Teacher Education Quarterly
Secondary education -- Curricula, Teachers -- Training of, Middle school education -- Curricula, Special education
If classroom teachers are among the greatest determinant of student learning, then teacher preparation programs have a role to play improving educational outcomes for struggling learners. There are currently three established teacher preparation program models: (1) "discrete"; (2) "integrated"; and (3) "merged." In the "discrete" model, which is the most widely implemented of the three, general and special education programs are separate. In the "integrated" model, separate programs are retained but faculty work together to develop some courses and/or field experiences in which special education candidates learn about the general education curriculum while general education candidates learn about inclusive education. In "merged" programs, "faculty prepare general and special educators, using a single curriculum in which courses and field experiences are designed to address the needs of all students, including those who have disabilities." While most integrated or merged programs are at the elementary level, there are a few examples in secondary education. Many questions arise regarding the capabilities that might distinguish graduates of merged programs, the program design needed to develop these capabilities, and the impact graduates could have in schools and classrooms. In order to address these questions, research regarding the development, design and evaluation of merged programs is needed. The authors describe the development and initial implementation of theSecondary Dual Educator's Program (SDEP), a merged secondary education program. SDEP is a full-time graduate program culminating in licensure as a secondary educator in a content area (authorization to teach mid-level and/or high school), licensure in secondary special education, and a Master in Education (M.Ed.). This article uses data from multiple stakeholders to evaluate whether SDEP candidates and graduates are meeting program goals. This initial evaluation suggests that graduates of a merged secondary program developed competency in differentiated planning, assessment, and instruction in content area classrooms and embedded the provision of accommodations into their planning process.
Fullerton, A., Ruben, B. J., McBride, S., & Bert, S. (2011). Evaluation of a Merged Secondary and Special Education Program. Teacher Education Quarterly, 38(2), 45-60.