An interpretive study of teacher change during staff development with teachers of special education.
AuthorSchiller, Marjorie Ann.
KeywordsTeachers -- Training of.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAlthough there is a current movement in regular education to develop skills in the teaching of art, art education has been largely ignored in special education. Discipline-based art education (DBAE) is a current model in art education that encourages continuous, sequential, content lessons in art. Art methologies, including a new emphasis on language skills, could be a powerful resource for special education teachers. A growing body of research on staff development suggests that procedures affecting teacher change include attending to teacher attitudes, using collaborative planning procedures, including follow-up coaching sessions, and delineating voluntary participation. In contrast, little research has been done to examine the change process during staff development concerning the relationships among practice, attitudes, and knowledge. The main focus of this study was to examine the process of change during staff development in art education with special education teachers. Seven teachers of special education were voluntary participants in a staff development program that addressed content and methodology in DBAE. The researcher served as the staff developer and in-classroom coach. Data concerning the teachers' practice, attitudes, and knowledge were collected by methods of video and audio tapes of classroom observations and coaching, prestudy and poststudy structured interviews, and attitude surveys. Data analyses were constructed addressing both individual teachers and the relationships between teachers in an effort to better understand the process of change during staff development. It was found that all of the participating teachers changed in a positive direction regarding the use of DBAE methods in their classrooms. These changes were evident on the attitude surveys, observation and coaching sessions, and when comparing prestudy and poststudy interviews. They involved the interaction of practice, attitudes, and knowledge. Those teachers who possessed a less sophisticated level of knowledge about art education prior to the study appeared to change at a greater rate than those with strong personal convictions. The findings suggest the importance of attending to attitudes, knowledge, and practice during staff development. The study provides a greater understanding of staff development in DBAE.
Degree ProgramSpecial Education and Rehabilitation