Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, Volume 32 Number 2, p. 101-120
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
With the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (2001), the Council for Exceptional Children's Content Standards for Beginning Special Education Teachers (2002), and the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004), the research to practice gap in special education has garnered increased attention. The author explores this phenomenon by concentrating on the perceptions and practices of beginning special educators. Specifically, the author seeks to determine the teachers' perceptions of research in general as well as their use of six broad practices that are supported by research for students with high-incidence disabilities.
The current qualitative investigation included 10 novice special educators, each with less than 3 full years of formal special education teaching experience. These educators serve students with high-incidence disabilities in kindergarten through 12th grades in one state in the rural Midwest.
Data were collected through interviews, observations, and self-report measures. The findings indicate low rates of implementation and a lack of alignment between the beginning teachers' words and actions. The author identifies barriers and facilitating factors. Furthermore, she discusses implications for preservice preparation, and presents recommendations for further research.