified iter atively, emerging through a constant comparison procedure. The categories we re designated by the researcher and were verified by another graduate student to establish inter-coder reliability. More

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187 specifically, the focus group was audio t aped and the researcher transcribed the tape manually with the aid of Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software (Nuance, 2005). Once the transcrip ts were completed, the researcher imported the files into NVivo (QSR In ternational, 2005) qualitative software. NVivo aided in organizing codes and reveal ing themes. In addition, it simplified the process of calculating frequency dat a. Then, the researcher manually reviewed the transcripts and began the c oding process. Nex t, another graduate student independently coded the data. Once each reader had coded the data, a meeting was held to discuss the codes and to collapse the codes into themes identified and named by the researcher. The following themes were agr eed upon: school system and school culture, program culture, student characteristics, build ing relationships, teacher effort and effectiveness, behavior management issues, working with families, and instructional issues. Table 43 displa ys the frequency effect sizes and frequency distribution for the eight t hemes. Through the iterative process (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) the researcher and t he independent coder found t hat the emergent themes could be sub-divided into five meta-t hemes: school system and school culture, teacher effort and effectiveness, program culture, student characteristics, building relationships (Onwuegbuzie & Teddl ie, 2003). The thematic structure is displayed in Figure 14.

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188 Figure 14 Thematic Structure of Meta-themes and Frequen cy Effect Sizes (FES) for Focus Group ________________________ _____________________ ___________________________ _________________________ School system and school culture FES=25% Program Culture FES=14.7% Student Characteristics FES=14.7% Building Relationships FES=14.1% Teacher Effort and Effectiveness FES=13.6% Behavior support Coursework/ sequence Pace Mentoring Administrator support Cohort Studentteacher Professional Ability and need Disability Identification Behavior management Collaboration Instruction

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189 Table 43 Frequency Effect Sizes and Frequency Distribution for the Focus Group Category Generic Number of Frequency Frequency Effect Number Category Descriptor of Sizes Codes in Occurrence (percentage Each of total) Generic Category ______________________________________________________________________ 1 School system/ 10 68 25 School culture 2 Program culture 9 40 14.7 3 Student characteristics 8 40 14.7 4 Building relationships 6 38 14.1 5 Teacher effort and 10 37 13.6 Effectiveness 6 Behavior management 4 27 9.9 Issues 7 Working with families 6 14 5.1 8 Instructional issues 5 8 2.9 ___________________________________________________________________ Total 8 overall categories 58 272 100 The results from the focus group in terview will be discussed in terms of the meta-themes. Focus group research is intended to reveal attitudes and perceptions of people through group interacti ons. In order to create what Krueger and Casey (2000) describe as “permissive ” environments the participants were

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190 assured that their comments would not be reported individually. Thus, individual quotes will not be attributed to individual participants. School System and School Culture The most endorsed meta-theme was school system and school culture (25%). Participants discussed systemic i ssues that they fe lt impacted them and their teaching both positively and negativ ely. They discussed concerns about provision of services across the cont inuum and appropriate setting for students. In addition, they discussed models of service delivery including the FUSE coteach model. Other concerns included admin istrative support at the district and school level. In the same vein, peer s upport and collaborative partnerships were critical to their t eaching experiences. The teachers had the most to say about systemic issues and the culture of education, the school district, and their i ndividual schools. Some of the systemic issues raised centered on the provis ion of services. For example, He’s socially maladjusted. He’s not necessarily EH (Emotionally Handicapped) that’s how they’ve got to label them to service them. In the same vein, teachers discussed models of service delivery, specifically the Varying Exceptionalities ( VE) model. One commented, It’s the VE approach. It certainly creat es a lot of frustration for ESE (Exceptional Student Education) teac hers. It gets in the way of being effective, it definitely does.

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191 Another teacher added: I think we do have a push for equity with this population, the ESE population and we have this philosophy that we all buy into, but then in the real situation it really s eems that we really are not seeing that equity within the real setting in the schools. Another concern identified was that of administrative support. The teachers brought up challenges they were experienc ing in their particular settings. For example, one teacher questioned factors impacting the inclus ion of students with special needs in the general education setting: Is the administrator really buying in to the needs of these kids? Are the other teachers really givi ng them what they need? Another teacher added, Now it’s like I’m on my own. I have a few people’s support, but the problem is we all band together and then we are the ones being the troublemakers. We know what’s right. One of the participants shared some serious challenges she is having with one of her student’s behavior. She said she had been asking for behavioral support at her school level and at the district level. Reflecting on the situation she declared: I’m thinking if we had done the FBA (Functional Behavior Assessment) when I requested it, it wouldn’t have gotten to this point where her behaviors wouldn’t have been this destructive. I really think we would have been able to help her.

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192 While the teachers voiced some serious concerns, not all of their experiences have been difficult. One teacher spoke highly of the cu lture and climate at her school. I got hired at this school that is just awesome and is very supportive. It’s a low income, urban school and everybody is supportive of each other and if I need help, not help, but advice or want to find out better strategies I can go to any teacher, not just ESE…I feel lik e if I was in a school that I didn’t feel like that I probably wouldn’t be there and I might not be here. Another teacher was very optimistic about her future as an educator. She was able to dissect the situation she was in and discuss what it would take to be successful in the field: I know that some day I will actually be able to enjoy what I do, with the school’s support and me giving 100%, and working as a team. Program Culture The next meta-theme wa s program culture (14. 7%), specifically components that they felt worked well and others that concerned them. Participants mentioned whether or not t heir needs were met with regard to the population they were teaching or previ ous experience, outcomes related to specific projects, and shared their apprec iation for the accelerated, applied nature of the program. Other issues that arose includ ed the perceived benefit of specific coursework. These teachers were all sharing the common experience of matriculating through the same teacher preparation pr ogram as members of a cohort. They

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193 had both positive reflections and constructi ve criticisms with regard to their experiences in the program. On the pos itive end of the spec trum, the teachers liked the accelerated and appl ied nature of the program They also appreciated the support and flexibility of the progr am faculty. The following comments illustrate this perspective: (a) One thing I think that has worked for me in this program as opposed to other MA programs is that it is project based; (b) Everything that we’ve done, as far as academics and learning, has been in the classroom. It’s been real knowledge; and (c ) I would not get my Master’s any other way. It’s very quick and condensed and not just because it’s so quick, but it’s also hands-on. Even though the teachers liked the a ccelerated pace and their families were supportive, they acknowledged that time away from their families was a sacrifice. Some of the constructive crit icisms that were expressed pertained to coursework and sequencing. For example: (a) We should have had a course on different disabilities and ways of adapt ing to like the aut ism, or the TMH (Trainable mentally handica pped), or the EELPers (Ear ly Exceptional Learning Program); (b) There were a couple of cl asses that I took and literally thought, why did I take this? Psych was one; and (c ) Don’t leave ESOL III until the last semester. Another critique was on the int ended audience and the mild/moderate focus of the program. The t eachers felt the program wa s excellent, but it did not meet all of their specific needs. Fo r example, one teacher with teaching experience said,

