Knowledge of Some Evidence-Based Practices Utilized for Managing Behavioral Problems in Students with Disabilities and Barriers to Implementation: Educators' Perspectives
Keywords:evidence-based practice; applied behavior analysis; professional development; student behavioral problems; pre- and in-service teachers
Evidence-based practices, including applied behavior analysis, have been used to manage behavioral problems among students with disabilities. Educators have found a lack of utilizing empirical practices in the classroom. The purpose of this study is to understand educators’ perspectives on practices used to manage behavioral problems among students with disabilities and to determine barriers that prevent them from utilizing evidence-based practices in the classroom. This study examined the most effective learning opportunities rated by participants, educators who were voluntarily recruited from Midwestern U.S. state elementary public schools to complete an online survey about practices used to manage behavioral problems among students with disabilities. One hundred and seventeen educators (85 special education, 7 general education teachers, and 25 other educators) completed a questionnaire using Likert-type scales to describe their experience dealing with students with disabilities who have exhibited behavioral problems. The results indicated that there was an association between educators’ specialties and their experience of the intensity of behavioral problems among students with disabilities. The results showed a high percentage of educators rated punishment as the most effective behavior management strategy among a variety of behavioral management and Applied Behavior Analysis strategies. The results showed that educators received more professional training during their in-service as compared to their pre-service period. Educators reported that shortages of supplies and support were the barriers that most prevented them from utilizing evidence-based practices in the classroom. This study highlighted the most effective training methods preferred by educators, and implications and future directions are provided.
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