Date of Award

Summer 8-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Frances Karnes

Committee Chair Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Committee Member 2

Dr. Marilyn Foxworth

Committee Member 2 Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Committee Member 3

Dr. David Walker

Committee Member 3 Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Committee Member 4

Dr. Perrin Lowrey

Committee Member 4 Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Committee Member 5

Dr. James T. Johnson

Abstract

This present study was designed to examine and compare 10 introductory special education textbooks used in mandatory introductory special education courses. The percentage of text devoted to gifted education chapters in comparison to specific learning disabilities, behavior disorders, mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders, and speech/language/communication disorders was explored for statistically significant differences. Paired samples t tests were conducted to analyze the data. A statistically significant difference was found between the coverage of gifted education and autism spectrum disorders among the 10 examined texts. No other significant statistical findings were found between various exceptionalities among the 10 examined texts. The prevalence and comparison of pedagogical features incorporated into gifted chapters of the 10 examined texts confirmed an average of 12 pedagogical features among the texts, and 40% of the features appeared in 80% of the examined texts. The prevalence and comparison of key terms incorporated into gifted chapters in the 10 examined texts confirmed an average of 14 key terms among the texts, and only six key terms appeared in five or more of the examined texts. Conclusions and recommendations for future practice and research are included.