Special Education ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-11-2018


A convenience sample of 32 teachers (general and special education) and instructional coaches participated in professional development (PD) focused on finding, researching, and implementing evidence-based practices (EBPs) in a charter elementary/middle/high school that uses an inclusive model of special education services. Research questions addressed participants’ understandings and implementation of EBPs prior to and following the PD, as well as their reports about the PD model itself. Results indicated teachers had limited understanding of EBPs and knowledge of resources (i.e., where to find EBPs), and mixed reports of implementation prior to the PD. Throughout the study, participants reported a desire to learn about EBPs and resources available, as well as increased understanding, knowledge, and implementation of EBPs. Additionally, participants reported classroom improvements attributable to EBP implementation. A significant majority of participants expressed support for the model of PD, specifically the benefits of collaboration through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and dedicated time to research and practice implementation of EBPs. In follow up surveys, participants identified perceived barriers to continued implementation, including ongoing, dedicated time to research and practice EBPs, as well as classroom obstacles that limited consistent implementation of EBPs after the PD ended. Implications for practice and future research are included.


evidence-based practice, professional development, inclusion, coaching, professional learning community, collaboration

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Susan Copeland

Second Committee Member

Ruth Luckasson

Third Committee Member

Elizabeth Keefe

Fourth Committee Member

Jan Armstrong