This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Special Educator Preparation: Are We Preparing Candidates who Possess the Dispositions to be Effective Educators for Diverse Learners?




Brumbeloe Schweck, Kelly

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


Considerable debate continues in the field of educator preparation regarding how to ensure candidates possess critical teaching dispositions upon program completion. Despite considerable evidence that teachers who do not possess dispositions towards social justice do not provide equitable instruction to all students, there is still no consensus on how educator preparation programs should address dispositions assessment and development into their programs. Considering the recent attention of the impact of intersectionality of different types of diversity, there is a considerable lack of research on preparing special educators to work with learners who identify with other diverse groups. This paper presents details regarding an investigation into a course at one institution that is required of all special education majors who are seeking initial certification. This particular course was designed to address standards related to diversity. The purpose of the study was to determine if completing the course caused changes in participant attitudes and self-efficacy regarding teaching learners who are diverse. The Multicultural Efficacy Scale (Guyton & Wesche, 2005) along with the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960) were administered at the beginning of the course and at the end. Pre- and post-test data were analyzed using paired sample t-tests and the non-parametric Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test. Results indicated no significant difference in participant attitudes after completing the course. However, significant differences in participant self-efficacy were achieved.