Volume 51 - Number 2 - 2010 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2010.02090

 

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to identify confidence levels of high school agriculture teachers when working with students with special needs and to determine what strategies teachers are using within their classrooms. One state was randomly selected from each of the six National Association for Agricultural Education regions and a stratified random sampling method was used. A random sample of 333 was selected with a response rate of 62%. Participants completed a questionnaire that measured teacher confidence, identified the teaching strategies that were being used, ascertained the perceived effectiveness of the strategies, and collected demographic information. Data analysis indicated that teachers are using recognized practices in their classes, though they are more likely to use practices that are easy to implement and that benefit more students than specific individualized strategies. Overall, teachers are confident in their abilities; however, they disagree that their teacher training programs and in–service opportunities have prepared them to work with students with special needs. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine predictors of confidence, and the model for total teacher confidence accounted for 11.7% of the variance. The total regression model involved in–service participation, age, and having a friend or family member with a disability.

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