Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Darrell Groves

Third Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methodological study was to explore perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs that urban middle school teachers have regarding their preparedness to implement Response to Intervention (RTI) and research-based interventions. The independent variables were Administrative Support, Teacher Professional Development, and RTI Resources; the dependent variable was Teacher Preparedness. Quantitatively, the specific tradition of inquiry was correlational research because it dealt with the extent of the relationship between specific variables. Qualitatively, the specific tradition of inquiry was the phenomenological approach because it dealt with the single concept of teacher perception of their preparedness to implement a required process. Ultimately, this researcher used a concurrent mixed methods approach to determine the extent in which the quantitative and qualitative data converge and what similarities and differences exist across levels of analysis (Creswell & Clark, 2007). The study took place in two middle schools located in an urban metropolitan Georgia school district. The participants included 30 certified teachers, 2 principals, and 2 student support team (SST) chairpersons.

The quantitative data collected included a survey of 30 teachers. To analyze quantitative data, this researcher tested the variables to see if they had content validity using Pearson r 2-tailed correlation. Pearson Correlations were used to test the significant relationship between variables. The qualitative data collected included interviews of two principals and two SST chairpersons, a document analysis of the Georgia Board of Education Rule Code: IGB 160-4-2-.32 Student Support Team, and a document analysis of the district’s SST Monthly Data Report. To analyze qualitative data, this researcher interpreted statements from the interviews, documents, and document analyses into codes and themes, which were then organized in an analysis matrix.

The findings of this study determined that there is a significant relationship between the dependent variable teacher preparedness and the independent variables, administrative support, teacher professional development, and RTI resources. The findings also determined that teachers perceive they are not prepared for RTI implementation. Although supportive of teachers, administrators concur that teachers do not fully understand the RTI process. Administrators recognize that they have more work to do to get teachers prepared to implement RTI effectively.