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Article
The Impact of Field Experiences on Pre-service Teachers' Decisions Regarding Special Education Certification
Journal of Education and Human Development (2015)
  • Kathleen Everling, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Julie A. Delello, University of Texas at Tyler
  • F. Dykes
  • Joanna L. Neel, Dr., University of Texas at Tyler
  • B. Hansen
Abstract
Across the United States, there is a continuing shortage of special education teachers. As a result, institutions of higher education must prepare a sufficient number of highly qualified special educators to meet the needs of students with disabilities. One necessary component of teacher preparation programs is the field-based experience which allows prospective teachers to practice what they have learned in their academic coursework. This qualitative case study examined the relationship between field-based experiences and pre-service teachers’ decisions related to obtaining a special education certification. Using an open-ended survey, 55 pre-service teachers from one regional four-year university reported that economics and employability were major factors impacting their decision to become certified in special education. In addition, the context of the field experience including time, setting, and teachers, impacted the pre-service teachers’ decisions related to field experiences, both positively and negatively. Recommendations include increasing the amount of time spent in special education classrooms, providing students with improved classroom strategies for working with diverse learners, increasing training in positive behavior intervention techniques, and providing additional opportunities to participate in Individual Education Placement (IEP) writing activities. 
Keywords
  • certification,
  • decision making,
  • field experience,
  • pre-service teachers,
  • special education
Disciplines
Publication Date
2015
DOI
10.15640/jehd.v4n1a8
Publisher Statement
This article is published in the Journal of Education and Human Development.
Citation Information
Kathleen Everling, Julie A. Delello, F. Dykes, Joanna L. Neel, et al.. "The Impact of Field Experiences on Pre-service Teachers' Decisions Regarding Special Education Certification" Journal of Education and Human Development Vol. 14 Iss. 1 (2015) p. 65 - 77 ISSN: 2334-2978
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/frank-dykes/5/