Increasing Use of Research-Based Practices: Action Research Report

Abstract

Teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities have expressed the need for additional training and resources to realign instruction to general education standards. At the same time, pre-service teachers preparing to enter the field of special education need to be placed in classrooms where teachers have updated knowledge and skills to deliver grade-aligned instruction to students in this population. In this project, the needs of both groups were addressed through a partnership between an Institute of Higher Education (IHE) and local board of cooperative education services. Specifically, in-service teachers received training in research-based practices to implement grade-aligned math instruction to middle school students with significant cognitive disabilities. Pre-service teachers who received the same training in their college coursework created adapted materials to implement the instruction. Results of the project’s effect on in-service teachers, their students, and pre-service teachers are reported. Implications for future directions in professional development are discussed.