Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, v. 32 no. 2, p. 137-149
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which teacher candidates are successful in meeting the needs of all students, including those with disabilities. The Student Academic Performance Sample, the culminating performance-based assessment of the program was the primary data source. This assessment permits analysis of student learning on a curriculum unit of instruction that is differentiated to meet the needs of all K-12 learners. Units of 20 teacher candidates were examined to determine: (a) the learning demonstrated by students with disabilities; and, (b) the teaching models and strategies used by the teacher candidates.
The average age of the 20 candidates in the study sample was 32 years. Participants in the University of Colorado Denver (UCD) program have completed an undergraduate program and hold a bachelor's degree in either liberal arts or in a specific subject area (e.g., English). The program, one of several teacher licensure options in the Denver metro area, is favored by predominantly nontraditional students who seek a graduate-level licensure program that can be completed in 12 months. This program allows credit in licensure courses to accrue toward a master's degree and requires continuous participation in a PDS whose faculty work in partnership with faculty from UCD. A large number of participants in the program are embarking on a new career or in a variety of other ways reflect a nontraditional population of students.
Evidence of student learning was determined through analysis of disaggregated data from class-wide results. These data reveal that students with disabilities achieved within the range of their typical peers in 14 of the 20 units. The teaching model most frequently associated with learning by these students was cooperative learning. The implications of these results for inclusive teacher preparation are discussed.