Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Special education teachers must have access to adequate resources in order to provide their students with the opportunities they need to succeed. However, there are significant disparities in the access to resources across different contexts. Previous literature has identified team support, administrative support, and training to be significant resources perceived by special education teachers. The purpose of my study was to examine the perceived nature of resources by special education teachers and investigate the variation of these perceptions across different socioeconomic contexts. I conducted seven interviews with special education teachers in Massachusetts to gain greater insight into this topic. This paper attempts to answer the questions: How do special education teachers perceive the nature of resources for special education in their context? How do perceptions of resources vary across higher-income and lower-income school contexts? Through my interviews and after analyzing my qualitative data, I found that special education teachers perceived support and training to be extremely important resources for their special education programs but perceived administrative support to be lacking and training to be ineffective. While teachers had similar perceptions of resources on the surface, a deeper analysis of teacher perceptions found that the negative perception of resources was intensified in the lower-income context compared to the higher-income context. These differences point to the fundamental role that funding plays in resources for special education programs.
Tjalsma, Hannah, "Special Education Teacher Perceptions on the Nature of Resources of Respective Programs Across Contexts". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2023.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/1036