chapter  33
20 Pages

Improving Special Education Teacher Quality and Effectiveness

WithBonnie S. Billingsley, Elizabeth Bettini

Research using different conceptualizations of special education teachers (SET) quality has provided important insights into a variety of factors influencing teacher quality and effectiveness. These factors fall within three major domains: supply and demand, professional knowledge and skills, and conditions of service. The Labor Market Theory of Supply and Demand provides a helpful lens for policy-makers and administrators interested in improving teacher recruitment and retention. A range of different experiences can promote SETs' knowledge and skills including initial teacher preparation, induction and mentoring, professional development, collegial interactions, and teacher evaluation experiences. The chapter discusses evidence regarding how SETs' knowledge and skill develops through each of these different kinds of experiences and how these learning experiences influence their commitment and retention. Scholars have posited that assigned planning time may provide teachers with necessary opportunity to carefully plan and improve instruction, and thus may be important for both developing lessons and for teacher learning.