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Title: The Factors Associated with Excellence in Special Education Teaching
Contributor(s): Jones, Robin Glyn (author); Perrott, Christine (supervisor); Vine, Ken (supervisor); Thomas, Ross (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 1998
Copyright Date: 1997
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Much attention has been given to the development of statements of essential competencies for special educators. There has, however, been relatively little attention to how these competencies are best developed. Assumptions have been made that postgraduate training in special education leads to competence in teaching and that this training is best preceded by mainstream teaching experience. This is the case in New South Wales (NSW) where the Department of School Education (DSE) has a funding tradition of favouring experienced teachers over inexperienced teachers in its sponsored special education training programs. The Commonwealth Government of Australia has also made this assumption. This study examined the strength of association between several professional development factors and excellence in special education teaching. Factors such as experience, training, mentoring and teacher's age were identified through the literature or through practice. A multimethod approach, with both quantitative and qualitative procedures, was used. Special educators who taught in special units or special schools throughout NSW were self and supervisor appraised using a draft NSW DSE special educator competency statement. The association between their competency (self appraised and supervisor appraised) and the various factors was determined. Responses to open-ended questions were also analysed. Five excellent teachers were selected and each observed and interviewed over a two-day period. Their stories of the developmental paths of the various observed competencies (from the NSW DSE statement) were transcribed and analysed. The results of each of the quantitative and qualitative procedures were examined separately and then brought together to determine convergence and/or divergence.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 1997 - Robin Glyn Jones
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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