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194 I think I would’ve gotten more from it if you would have said, ‘ok this group is experienced, but they’re not nece ssarily ESE experienced so they need to sharpen some skills in some different things.’ Other teachers who were teaching in settings with more severe or intensive needs stated: (a) Because I am teaching the severe and profound mentally handicapped, this program was an excellent program, but it didn’t help me in my classroom and (b) It just per tained to the middle of the line ESE. The discussion also took into acc ount the mentoring component of the program. All of the teachers felt it was worthwhile but had concerns about how it was structured. Some teachers found c onnecting with mentor s challenging. The common perception was that t hey had to find their own mentor and it was difficult in some instances. This experience al so seemed to differ when the teachers were not at the same school as their ment ors, which was the case for three of the six teachers. One par ticipant shared, That became frustrating. You want to connect with your mentor and develop a relationship where you’re going to be interacting and you have to make accommodations for each other It has to be special and that’s what the word ment or kind of denotes. Others had very positive experiences and fe lt that the mentor ing relationships were invaluable. This was evid ent in one teacher’s reflection, My mentor comes in and picks me up and I’m very grateful because if it weren’t for her, I don’t know where I’d be. I wouldn’t be sitting here that’s for sure.

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195 Student Characteristics Student characteristics (14.7%) was another meta-theme that emerged. The teachers noted differences in student disability identification, student need and ability levels. Also, they discussed student potential, challenges, and offered each other possible solutions. Student characteristics were discussed in terms of disability category and need. Also, the teachers discussed factor s impeding their students’ level of achievement. One middle school teacher mentioned a concern for teachers of adolescents. She noted, With my students self-esteem is a big i ssue. A lot of the anger that they feel is all inside. With that it becomes difficult to teach or for them to learn. Teaching goes on, but for them to reach their potential it can be really difficult. Another concern that wa s mentioned earlier was that of student age and the potential for dropping out of school. T he teachers of adolescents in the mild/moderate population shared th is concern. Further, they felt their efforts were not going to be successful. One mi ddle school teacher commented, You’ve got kids who are older, you’re looking at 15 or 16-year olds and they’re just counting down t he days until they can drop out. Conversely, teachers also shared highli ghts of their student s’ successes. One beamed as she shared the turning point fo r one of her English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) students:

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196 He said, ‘I got it! I got it!’ He says, ‘I finally got it. Come here’. Sure enough, the light bulb came on and that was the first time this year that it actually happened. Building Relationships Building relationships (14.1%) wa s another topic of discussion. The participants discussed different types of re lationships and the importance of each to the work they were undertaking. Most often the cohort relationship was mentioned fondly. Also, t he teachers discussed relationships with university faculty, mentor teachers, colleagues, and students. The importance of supportive relationships for the participants was evident across all themes. Building and maintaining positive relationships was de scribed as critical to these teachers’ successes. The connections involved their cohort, students, colleagues, and their families. Based on the discussion, the cohort relationships had extended beyond the university classroom. The teacher s created a support networks and made lasting friendships. They shared the fo llowing: (a) We know everybody who we can call because we know what every body can get done; (b) I’ve never been with a group of people who have been so supportive; (c) It was just wo nderful. It’s one of those things you can’t put a price t ag on; (d) We’ve formed a bond; and (e) I’ve really made friends. Whether we rema in connected there is a connection. The student-teacher relationship wa s discussed in terms of creating community. Further, the teachers perceived th is relationship to be necessary for student learning. One teacher offered,

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197 You have to make a connection with thos e kids and I think after all these years that is like the number one thing. You have to find a way to get in. It’s the only way. Finally, relationships with colleagues also were considered important. One teacher gave her perspective on t he teacher paraprofessional dyad. In the class I’m not the teacher and she’s not the paraprofessional. We are together a team that works for the kids. Repeatedly, the mentor t eacher relationship was discussed. This particular teacher had a strong relations hip with her mentor who wo rks on the same team. Their relationship has gone beyond thei r school and the university. She was pleased to report, I have a success story again because my mentor and I do things outside of school together. Our kids are toget her, I’m going over there tonight. We interact so much now. I don’t know if that would be the case if she wasn’t my mentor. Teacher Effort and Effectiveness Another meta-theme was teacher effort and effectiveness (13.6%). Of the emergent themes, behavior management i ssues, working with families, and instructional issues were subsumed in to this meta-theme. These teachers discussed specific times when they felt eit her effective or ineffective, seeking out resources to improve their effectiveness, and shared strategies that have worked for them or not worked. Also menti oned were what they perceived to be experiences that stood out as highli ghts and low points in their careers.

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198 Many of the comments made about the participants’ noted successes and challenges included glimpses into thei r teaching philosophies and beliefs on teaching and learning. Also included in this category are behavior management issues, instructional issues, and working wi th families. These factors all impact teacher effort and effectiveness. The teac her’s varied philosophies were evident in comments such as: (a) I think that just believing the child can learn, period; (b) it’s my way and you’re here to learn; (c ) I’m not a control freak, but my room will not be in chaos. One of the teachers indica ted that a student-centered focus was critical. She pointed out, My kids, we have good days and we have bad days, but it’s all about them. It should be all about the kids and making it right for the kids. If you can’t let five or six [kids] ruin it for the rest. You have to take care of it so everyone else has a positive learning experience. A teacher in an inclusive setting identified the link between academic engagement and behavior. She revealed: I feel that academics definitely affect patterns of behavior. If they don’t have things to hang onto to see themselves succeeding it’s going to create a pattern of failure and frustrat ion. Before you know it you have a kid who is 15 in EH or SLD who is on his way to dropping out of school. Some of the teachers mentioned some se rious challenges in managing student behavior. One had this to say:

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199 I have one that likes to bite. He tries to hit you and then you hold his hands and then he tries to kick you. Then you hold his feet and he spits in your face. Another teacher, whose comments were pr eviously mentioned on requesting an FBA, said this about the behavior t hat prompted her to request it: I have this little girl with destructive behaviors…they’ve escalated to the point where my classroom is no longer safe. Teachers also identified changes they had made in their teaching practice to improve their effectiveness with their studen ts. One teacher credited her mentor and teaching team with t he improvements she made based on their feedback and suggestions: In the first six months probably, the first half of the year I was doing things completely different and they were not effective. Then, I changed everything around. I changed my behav ior management, how my room was organized, even the way I spoke to my kids. In addition, a few of the teachers refe rred to seeking outside sources that pertained to their teaching. One in particular stated, (On teaching students with SPMH) What I learned to teach the students that I have, I had to either learn on my own or get out of whatever colleagues I could get my hands on. Another topic of discussion dealt with working with families. One teacher discussed being an advocate:

