Preparing special education teacher candidates to teach English Language Learners with disabilities: How well are we doing?
A utilization-focused evaluation (Patton, 2008) was conducted to systematically investigate special education teacher candidates’ preparation to teach English Language Learners (ELLs) with disabilities. The results were used to (a) determine current effectiveness of departmental programs and (b) guide program improvement efforts. The initial literature review on ELLs with disabilities and teacher preparation guided the development of a four element framework to organize and analyze the data and results of the program evaluation. Data was collected using (a) a document review of program materials, (b) a faculty questionnaire, (c) a faculty focus group, and (d) a survey of the teacher candidates’ knowledge and perceptions on their preparedness in this area. Data revealed a scattered and disjointed approach to preparing preservice teachers to teach ELLs with disabilities, leading to a lack of special education teacher candidate’s: (a) mastery of essential content and (b) sense of efficacy in teaching ELLs. This investigation also shed light on the range of faculty perspectives, knowledge, and practices in the preparation of special education teacher candidates to teach ELLs.
Miranda, J. L. W., Wells, J. C., & Jenkins, A. A. (2017). Preparing special education teacher candidates to teach English Language Learners with disabilities: How well are we doing? Language Teaching Research.