Preparing early career culturally responsive special education teachers through alternate route

Tasia Anna Chatman
Currently, one third of teachers in the United States were trained by alternate route programs (Constantine et al., 2009). Although alternate routes programs fill a need within the education landscape, it is not enough to get more teachers into classrooms faster. Teachers must be prepared to address the needs of their students. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the skills teachers need to be effective. With the urgency to address the shortage of special education teachers and the alternate
more » ... certification programs created to address this need, research is necessary to inform the traditional and alternate special education teacher preparation programs (Brownell, Ross, Colon & McCallum, 2005). Participants described being academically prepared to address their students' needs. They described utilizing classroom competencies, such as relationship building skills and specific special education competencies, such as assessing students reading abilities. Participants also described including students' cultures in their lessons to bridge gaps between students' understanding and the content. In contrast to how some culturally responsive teaching practices were evident in participants' instruction, participants were unable to identify specific details they learned to help them address the social emotional needs of their students. One participant explicitly stated she was not prepared to address the needs of her students at her school. This could be attributed to her school setting, because she taught in an alternative school. While this participant explicitly stated she was not prepared to address the needs of her students, responses from all participants suggested a foundational knowledge of how to address the social and emotional needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students may indicate a gap in the curriculum at Relay Graduate School of Education and other teacher preparation programs. Special education teachers may benefit from instruction on how to address the social emotional needs of their student [...]
doi:10.7282/t3-67vr-3h52 fatcat:kpybursiizff5a5f4jo22ivxpy