The Perceived Needs of Teachers of At-Risk Students

Publication Year:
2017
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Downloads 146
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Repository URL:
http://commons.cu-portland.edu/edudissertations/72
Author(s):
Rushton, Daniel J
Tags:
At-Risk Students; Strategy-Based Professional Development; Supports; Education
thesis / dissertation description
The objective of this dissertation was to determine the perceived needs of teachers of at-risk students in regard to strategy-based professional development and supports for teachers to perform better within the classroom. Of secondary interest within this dissertation was whether differences exist between the perceived needs of teachers of at-risk students and the perceived needs of teachers of non-at-risk students. This was accomplished through a quantitative survey and data analysis that examined the perceived needs of teachers. Participants completed a survey in which they ranked their interest in specific strategy-based professional development and additional supports. The data was then analyzed using frequency statistics to determine the level of interest in the specific strategies and supports. A Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was also performed to determine if differences existed in the perceived needs of teachers of at-risk students and teachers of non-at-risk students. The study concluded that teachers of at-risk students had specific interests in participating in strategy-based professional development as well as interest in each of the potential supports that were included in the survey. The strategy-based professional developments that were shown to have high interest (2/3 or 66% of the teacher showing an interest greater than neutral were decrease in class behavior issues, increasing student engagement, differentiation of learning, student motivation, working with student with mental health and personal issues, academic problems, working with special needs students, student critical thinking, varying grade level readiness, and behavior problems. The supports that were shown to have high interest (two-thirds or 66% of the teacher showing an interest greater than neutral were additional guidance counselors, social workers, positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), school psychologists, behavior specialists, in-home visits from school based teams, increased online educational offerings for students, technology training, dedicated technology support, and increased access to technology hardware. Furthermore, findings found that there were significant differences (p < .05) in the perceived needs of teachers of at-risk students and the perceived needs of teachers of non-at-risk students. Significant differences were found in the areas of communication with staff regarding behavior issues (p = .05), interacting with students with mental health issues (p = .005), interacting with students of varying socioeconomic (SES) statuses (p = .002), student behaviors (p = .026), additional guidance counselors (p = .034), added social workers (p = .000), PBIS supports (p = .043), added school psychologist (p = .007), behavior specialists (p = .047), and in-home visits from school staff (p = .000). These findings suggest that differentiation should occur in the strategy-based professional development and the supports that are presented to teachers and schools based upon their at-risk or non-at-risk status.