Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Curriculum and Instruction
AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF LAWRENCE KOFI AMETEPEE, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION, presented on OCTOBER 19, 2015, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale TITLE: A CASE STUDY: EXPLORING THE INCLUSIVE EDUCATION DECISIONS TEACHER EDUCATORS MAKE AND EXAMINING HOW PREPARED PRESERVICE TEACHERS FEEL TO TEACH DIVERSE STUDENTS MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. D. John McIntyre The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to explore the decisions teacher educators make while training preservice general education teachers for inclusive classrooms; (b) to examine the preparedness of the preservice general education teachers to teach all students, including students with disabilities in general education settings; (c) and to find out how the decisions teacher educators make may influence the preparedness of the preservice general education teachers to teach all students, including students with disabilities in general education settings. In this concurrent mixed methods study, 14 faculty members completed interview protocol, and 62 preservice general education teachers provided background information and completed Likert scale questionnaire. I also gathered data from teacher education program (TEP) documents. I used content analysis approach to analyze qualitative data and I analyzed quantitative data as Likert scale data. Results show that whereas the TEP offers a significant percentage of content knowledge courses more than methods and inclusive education courses, only three out of the 14 faculty members indicated specifically that content knowledge was more important than the other components of inclusive education. Results further show that 11 (78.57%) of the seniors who completed student teaching stated they felt confident, 18 (54.55%) of seniors who were on campus indicated they felt somewhat confident, and 11 (73.33%) of the juniors stated they felt somewhat confident teaching diverse students in general education classrooms. Furthermore, all the seniors who completed student teaching (14, 100%), twenty-seven out of the 33 (81.82%) of the seniors who were on campus, and eight (53.33%) of the juniors stated they thought they would be fully prepared to teach diverse students in their classrooms at the end of their programs. The results have implications for teacher education programs in regard to the competencies teacher education programs should emphasize and the professional development to faculty members. I also discussed recommendations that could place teacher education programs in a better position to effectively prepare preservice general education teachers.
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