Investigating special education teachers’ knowledge and skills: Preparing general teacher preparation for professional development
David R. Byrd 1 * , Melina Alexander 1
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1 Weber State University, Moyes College of Education, United States
* Corresponding Author


Including students with special needs in the general education classroom requires that teachers adapt their approaches to teaching to meet all students’ needs. However, general education teachers are not always fully aware how best to serve special populations. This study examines what skills and knowledge special education educators feel that general education teachers and teacher candidates need in order to work with students with special needs in the inclusive environment. The researchers interviewed twenty special educators to ascertain which skills and knowledge are most commonly cited as vital to successful general education teacher/student with special needs interactions.  Findings suggest that teacher education and professional development programs can benefit by providing a continuum of learning opportunities in three important areas. General educators should: first, make and carry out informed decisions, based on proper assessments data; second, develop appropriate understanding and compassion for students with special needs and their situations and third, learn to foster effective communication in and out of the classroom with all parties involved in educating this specific group of students.



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