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200 I was on the parent side of sitting at those IEP meetings fighting for my sibling. I never thought I would be on t he teacher side fighting for my kids in my classroom. Another issue raised was a family issue as well as a systemic issue. One of the participants shared a time when a parent felt isolated by a situation at her school: So everybody was pushing towards the other placement. Mom wasn’t happy about the school or the reputat ion of the school. It was just so overwhelming and the whole meeting was very negative. It was like we wanted to kick her out and she told t he other people, ‘I feel like nobody wants my daughter.’ Summary The focus group interview was in tended to gather data on what the participating teachers perceiv ed as attributing to their successes and challenges. Many issues were brought up that could ulti mately affect their persistence in the field. By the end of the discussion, it wa s clear that the relationships they had with colleagues, cohort member s, and their families helped them to persist in their classrooms and in their teacher-preparation program. PARTICIPANT PROFILE April April, a White female in her 30’ s began her teaching career prior to starting the MAT program. April ear ned her undergraduate degree in Spanish and later became certified to teach Spani sh. As a foreign language teacher, she came into contact with a cross-secti on of the entire school population. April

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201 decided to pursue the MAT in Varying Exce ptionalities as a result of including students with special needs in her class. At the time of her fi nal internship, she was teaching in a resource room at a Title I middle school in a rural area. Based on April’s rating on the HUTSI (39.5), she should perform at High levels, close to the level of a Star. This indicated that she should be successful in schools considered difficult-to-staff. Ho wever, her rating on one of the mid-range functions suggested that she would be su sceptible to burnout. This suggested that buffers, such as a supportive netwo rk of peers, could help her resist the conditions that lead to burnout. April’s overall sense of efficacy rati ng (6.33) was just below the participant group mean of 6.42. The majority of her responses (62.5%) fell in the “some degree” range. This suggested that April felt somewhat capable of impacting student learning. Her sense of efficacy as measured by the TSES was below the mean of the participant group across all subscales. Researcher observation and mentor t eacher interview data indicated that April proficiently performs her role as a teacher based on the Pathwise domains. Her greatest strength was in her abili ty to create a classroom environment conducive to learning. The HUTSI rating (39.5) predicted t hat April would be successful in her teaching. This was consistent with t he Pathwise data and her final evaluation GPA (4.99). However, her responses on the TSES (Mean=6.33) suggested that she has less confidence in her ability to provide effective instruction than she demonstrated.

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202 Candice Candice, a White female in her 40’s, earned her undergraduate degree in Biblical Languages prior to serving as a missionary in a Spanish-speaking country. After returning to the Stat es, she was employed as a one-on-one paraprofessional for a student with autism and Down Syndrome. She indicated that working with that student influenced her to pursue a degree in special education and a career in spec ial education. At the time of her final internship, Candice was employed in a self-cont ained program for students with SPMH at a Title I middle school on the fringe of the inner city. Based on Candice’s rating on the HUT SI (37.0), she should be able to successfully conceptualize teaching and appropriate activities, but may experience difficulty in implementati on. She may have difficulty understanding the factors that plac e students at risk for failure. Additionally, Candice’s personal orientation towards teaching may cause her to experience disappointment if her students do not overtly display their affect ion. This suggested that if Candice could gain a better understanding of fact ors that place student s at risk she could alter her orientation towards teachi ng and create an environment conducive to learning. Candice’s overall sense of efficacy ra ting (6.63) was above the participant group mean of 6.42. The majority of her responses (70.9%) fell in the “quite a bit” range. This suggested that Candice fe lt quite capable of impacting student learning. Her sense of efficacy as m easured by the TSES was above the mean

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203 of the participant group on the Student Engagement and In structional Strategies subscales and below on Classroom Management. Researcher observation and mentor teac her interview data indicated that Candice performs her role as a teacher close to the proficient level based on the Pathwise domains. She was equally strong in her planning for instruction and her ability to create a classroom env ironment conducive to learning. The HUTSI rating (37.0) predicted that Candice would be successful in her teaching, although she may be initially hes itant. This was consistent with the Pathwise data and her final evaluation GPA (4.34). Further, her responses on the TSES (Mean=6.63) suggested that she was c onfident in her ability to provide effective instruction which may have increased her willingness to explore and implement new strategies. Cara Cara, a White female in her 20’s, earned her under graduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She worked in clinical settings as well as at a preschool. Her experience with a Deaf sibling inspired her to pursue a career as a special educator. She c hose the MAT program as her route to become qualified and certified. At the time of her final internship, Cara was employed in an EELP program housed at an elementary school in a suburban neighborhood. Based on Cara’s rating on the HUTSI (36.5), she should be able to conceptualizing teaching and und erstand the purposes of a variety of activities, but may experience difficulty in implement ation. Cara’s individual ratings on the

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204 mid-range functions indicated that she may not clearly recognize the factors that place student at risk for fa ilure. Further, she may be susceptible to burnout. This suggested that developing supportive peer networks may reduce her vulnerability for burnout. Further, through co llaboration, Cara may be able to counter some of the factors that place st udents at risk for failure. Cara’s overall sense of efficacy rating (5.54) was below the participant group mean of 6.42. The majority of her responses (66.7%) fell in the “some degree” range. This suggested that Cara felt somewhat capable of impacting student learning. Her sense of efficacy as measured by the TSES was above the mean of the participant group on the St udent Engagement subscale, but below the mean on the Instructional Strategi es and Classroom Management subscales. Researcher observation and mentor t eacher interview data indicated that Cara performs her role as a teacher abov e the basic level based on the Pathwise domains. Her greatest strength wa s in managing her professional responsibilities. The HUTSI rating (36.5) predicted that Cara would be successful in her teaching, although she may be initially hes itant. This was consistent with the Pathwise data and her final evaluation GPA (3.33), which showed room for further development. Further, her re sponses on the TSES (Mean=5.54) suggested that she lacked confident in her ab ility to provide effective instruction. Marlene Marlene, a White female in her 40 ’s, earned her undergraduate degree in Criminology. Her decision to purs ue the MAT degree and become a special

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205 educator was the result of navigating t he system as a parent of a child with special needs. At the time of her final internship, Marlene was teaching students identified as SED in a self -contained primary classroom. Based on her HUTSI ratings (33. 5), Marlene could be expected to conceptualize the duties of a teacher but may be initially hesitant in implementing ideas. According to her indi vidual mid-range ratings, her greatest challenges would be persist ence, burnout, and her orientation towards teaching. This suggested that her expectations for student adulation may impede her success and willingness to stay. Marlene’s overall sense of efficacy rating (6.88) was above the participant group mean of 6.42. The majority of her responses (70.9%) fell in the “quite a bit” range. This suggested that Marlene felt quite capable of impacting student learning. Her sense of efficacy as m easured by the TSES was above the mean of the participant group on the Inst ructional Strategies and Classroom Management subscales and below on t he Student Engagement subscale. Researcher observation and mentor t eacher interview data indicated that Marlene is close to proficient in performing her role as a teacher based on the Pathwise domains. Her greatest strength was in her ability to create a classroom environment conducive to learning. The HUTSI rating (33.5) predicted that Marlene would be successful in her teaching, although she may require considerable support. However, based on the Pathwise and her final evaluation G PA (4.99), Marlene was doing well for a beginning teacher. Further, her respons es on the TSES (Mean=6.88) suggested

