Examination of Exceptional Student Educators’ Personal Practical Theories and the Implications for Practice
College of Education and Human Services
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)
Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management
NACO controlled Corporate Body
University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management
Dr. Jeffery W. Cornett
Dr. Richard H. Chant
Dr. Deborah S. Reed
Dr. A. Samuel Kimball
Dr. Anne K. Swanson
Dr. Christopher A. Janson
Dr. Marsha H. Lupi
This study examined exceptional student educators’ (ESE) personal practical theories (PPTs) and how they impact complex decision-making when it comes to students with disabilities and their families. A case study methodology was selected to explore how four ESE teachers and leaders developed their PPTs as well as how they planned, interacted, and reflected upon decisions made during one workweek. The guiding questions of this study were: what are the PPTs of ESE leaders and teachers, what factors influence the development of PPTs, and how do PPTs impact special educators’ work with students with disabilities? To address these questions, four participants were selected based on their role within the district, their experiences working with students with disabilities, and their reputation for being high quality educators. Data were collected using a PPT workbook as well as in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The results of this study included five PPTs for each participant and eight common themes. These themes included: care for students and families, safety of students, administration and teacher professional development, ensuring high expectations for students, personal and professional advocacy, mentoring and collaboration, reflection and problem solving, and problems with inclusion. These results are presented in this dissertation in support of an argument for the need for increased pre-service and in-service for ESE educators, increased professional development for administrators, and increased training for inclusion teachers working with students with disabilities. Engaging in a practice of exploring and refining teacher and leader beliefs and assumptions using the PPT process may increase the reflective practice of teachers and perhaps result in a more appropriate form of evaluation for educators.
Call, Melissa Jewell, "Examination of Exceptional Student Educators’ Personal Practical Theories and the Implications for Practice" (2015). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 595.