Keywords

school culture, specific learning disabilities, academic achievement

Abstract

This study was developed to generate data about the overall culture of selected central Florida middle schools in Osceola County. It was designed to enhance the existing body of knowledge on collaboration, collegiality and self-efficacy, as related to the academic achievement of students with specific learning disabilities. This study focused on two research questions: (a) to determine how well the three key areas of school culture (collaboration, collegiality and teacher efficacy) predict the placement of middle school students with specific learning disabilities in general education or special education (resource and separate class)settings and (b) to determine what relationships (if any) exist between the three key areas of school culture (collaboration, collegiality and teacher efficacy) and FCAT Reading and Mathematics scores of middle school students with specific learning disabilities. Secondary analyses consisted of (a) analyzing and comparing the three areas of school culture across the selected schools and (b) analyzing and comparing FCAT Reading and Mathematics scores of middle school students with learning disabilities across general education, resource and separate class educational settings. The population of this study consisted of seventh and eighth grade middle school students with specific learning disabilities during the 2003 - 2004 school year in the selected middle schools in Osceola County Public Schools, Kissimmee, Florida. To control for the high mobility rate, only those students who attended the same middle school since grade 6 were selected. Twenty-five general education and five exceptional education teachers were randomly selected from each of the four selected middle schools. FCAT Reading comprehension and Mathematics problem solving percentile rank scores for all selected students with specific learning disabilities over a four-year period (2001 through 2004). According to a review of professional literature research findings, the researcher concluded that (a) none of the three key areas of school culture (collaboration, collegilaity or teacher efficacy) predicted the placement of middle school students with specific learning disabilities in general education or special education (resource or separate class) educational settings and (b) there were no relationships between any of the three key areas of school culture and FCAT Reading and Mathematics scores for middle school students with specific learning disabilities in the sample population. Secondary analyses revealed (a) strong overall cultures in the selected middle schools, as overall culture scores in collaboration, collegiality and teacher efficacy ranged from the mid 2nd quartile to mid 3rd quartile; (b) statistically significant differences between Reading and Mathematics FCAT scores for students in general education as opposed to those in resource or separate class placements. (No statistically significant differences were found between FCAT Reading and Mathematics scores of students in resource room or separate class placements.)

Notes

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Graduation Date

2004

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Magann, Douglas

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Education

Department

Educational Research, Technology and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0000194

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0000194

Language

English

Release Date

December 2004

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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