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206 that she was confident in her ability to provide effective instruction which may have increased her willingness to explore and implement new strategies and to persist in the field. Rachel Rachel, a White female in her 30’s, earned her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology. After graduating, she was employed as a paraprofessional in an elementary classroom for students with aut ism. Rachel indicated that working with the students in that pr ogram encouraged her to purs ue a career in special education. At the time of her final internship, she was employed in a classroom for students with autism at the same Title I school where she was a paraprofessional. Based on her HUTSI ratings (40.0), Rachel could be expected to perform as a Star teacher, one who is able to implement their own plans or plans suggested by others. Rachel scored well in all areas, but she had the greatest difficulty in appropriately identifying the variables that place students at risk for failure. Rachel’s overall sense of efficacy rating (6.92) was above the participant group mean of 6.42. Half of her responses (50.0%) fell in the “quite a bit” range. This suggested that Rachel felt quite capable of impacting student learning. Her sense of efficacy as measured by the TSES was above the mean of the participant group on the Instructional Strategies and Classroom Management subscales and below the mean on t he Student Engagement subscale.

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207 Researcher observation and mentor t eacher interview data indicated that Rachel performs her role as a teacher cl ose to the proficient level based on the Pathwise domains. Her greatest strength was in her ability to create a classroom environment conducive to learning. The HUTSI rating (40.0) predicted that Rachel would be successful in her teaching. This was consistent with the Pathwise data and even more on her final evaluation GPA (5.0). Further, he r responses on the TSES (Mean=6.92) suggested that she had a high level of confidence in her ability to provide effective instruction. Roslyn Roslyn, a Latina in her 50’s, earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Bilingual Education. She taught ESOL prior to entering the MAT program. Roslyn indicated that she had always had a desire to teach students with special needs. At the time of her final internship, Roslyn was employed at a math, science, and technology magnet mi ddle school in the inner city. Based on her HUTSI ratings (40.0), Roslyn could be expected from the onset to implement her own plans or plans suggested by others as a Star teacher. Roslyn had high ratings in all areas, but had the greatest challenge in appropriately identifying fa ctors that place students at risk for failure. Roslyn’s overall sense of efficacy rating (6.25) was below the participant group mean of 6.42. The majority of her responses (66.7%) fell in the “some degree” range. This suggested that Roslyn felt somewhat capable of impacting student learning. Her sense of efficacy as measured by the TSES was above the

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208 mean of the participant group in Inst ructional Strategies and below on the Student Engagement and Classroom Management subscales. Researcher observation and mentor t eacher interview data indicated that Roslyn proficiently performs her ro le as a teacher based on the Pathwise domains. She was equally strong in her ability to plan and prepare for instruction and in managing her profe ssional responsibilities. The HUTSI rating (40.0) predicted that Roslyn would be successful in her teaching. This was consistent with t he Pathwise data and her final evaluation GPA (5.0). However, her responses on the TSES (Mean=6.25) suggested that she has less confidence in her ability to provide effective instruction than she demonstrated. Researcher’s Self-Reflection Even before this study began, I acknowledged that my personal experiences were pivotal to the undertaking of this st udy thus, this section is purely reflexive (Ellis & Bochner, 2000). Further, I chose to write about my experience as a story, retrospectively and introspectively. Therefore, only some of the participant data are mentioned. As previously mentioned, I began my career as a special educator teaching out-of-field. During our first m eeting, I believed t hat the participants were willing to be involved in this study because they felt t hat I understood what they were going through in the program and as novice teachers. This sentiment was expressed by one teacher with w hom I previously worked and another teacher who was interested in what I w ould find and what impac t it would have

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209 on the program and the field. The purpose of this reflection, as suggested by Moustakas (1994), is to provide a glimpse into my perspective on this topic and one of the reasons why this particular study was carried out. I felt an immediate connection to eac h of the participating teachers. Similar to Marlene and Cara I had a relative with special needs. As a child, I knew she was different, but she was my cousin and I loved her. It never occurred to me the degree of the impact this had on her life and those charged with her care. My experience with disa bility was not as intimate as Marlene and Cara who have an immediate family member with a disability, but it has encouraged the zeal with which I pursue teaching students with special needs. These two teachers discussed understanding the need fo r competent teachers and the level of advocacy required when navig ating the educational system. Like April and Candice, I began my work with students with special needs in a limited capacity. I worked as a l ong-term substitute teacher and became aware of the diversity of abilities wit hin the classroom. I eagerly accepted the challenge of making content comprehensib le and engaging for all of the learners in my middle school classroom. It was not long before I accepted the opportunity to begin a career in special education. My first position was contingent upon my agreement to earn the required credentials. Because of the climate in educ ation and the dire shortage of special education teachers, I had the option of passing the state certification exam to become fully certified. Even though this was a viable option, I knew like Marlene, that in my self-contained class fo r elementary student s with emotional and

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210 behavioral disorders, I needed pedagogical training and research-based behavior management strategies. Similar to reports of the teachers during the focus group, I had an excellent collaborative relati onship with my paraprofessional and teaching team, but administrative support was scant. At the end of my first year of teaching, I decided that pursuing a Master’s degree and certification, thr ough a program similar to th e MAT, would benefit my students and me with regard to my effectiv eness in the classroom. Similar to the MAT program, the program that I graduated from pr ovided coursework in educational measurement, psychological foun dations, creating positive learning environments, and an internship that included a classroom-based action research project. However, my progr am also included coursework on collaboration, working with families, assessment, and individual courses on emotional and behavioral disord ers, mental retardation, and specific learning disabilities. Aside from the coursewo rk, I built support networks and lasting friendships just as the participants did. By the time my Master’s degree was conf erred, I felt confident in my ability to reach and teach students with specia l needs. Like Rachel, the required coursework and my growing experience bol stered my confidence as a teacher. I subsequently worked at two middle schools with administrations that gave me greater support and respons ibility. As was noted in the focus group, administrative support impacts job satisf action and inevitably teacher effort and effectiveness. For example, one of the teachers discussed the supportive climate

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211 in her school and how it compelled her to persist on the job and in the program (Carlson, Brauen, Klein, et al., 2002). I entered doctoral study with the hopes of having an exponential impact on the outcomes of students with special ne eds via teacher education. As I began each phase of this study I reflected on my experiences and how I felt when I was in the position of each of the participant s. It was challengi ng, but I understood the need to bracket my experiences in order to capture the essence of each case (Creswell, 1998). It is clear that some of the issues raised by the participants were experienced by teachers entering t he field before them. For example, the need for more pedagogical tools was seen throughout (Darling-Hammond, et al., 2002). Also, the support of administrat ion and peers was mentioned repeatedly. This indicated that some of the chal lenges experienced may be inherent in the culture of schools and systems and may cause some of the attrit ion from the field (Ingersoll, 2001). This has implications fo r teacher preparation programs, school districts, and educational policymakers. A detailed discussion, including implications for stakeholders and reco mmendations for futu re research, is presented in chapter 5.

