Special education teachers' perspectives on teaching middle school students with severe emotional disturbance

Carol Jean Jones, Florida International University

Abstract

The voices of special education teachers who educate middle school students with severe emotional disturbance (SED) have been largely unheard in the educational forum and in the discussion about raising the academic achievement of middle school students with SED. These students continue to have high attrition rates and low levels of academic achievement. This study described and analyzed the perspectives of five special education teachers regarding appropriate instructional strategies for educating middle school students with SED. It also explored these teachers' opinions concerning difficulties they experienced in raising the academic achievement of students with SED and some of the solutions for overcoming these challenges. The professional literature emphasizes the importance of teacher knowledge (Altrichter, Posch, & Somekh, 1996; Clandinin & Connelly, 1996) and also offers suggestions for appropriate instructional strategies for educating students with SED (Bauer, Keefe, & Shea, 2002; Heward, 2000; Kauffman, 2001; Polloway, Patton, & Serna 2001). ^ A qualitative case study was employed to describe and analyze the five participants' perspectives on teaching middle school students with SED. The sources of data collection were interviews, observations and analysis of documents. Data presentation was from the perspective of the participants in dialogue with the interpretations of the researcher and against the backdrop of the professional literature and the researcher's critical theory philosophy. One of the major themes that emerged from the analysis was the teachers' insistence on the students' need for discipline tempered with teacher nurturing and playfulness. One concern was the need for teacher training in current appropriate, research-based instructional strategies for educating students with SED. ^ As a result of this study, one of the recommendations made was for more rigorous standards of re-certification and professional development of certified teachers who educate students with SED. ^

Subject Area

Education, Special

Recommended Citation

Jones, Carol Jean, "Special education teachers' perspectives on teaching middle school students with severe emotional disturbance" (2002). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3055971.
https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3055971

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