This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Working with Students with Special Needs: Knowledge and Practices of Southeastern Music Educators




Roper, Erin

Type of Degree



Curriculum and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge and inclusion practices of music educators in the Southeastern United States, specifically in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Participants (N = 10,666) included K-12 general music, band, orchestra, and choir teachers. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire that consisted of 3 sections: (a) demographics, (b) training, special needs knowledge, and processes, and (c) accommodations and modifications. The questionnaire was distributed via email and the NAfME Research Assistance Program (email transmission). The final response rate was (n = 1032, 9.68%). The results indicated that music educators in the Southeast are participating in coursework, professional development, and their own personal reading and research, but that they are still overwhelmingly unfamiliar with the legislation and the eligibility categories covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) legislation. For section 3 of the questionnaire, music educators indicated that they are providing accommodations and modifications, most frequently, preferred seating and modified assignments/music parts. They also indicated that they are somewhat comfortable doing so. Group comparisons were computed using Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney U tests, and post hoc Chi-Square tests. Significant differences were found when comparing respondents’ answers by state, highest degree earned, grade level(s) taught, coursework information, professional development, personal development, whether participants taught at least one class with special needs students, and whether they taught at least one self-contained class.