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212 CHAPTER 5 Discussion This study examined the characterist ics of six teachers completing their final internships in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Varying Exceptionalities. Specifically, the re searcher explored the teachers’ (a) demographic and background information, (b) ex pectancy to persist in difficult-tostaff schools, (c) sense of efficacy, (d) teaching effectiveness, and (e) perceived factors attributing to their successes and challenges. The data were collected using a concurrent triangulation mix ed-method design via pre-existing data, surveys, interviews, and a focus group interview. This chapter includes a summary of findings and implications fo r teacher preparation programs, school districts, and educational pol icymakers. Additionally, lim itations of the study and recommendations for future research are provided. Summary of Findings Demographic and Background Information Recent research has indicated that the supply of teachers is limited in terms of both quantity and quality (Boe et al., 1998; Ingersoll, 2001). The field is being replenished with graduates of tr aditional teacher education programs, alternative teacher education progra ms, and blended models such as MAT programs for candidates with varied academ ic backgrounds (Ruhland & Bremer,

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213 2003; Wayman et al., 2003). T he proliferation of teache rs from non-traditional entryways is even more prevalent in areas of critical shortage including special education (McKlesky & Ross, 2004; Ro senberg & Sindelar, 2001). The replenishers of the field are changing t he demographics, even if only in some features. For example, studies have shown that beginning teachers remain predominately female and White, but ar e now older, with a mean and median age in the 40’s (Henke et al., 1997; Henke et al., 2005; Zumwalt & Craig, 2005). Also, a considerable number of teachers are coming into t eaching from the social sciences and humanities (Henke et al., 2005). Consistent with the literat ure, of the six participants in the present study, five were White and all were female and ranged in age from t he late 20’s to the early 50’s. Further, their undergraduate degrees were all from social science programs. At the time the study was conducted, the participants were employed in special education teachi ng positions within one large district in the Southeast and opted to earn their initial certificati on for their primary teaching assignments through an MAT program in Varying Exc eptionalities. They all had either personal or professional experiences with students with special needs that influenced their decisions to enter the special education teaching force. The literature on teacher recruitment and retention suggests that the types of schools in which teachers begin thei r careers also should be considered. According to Zumwalt and Craig (2005), new teachers are di sproportionately employed in schools that qualify for Titl e I support, or schools often described as difficult-to-staff (Berry, 2004). Although it was not a requirement of the MAT

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214 program, this phenomenon was true for the participants in this study, with four of the six teachers employed in Title I schools and another in an urban school not identified as Title I. This finding may impac t retention of these teachers in special education, in their schools, or in the field of education. As Haberman (1995) noted, there are challenges unique to t eaching in inner-city and high-poverty schools. Expectancy to Persist in Difficult-to-Staff Schools Retention is of great concern to st akeholders in the educat ional enterprise. Brownell et al. (2002) identified three majo r areas related to teacher attrition in special education: (a) teacher characteri stics; (b) workplace conditions; and (c) affective responses to teaching. In the same vein, the HUTSI (1995a) was intended to identify teachers who will rema in in difficult-to-staff schools and be successful. It must be noted that the HUTSI has been criticized for inconclusive findings of its predictive validity (Baski n et al., 1996; Klussman, 2004). However, researchers have suggested that it is a useful tool for identifying pedagogical principles (Klussman, 2004) and for identif ying teachers who will remain in the field (Frey, 2003). Thus, it is appropria te for use in conjunction with other measures. The HUTSI data analyzed as a part of th is study were collected by trained interviewers prior to the teachers’ entry into the MAT program. All of the teachers were rated at the Star or High level of performance ( 33.5-40.0). Consistent with previous research, the HUTSI was fairly consistent in predicting the performance of the participants, as measured by thei r mentors on the final evaluations. The

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215 HUTSI rating correlated well for Rachel and Roslyn, who were rated as Stars and also received 5.0 on their final evaluation GPAs. Also, April was rated High (39.5) on the HUTSI and received a 4.99 on her final evaluation GPA. Similarly, Candice was rated High (37.0) on t he HUTSI and received a final evaluation GPA of 4.34. However, there were discrepancies for Marlene who was rated High (33.5), but received t he lowest rating on the HUT SI (33.5) and received a near perfect final evaluation GPA (4.99) Finally, Cara received a fairly High (36.5) rating on the HUTSI and the lowe st final evaluation GPA (3.33). Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Teacher efficacy has been identified as a significant factor related to high quality teaching (Carlson et al., 2 004;Tschannen-Moran, & Hoy, 2001). Moreover, it has been found that teachers with a high sense of efficacy are more likely to persist and be more innovative in their teaching (Darling-Hammond et al., 2002). In this study, the responses to the TSES indicated that overall, participants had the greatest sense of effi cacy in classroom management (6.59). This finding was inconsistent with the no rmative sample (6.7), which scored the lowest on this subscale. However, it wa s consistent with the findings of Callins (2005), who used the TSES to measure the efficacy of teacher candidates in their final internship. The sample means for Instructional Strategies and Student Engagement were close at 6.37 and 6.31, respectively. The most interesting finding was that Roslyn’s and April’s actu al levels of performance were better than they believed based on their TSES responses. Rachel and Marlene had the highest sense of self-efficacy and receiv ed high ratings on their evaluations,

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216 which suggested that their sense of e fficacy may have positively impacted their levels of performance (D arling-Hammond et al., 2002; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). Teaching Effectiveness According to Danielson (1996), the Pathwise instrument is intended for use as a framework for understanding and dem onstrating teaching proficiency. It is developmental in that it can be used as a means of communicating proficiency in teaching. The findings indicated that ov erall, the teachers who participated in this study were competent, highly-qua lified teachers. Based on the Pathwise ratings and the mentor teacher interv iews, the teachers were all performing above the Basic level of performance. Over all, the teachers received the highest rating for creating a classroom environm ent conducive to learning, which is consistent with the teacher’s sense of efficacy in classroom management. The participants showed the greatest room for growth in instruction. The mentors consistently mentioned that the teachers were willing to explore and implement new methods in their classrooms (Darli ng-Hammond et al., 2004). If the teachers continue to incorporate different strategies, it is likely t hat their levels of teaching performance will continue to improve as expected. Perceived Factors Attributi ng to Successes and Challenges Interesting data came from the fo cus group interview. Overall, the teachers perceived that systemic issues had the greatest impact on their success. However, there were differing views on this topic. Some of the participants felt they were in supporti ve environments and that was essential to

