An Analysis of Texas' Professional Learning Efforts in Deafblindness and The Effect on Teacher Self-Efficacy

Date

2019-05

Authors

McCormick, Marina

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Abstract

Identifying how current teachers are aware and accessing professional learning opportunities related to educating students with deafblindness and determining which professional learning opportunities impact these teachers’ self-efficacy can assist in creating professionals who consider themselves as qualified personnel. The purpose of this study was to analyze teachers of the deaf and visually impaired’s self-reports regarding their awareness and access of current professional learning efforts related to deafblindness in Texas and the impact, if any, on their self-efficacy for instruction of this unique population. This study utilized a correlational research design. Teachers were recruited to participate in an anonymous survey. The survey examined demographics, access to professional development opportunities at both education service centers and Texas Deafblind Outreach, and specific high intensity opportunities hosted by Texas Deafblind Outreach. The sample of respondents included 77 teachers, with most (48%) indicating 15 or more years of experience. Analyses consisted of descriptive statistics and four multiple linear regression models to examine factors that impacted teachers’ overall self-reported self-efficacy scores. The majority of participants were aware of only a few opportunities across the state. The majority of participants (N = 59) had not attended a training at an ESC or Texas Deafblind Outreach. Based on self-report, the mean ratings from the sample suggested only average levels of self-efficacy. The number of students with deafblindness a teacher had taught was the only statistically significant variable (p ≤ .001) in relation to self-efficacy scores. Systematic statewide reviews of professional development, coaching, and technical assistance efforts in the area of deafblindness should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure teachers have the appropriate knowledge and skills, possess high degrees of self-efficacy, and implement best practices with students with deafblindness.

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Keywords

Deafblindness, Professional development, Professional learning, Teacher of the visually impaired, Teacher of the deaf, Self-efficacy, Visually impaired, Deaf

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