Teacher Educators: Addressing the Needs of All Learners
This qualitative dissertation examines how teacher preparation programs take up policy messages from two state agencies. These questions guided the study: 1) What are the messages about RTI and MTSS from the California Department of Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; and, 2) How are RTI and MTSS taken up by preparation programs and understood by teacher educators? The research sites were two large public universities in urban areas in California with general and special education teacher preparation programs. Data was obtained from the websites of the CDE and CCTC, interviews with teacher educators, and preparation program materials.
Findings support that the CDE is the major proponent of RtI and MTSS but lacks the regulatory power to impact teacher preparation. While the CCTC did have regulatory authority over teacher preparation its guidelines were written in broad language and did not require that programs include specific practices necessary to implement RtI and MTSS. Without this regulatory press incorporation of RtI and MTSS was at the discretion of faculty. Special education was the source of knowledge about RtI and MTSS despite the fact that the CDE clearly situates these practices in general education. General education teacher educators were ambivalent about RtI and MTSS and were unwilling to sacrifice precious time during initial preparation to these topics.
These findings have implications for policy makers, teacher educators, and research on policy implementation.