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217 their staying. On the other hand, teachers who did not feel supported planned to stay in the field, but were less certai n about their school placements. This belief was consistent with the findings of Ingersoll (2001), who noted that school climate and organizational factors impac t teacher success and retention. Additionally, the teachers indicated that student c haracteristics were of regular concern to them. They mentioned specific student characteristics, both academic and affective, as sources of challenge. Ingersoll (2001) also documented that teacher re tention is impacted by student needs. Conversely, they mentioned specific instances w hen they felt the greatest sense of accomplishment through thei r students’ successes. The teachers also discussed the experience of completing the MAT program. They indicated that the pace was a benefit and a detriment. The teachers shared that they were pleased that they could finish the program in a short time frame, but also fe lt that they had to make sa crifices in other areas of their lives. Brownell a nd colleagues (2002) pr ovided support for postbaccalaureate programs that require students to participate in extensive coursework and include collaboration between teacher educators and schoolbased professionals. Although, there is a paucity of research on the effectiveness of such programs, the research that ex ists suggests that they produce competent educators (Berry, 2004; Brownell et al., 2002).

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218 Limitations Threats to Internal Validity The threats to internal va lidity specific to this st udy were instrumentation, construct-related validity, observati onal bias, and reactive arrangements. Instrumentation posed a threat be cause the TSES (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001) was used. In order to limit this threat, normative data provided by the developers were included. Instrument ation was also a concern because secondary data from the HUTSI (H aberman, 1995) were analyzed and interpreted as a part of this study. The developer does not provide reliability or validity data, because the data are to be measured against subsequent classroom performance. Construct-relat ed validity presented another threat to internal validity because efficacy and effe ctiveness are higher-order constructs that require precise definitions. Also observational bias was a threat. The adapted Pathwise framework provides a thorough picture of the teachers’ performance, but it could be criticized as an insufficient sample because the researcher observed each teacher one time (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Lastly, reactive arrangements acknowledges that the participants’ behaviors and responses may have been positively skewed because they were aware of the study and may have performed according to what they believed was desired by the researcher (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). Threats to External Validity The nature of case study research is to understand the sample at the time of study and not to generalize beyond the current study (Stake, 1995).

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219 However, the primary threat s to external validity for the present study could be considered population validity, ecological validity, temporal validity, and selfreport. Self-report was of concern becaus e participants reported their own sense of teaching efficacy. Also, specificity of variables posed a threat to external validity because the specific instrum ents used to measure the constructs identified are operationaliz ed for the purposes of this study (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). Threats to Credibility This researcher has a broadened conceptua lization of highly qualified that is unique to this study and cannot be generalized beyond this study (Maxwell, 1996). Again, having a sample size of si x limits the generalizab ility of findings. Descriptive validity was a concern bec ause of the use of secondary data sources, self-report, and choice of l anguage and selection of relevant data (Maxwell, 1996). Also, interpretive validit y was considered a threat because the researcher was responsible for providing a valid account of the characteristics of the participants (Maxwell, 1996). Implications The results from this case study ar e not intended to generalize, but rather to describe a sample of teachers who chose an MAT program to further their practice as special educators and to obtai n initial certificati on. Similarly, the implications that follow are not representative enough to generalize to a larger population, but rather to prompt di scussion and action among those who are stakeholders in education and who are in positions to affect positive change.

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220 Teacher Preparation Programs The findings from this study suggest ed that the Varying Exceptionalities focus may not be meeting t he preparation needs of a ll teachers, particularly those teachers who serve students with mo re intensive needs. However, it was noted in the focus group data that the a ccelerated programs are desirable. For these reasons, Institutions of Higher E ducation should continue to develop and refine teacher preparation pr ograms that are research-based as well as timeand cost-efficient. These programs also must actively work to augment the quantity and quality of the teaching force by focusing on the following: Recruit potential teacher candi dates with a wide angle lens. If the numbers of traditional candidates are reducing, it is imperative that recruitment efforts are bolstered. One method t hat has been successful is recruiting from within school districts, including high school students and paraprofessionals (Berry, 2004). Provid ing pre-collegiat e preparation and financial assistance is critical. Additionally, the description of the participants in the present study suppor ted the literature that recommends recruiting students from other discip lines such as mathematics, the sciences, and social sciences; and other careers are viable options; Diversify the pool of qualified teachers. Campbell-Whatley (2003) documented the disproportionate repres entation of teachers of color, whereas approximately 37% of student s in special education are from diverse backgrounds, only 14% of spec ial educators represent diverse groups. This discrepancy suggests that more needs to be undertaken to

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221 attract a more culturally diverse c adre into the teaching force. Even though the majority of the participants in th is study were White and female, there were other members of their cohort who were African American. Targeted recruitment may help reduce the per sistence overrepresentation in America’s public schools. This may be achieved by partnering with community organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peopl e (NAACP) and Pan-Hellenic organizations; Create a pipeline for new knowledge producers. Recruitment efforts should include attracting talented educ ators who will not only make an impact in their individual classr ooms, but also pursue graduate study. While not all of these talented indivi duals will pursue careers in higher education, it is probable that so me will pursue positions in the professoriate and others will return to t heir districts to assume leadership roles. In either instance, educator s with varied experience and expertise can serve to improve teacher effectiv eness as teacher ed ucators, mentor teachers, or in profes sional development roles. Again, the knowledge producers and leaders that ar e nurtured also must be representative of the increasing diversity of our nation and schools (Shealey & McCray, 2005); Venture out of the ivory towers. In order for teacher preparation programs to remain current and have a signific ant impact on the field, scholars and researchers must actively collabor ate with schools and conduct research in the schools. Additionally, it is apparent that universities are no longer

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222 the sole preparers of educ ators (Paige, 2002), but t hey prepare teachers most effectively (Brownell et al., 2002; Cochran-Smith, 2003). That said, university-based programs must take an active role to collaborate with districts to create qualit y alternative certificat ion programs and induction programs. The research that is pursued and disseminated through universities must be made accessible to school-level professionals. As the teachers indicated in the focus group, even though they know what the best practices are, they are oft en times discouraged from implementing them in their classrooms. Former Secretary of Education Rod Paig e declared that quality teaching only requires adequate verbal abi lity and a degree covering content (Paige, 2002). Since that report was disseminated, re search has shown that professional educators must also have pedag ogical knowledge and cert ain dispositions to be successful (Darling-Hammond, & Y oungs, 2002; NCATE, 2002). Teacher educators must hold themselves pers onally responsible for recruiting and retaining high-quality teacher candidates. School Districts School districts have a continued need for highly qualified and highly effective teachers. Furthermore, districts need to take careful measures to recruit skilled teachers. Additionally, school syst ems must foster a culture that will encourage teachers to stay in the field. As previously mentioned, the focus group data showed a strong need to examine sch ool culture and administrative support,

