Identifying Confidence Levels and Instructional Strategies of High School Agriculture Education Teachers When Working with Students with Special Needs.

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Title: Identifying Confidence Levels and Instructional Strategies of High School Agriculture Education Teachers When Working with Students with Special Needs.
Author: Stair, Kristin Shawn
Advisors: Gary E. Moore, Committee Chair
Elizabeth Wilson, Committee Member
Barry Croom, Committee Member
Jay Jayaratne, Committee Member
Susan S. Osborne, Committee Member
Abstract: In Agricultural Education, teachers are experiencing increased student diversity within their classrooms. The purpose of this study was to identify the confidence levels of high school agriculture teachers and to determine what strategies they are using when working with students with special needs. The population of this study consisted of secondary agriculture teachers in the United States. One state was randomly selected from each region of National Association of Agriculture Educator (NAAE) regions and a stratified random sampling method was used to ensure representation from all states. A random sample size of 333 was selected with a total response rate of 62%. Participants completed a survey instrument that measured teacher confidence, identified which strategies they used most often, how effective they felt those strategies were and collected demographic information. Analysis of the collected data showed that teachers are using recognized practices in their classes though they are more likely to use techniques associated with good teaching practices rather than strategies that are specifically designed to benefit students with special needs. This research also showed that teachers are confident in their abilities, however they generally disagreed that their teacher training program prepared them to work with students with disabilities. Multiple regression was used to identify predictors of teacher confidence. The best fitting prediction model consisted of three variables: participating in in-service opportunities related to special education, age, and having a friend or family member with a disability. This model had a total R2 of .118 accounting for almost 12% of the total variance in predictors of total confidence Teacher training programs should focus on providing opportunities for teachers to gain experience by working with students with special needs and to learn specific strategies for teaching students within this population.
Date: 2009-04-20
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Agricultural and Extension Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3239


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