A nationwide survey of factors influencing the dissemination of information in initial teacher certification/licensure programs on the characteristics and needs of students who are both gifted and learning disabled (GLD)
It was the intent of this nationwide study to discover what factors influence the dissemination of information on the characteristics and needs of students who are both gifted and learning disabled (GLD) to candidates in initial teacher certification/licensure programs. Teacher education programs at 1,139 colleges and universities were contacted via e-mail in the late summer of 2002 to invite their participation in the study. Course instructors responsible for disseminating information related to teaching exceptional children in the regular education classroom, representing 385 programs from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, responded to the researcher's request for participation. A 27-item survey was administered via the use of the Internet, which was designed to obtain information related to instructor and institutional demographics, instructor knowledge of/interest in the characteristics and needs of students who are GLD, as well as specific course-related information. The principal investigator computed the internal consistency estimate of reliability for the survey using the Chronbach alpha, which equaled .72. Two one-way ANOVA analyses were conducted for the purpose of resolving two research questions and testing their supporting hypotheses for the study. The first analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship between the dependent variable and four out of the ten predictors, and in the second analysis, five out of the eight predictors showed a statistically significant relationship. Two predictors which displayed a statistically significant relationship in both analyses were that of whether an instructor had read articles in professional journals on the topic of GLD and whether they had attended professional conference breakout sessions on the topic of GLD. Results of the two analyses, theoretical implications, and recommendations for future research were presented and discussed.