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223 which the participants felt impacted thei r performance. Specific recommendations to school districts include: Form and strengthen university partnerships. Professional Development Schools are an effective way for administr ators to interact with pre-service teachers who may eventually transit ion into employment (Wise, 2000/2001). Also, the PDS model allows education professionals to have access to researchers and research-based best practices; Identify and support promising individ uals from within the school system. School systems are in a prime positi on to recruit individuals who are already involved in the milieu of schools. Possible recruits from within include paraprofessionals, parents, and high school students (Brownell et al., 2005); Actively recruit a diverse pool of teachers who are likely to stay. Recruitment also a responsibility of school district personnel. Education professionals must take responsibilit y for recruiting potential educators who are vested in education and will per sist and act as change agents in schools deemed difficult-to-staff (Berry 2004). This is noteworthy since many novice teachers begin their car eers in schools identified as highpoverty or with large et hnic minority populations; Foster a positive school culture Organizational factors have been blamed for educator attrition. Fostering a pos itive school culture characterized by respect, collegiality, and professiona lism is critical (Ingersoll, 2001). Additionally, induction and support program s must be in plac e. Again, the

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224 participants in this study indicated that they felt more efficacious in their ability to teach their students when they were in a supportive school. In recent years, the education profe ssion has been under attack. It is up to individual educators, sc hools, and school systems to correct the blemished image of the profession. Educators mu st take their work seriously and have high expectations for themselves and their peers. Only then will other professions begin to see education as a profession of equal status. Educational Policymakers Educational policymakers are respons ible for the current climate in education. In an era of high-stakes acc ountability, teaching is becoming a field devoid of professionalism. In fact, educati on is characterized more by quantity and not quality. Increasing t he numbers of teachers and ra ising test scores is the driving force, not producing quality teacher s to prepare learners who can critically think and consume. The teachers in th is study demonstrated high levels of teaching abilities, but also voiced their concerns about having improved throughout the course of the program. This suggests that educational policymakers should refocus and attend to the following: Understand the implication of decisions before they are made. NCLB (2002) has laudable goals. However, m any effective teachers’ careers are in jeopardy due to high-stakes testing of their own and of their students. Thus, there will be collateral damage t hat may be irreversible (Mathis, 2005);

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225 Make well-informed, research-based decisions A complaint of many professional educators is that the laws that im pact them the most are made by politicians, many of whom have never taught in a public-school classroom. Both quantitative and qualit ative data from the field are warranted (US DOE OSERS, 2002). Develop policy that empowers teachers Although the tenets of NCLB (2002) are admirable, m any would argue that it does not take the everyday complexities of the classr oom into account. In fact, Sunderman, Kim, and Orfield (2005) documents how implementation has exacerbated the very gaps it intended to close. Policy must empower teachers to perform more effectively rather than discourage them and potentially push them out of the field. Ultimately, educational poli cymakers at the federal and state levels are in the position to affect the greatest wides pread change. Data-based decisions and legislations are warranted and necessary. Recommendations for Future Research As stated previously, research in s pecial education has focused primarily on specific interventions (McKlesky & Ross, 2004). However, to have a broader impact, teachers need to be studied more cl osely. Studies regarding specific characteristics, pathways to the professi on, and overall teacher effectiveness are needed (McKlesky, Tyler, & Flippin, 2004). T he findings from this study revealed that there is much more research to be conducted. Research should be undertaken using both qualitative and quantit ative methods and using multiple

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226 data sources. The following recommendations are a direct result of the present study: Expand and replicate this study longitudinally. This case study included some data that were previously co llected. If this study were to be expanded and conducted longi tudinally, the researcher could collect data on an entire cohort of t eachers from the initial interview through graduation. Also, conducting periodic observations would provide more representative information on teacher e ffectiveness. In addi tion, teachers’ lesson plans and daily journal s would provide rich data on the instructional process. Conduct research on specific groups. In the present study, the researcher solicited the participation of all t eachers in a cohort who worked in a particular district. She was pleased to have a Latina participate in the study, but was disappointed that none of the African-American teachers volunteered to participate. It is po ssible that these teachers would have participated if the study pertained only to them. Conduct research examining the quality of teachers in the field with the expanded definition of “hi ghly qualified” offered in the present study. The present study operationaliz ed the highly qualified designation to include other dispositions and traits. Evaluat ing teachers in the field and those planning to enter the field with this definition would help stabilize the teaching force by ensuring high quality teachers enter and persist in the field.

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227 Research based on the preceding recommendations will expand the knowledge base on t eachers and teacher preparat ion. If teachers have the greatest influence on learning, st udents in the nation’s public schools must have qualified teachers who will rema in in field. Children on the far side of the achievement gap, those w ho are typically marginalized, are counting on them.

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247 Appendices

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248 Appendix A Teacher Demographics and Characteristics Author(s) Design Participants Findings ________________________ _____________________ ___________________________ ________________________ ___________________________________________ Studies Examining Teacher Demographics ___________________________________________ Billingsley (2002) Phone interviews 358 administrators and 31% of beginning special educators 8,061 service providers Hold Master’s degrees; 60% enter The field certified for primary assignment Boyer & Mainzer Secondary analysis 8,000 special education Special Education teaching force (2003) of survey data teachers, administrators, approximately 85% female; median age 44 Para-educators, general educators, and speech pathologists Brookhart & Freeman Meta-analysis 44 studies 75%-80% of teacher candidates (1992) were female Henke, Choy, Chen, Statistical analysis SASS:93-94 data and Teachers 75% female; 84% White, non-Hispanic; Geis, & Alt (1997) TFS: 94-95 data average age 42 Henke, Peter, Li, Statistical analysis B & B data 75% of teaching force White and female & Geis (2005) 1999-2000

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249 Appendix A (continued) Zumwalt & Craig Meta-analysis NCES and SASS data; Females more prevalent in elementary than (2005) education journals; secondary programs; average teacher age is in the databases and internet sites early 40’s; diversity among beginning teachers __________________________________________ Studies Examining Teacher Efficacy __________________________________________ Billingsley (2002) Phone interviews 358 administrators and 96% of special educators agreed to a moderate or 8,061 service providers great extent that they were prepared to deal with student learning needs Carlson, Hyunshik, Factor analysis 1,475 special educators Fac tor loadings for variables of self-efficacy were & Schroll (2004) reasonably high suggesting that self-efficacy was important for teacher quality Darling-Hammond, Statistical analysis of 3,000 beginning educators Teacher preparedness significantly related to Chung, & Frelow, survey data in New York City sense of teaching efficacy (2002) Ebmeier (2003) Statistical analysis of calibration N=222 teachers; Principal supervision and peer mentoring impact survey data validation N=332 positively teacher efficacy and commitment to teaching Flores, DesjeanStatistical analysis of 162 teachers pursuing MA Traditionally-prepared teachers had greater selfPerrotta, & Steinmetz survey data degrees at one IH E efficacy than alternative certified teachers (2004) Hoy (2000) Statistical analysis of 55 teacher candidates in Teacher efficacy rose during teacher preparation, longitudinal data two cohorts but fell with actual teaching experience

