Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Linda P. Blanton

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Elizabeth D. Cramer

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Kyle Perkins

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Tonetter Rocco

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Collaboration, Intersectionality, Special Education, Teacher Education

Date of Defense



Intersectionality can advance an understanding of the gap created by the lack of an integrated treatment of diversity in teacher preparation research. Intersectionality is a frame that explores the complexities of the interactions of markers of difference. It holds great potential as a concept for preservice teachers’ understanding of diversity because it can inform collaborative efforts with diverse stakeholders and facilitate preservice teachers’ understanding of diverse learners. The researcher uses the term “intersectional competence” to describe preservice teachers’ understanding of diversity and how students, families, and colleagues have multiple sociocultural markers that intersect in nuanced and unique ways. In this study, the researcher drew from the literature on intersectionality in special education and the research on collaborative teacher preparation to identify preliminary indicators of the intersectional competence construct.

The purpose of this study is to identify the indicators that best capture intersectional competence and to develop and validate an instrument that uses these indicators to measure preservice teachers’ intersectional competence. The instrument included two subsets of items. Subset A was a survey designed for preservice teachers to self-report their intersectional competence and Subset B consisted of items of a case-based measure of preservice teachers’ intersectional competence. A mixed-methods sequential exploratory design was applied to develop and validate the instrument. In the qualitative phase, the researcher began by collecting data that strengthens the theoretical basis for validating the instrument (i.e., interviews with focus groups, consulting with experts, and cognitive interviews or pre-testing). The second stage of the study involved the quantitative analysis of the results of pilot testing the items in subsets A and B.





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