Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Ed. Specalist

Degree

Ed.S.

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

George Batsche, Ph.D.

Keywords

Systems change, School policy, Teachers, Self-efficacy, RtI

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify and understand relationships between educators' perceived skills, observed practices, and stated beliefs - as well as the impact of evidence-based professional development upon those relationships - during the first year of ongoing school-based implementation for Florida's Statewide Problem- Solving/Response to Intervention (PS/RtI) Project. The PS/RtI model is conceptualized as providing a data-based template to drive student service delivery decisions; as providing a tiered framework of assessment and evaluation to maximize efficiency of allocated school funds; and as defining the determination of eligibility for special education services to be based solely upon a continuous necessity of resources/services beyond those typically available in the general education setting. The current study analyzed existing data from Florida's statewide PS/RtI project, collected during the 2007-2008 school year.

During specified professional development sessions, educators provided responses to various questions about their beliefs regarding, perceptions of competency within, and estimated observational frequency of, critical components constituting the PS/RtI model.

Three specific research questions were investigated from analysis of these responses; specifically: (1) What is the relationship between beliefs about a training objective, and the self-rated perception of skills and frequency of observed practices associated with that objective, (2) What are the effects of specific skills training on the relationship between self-reported beliefs, and associated perceptions of skills and frequency of observed practices, and (3) What is the relationship between initial (pre-training) and time two (post-training) measures of self-reported beliefs and perceived skills related to data usage, and of self-reported beliefs, perceived skills, and observed practices related to academic instruction?

This study found that, for the first year of implementation, initial educator beliefs regarding evidence-based instruction and data-based decision making were only slightly related to self-perceived competence in these areas; furthermore, independent of any effect that skills training may have had upon educator survey scores, the relationship between beliefs, skills, and practices scores did not significantly differ over the first year of implementation. Implications of the findings for practice, including scaling up of RtI implementation efforts, are discussed.

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