Constructing The Role Of The Secondary Special Educator

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amy Ashbrook Wilson (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Roma Angel

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to understand the perceived roles of secondary special educators, how they developed their role perceptions, and how their role perceptions determine their job functions. This study examines how secondary special educators, who primarily serve students with high incidence or mild disabilities, perceive their professional role across six public high schools in a southeastern state. Individual perspectives regarding their professional duties, job descriptions, schedules, and other artifacts were reviewed to examine how this group of teachers constructed their professional roles.The theoretical framework guiding this research is social constructionism. Exploring the influence of the social dynamics within the educational institution and the impact of these dynamic on how this group of teachers defined and performed their professional work was paramount to this study.A qualitative multiple case study approach was used to explore the meaning secondary special educators serving students with high incidence disabilities in public schools in three geographic areas of one state in the southeastern part of the United States placed on their roles and ensuing work. These cases were bounded by similar work assignments, time, and governing policies within one state. The resulting data suggests these teachers’ daily duties may vary, yet they share common role perceptions that manifested in four themes: (1) thinking about inclusion as a service, not a philosophy; (2) recognizing a disconnect between instructional practices and Individual Education Program (IEP) goals; (3) performing the job as if they are a “Jack of all trades, but master of none”; and (4) feeling subordinate to general education colleagues. Several implications for practice were identified.

Additional Information

Ashbrook Wilson, A. (2018). "Constructing The Role Of The Secondary Special Educator." Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Secondary Special Education, High Incidence Disabilities, Professional Role, Job Duties, Special Education Services

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