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250 Appendix B Teachers’ Sense of E fficacy Scale (long form) Developers: Megan Tschannen-Moran, Coll ege of William and Mary Anita Woolfolk Hoy, the Ohio State University. Teacher Beliefs How much can you do? Directions: This questionnaire is designed to help us gain a better understanding of the kinds of things that create difficulties for teachers in their school activities. Please indicate your opinion about each of the statements below. Your answers are confidential. Nothing Very Little Some Influenc e Quite A Bit A Great Deal 1. How much can you do to ge t through to the most difficult students? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 2. How much can you do to help your students think critically? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 3. How much can you do to control disruptive behavior in the classroom? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 4. How much can you do to motivate students who show low interest in school work? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 5. To what extent can you make your expectations clear about student behavior? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 6. How much can you do to get students to believe they can do well in school work? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 7. How well can you respond to difficult questions from your students? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 8. How well can you establish routines to keep activities running smoothly? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9. How much can you do to help your students value learning? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. How much can you gauge student comprehension of what you have taught? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11. To what extent can you craft good questions for your students? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12. How much can you do to foster student creativity? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13. How much can you do to get children to follow classroom rules? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14. How much can you do to improve the understanding of a student who is failing? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15. How much can you do to calm a student who is disruptive or noisy? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16. How well can you establish a classroom management system with each group of students? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17. How much can you do to adjust your lessons to the proper level for individual students? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 18. How much can you use a vari ety of assessment strategies? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19. How well can you keep a few problem students form ruining an entire lesson? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20. To what extent can you prov ide an alternative explanation or example when students are confused? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 21. How well can you respond to defiant students? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22. How much can you assist families in helping their children do well in school? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 23. How well can you implement al ternative strategies in your classroom? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 24. How well can you provide appropriate challenges for very capable students? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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251 Appendix C Adapted Pathwise Observation Rating Form Teacher: Observation Date: Time: Observer: School / Classroom Context: TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE 6a. How do you become familiar with what your students already know? 6b. How do you become familiar with your students’ background, culture, and cultural resources? 7. How have you addressed the needs of this particular group of students? 8. How do you communicate with parents or guardians of students in this class? 9. Is there anything about the learning environment or your school that you think might affect your students for the scheduled observation? 10. What are the most important classroom routines, procedures, rules and expectation for student behavior that will be in oper ation during the observed lesson? 11. Who do you talk to about your teaching or student(s)? How often? 12. How do you coordinate and or collaborate with other colleagues? 13. What are your goals for student learning in the lesson we will observe? 14. How does the content of the lesson build on what students have already studied?

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252 Appendix C (c ontinued) 15. How does the content of this lesson relate to what students will be learning in the future? 16. How will you group students for instruction? Why? 17. What teaching methods will you use for this lesson? Why? 18. What activities have you planned? Why? 19. What instructional material will you use if any? 20. How and when do you plan to assess your students’ learning? DOMAIN B: CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT 1. Creates an environment that promotes fairness. 2. Creates an environment of respect and rapport. 3. Communicates challenging learning expectations. 4. Establishes and maintains consistent standards of classroom behavior. 5. Organizes physical space for maximum learning and safety.

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253 Appendix C (c ontinued) RATINGS: B1B2B3B4B5COMMENTS: DOMAIN C: INSTRUCTION 1. Communicates learning goals and instructional procedures. 2. Makes content comprehensible to students. 3. Extends students’ thinking. 4. Monitors learning, provides feedback, and adjusts lear ning activities to meet the needs of all students. 5. Uses instructional time effectively. 6. Communicates clearly and accurately, enco urages students to communicate effectively. 7. Integrates technology into instruction. 8. Impacts student learning as evidenced by formative and/or summative assessments. RATINGS: C1C2C3C4C5C6C7C8COMMENTS POST-OBSERVATION INTERVIEW 1. Did students learn what you intended? How do you know? 2. How would you group student for si milar instruction in the future?

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254 Appendix C (c ontinued) 3. In what ways were your te aching methods effective? 4. In what ways were your activities effective? 5. In what ways were your materials effective? 6. Assessment 7. How will you use the information from the as sessment data in planning future instruction? REFLECTION 1. Did you depart from anythi ng you planned for today? 2. If you were going to teach this again to the same students, what wo uld you do differently? 3. Based on what happened today, what do you plan to do next with this class? 4. Identify an individual or group of stude nts who did well in today’s lesson. How do you account for this individual or group’ s performance? What might you do in the futu re to challenge this (these) student(s)? 5. Identify an individual or group of stude nts who had difficulty in today’s lesson. What accounted for this individual or group’s performance? How will you help this (t hese) students’ achieve their learning goals? 6. Any further comments, or reactions about the lesson? Ethical issues? Diversity issues?

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255 Appendix D Mentor Teacher Interview Protocol 1. Please discuss _______________’s ability to plan and prepare for classroom instruction. a. Knowledge of students b. Designing appropriate lessons c. Use of effective methods d. Assessment for instruction 2. Describe how ____________________ creates a classroom environment to maximize learning and safety. 3a. What are ____________________’s strengths in instruction? 3b. Areas needing improvement? 4. Tell me how _________________ manages her professional responsibility. a. Professional demeanor b. Builds relationships c. Communicates openly d. Maintains records/paperwork Additional Comments:

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256 Appendix E Focus Group Interview Protocol 1. Talk about a time you felt really cert ain in your ability to teach your students with disabilities? 2. What would you attribute those successes to? Probes: Any particular experiences or course work? W hat about students with EBD, Gifted? 3. What experiences have been the most challenging for you? 4. What would you attr ibute those challenges to? 5. What in your teac her preparation program wo rked really well for you? 6. What was missing? 7. Are there any other th oughts that have come up that we haven’t discussed?

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End Page ABOUT THE AUTHOR Erica McCray received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1998 and a Master’s degree in Specia l Education: Varying Exc eptionalities in 2002, both from the University of South Florida, Tampa. S he was employed as a K-12 special educator while completing the MA degree until she entered the Ph.D. program at the University of South Florida in 2003. While in the Ph.D. program at the Un iversity of South Florida, Erica made several paper presentations at various meetings of national organizations. In addition, she authored two publications in Urban Education and Intervention in School and Clinic and co-authored a publication in Remedial and Special Education