Date of Award


Document Type


Superseded Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Special Education

Colleges & School

College Of Education And Leadership

First Advisor

Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, O.S.F.

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Curriculum planning; Special education


The purpose of this study was to depart from theory and focus on the realities of day to day decisions special education teachers are asked to make. The chief purpose of this study was to gain insight into the factors that influence curriculum design such as high stakes testing, teacher experience, knowledge of content, teacher training, collaboration and materials. In order to do so, the researcher designed an on-line survey that focused on curriculum design. Additional information and insights were gleaned from the study. For example, were teachers using Common Core Standards (CCS) as a measuring stick when designing curriculum and choosing materials? Were teachers employing best practices when designing curriculum? Were teachers balancing priorities, such as IEP goals, high stakes tests and class pace? Were students given the opportunity to gain access to and progress in the general education curriculum? It is important to examine authentic day to day instructional decisions and activities in order to understand gaps between best practice research and legislative demands and actual classroom practices. It was the hope of the researcher that this study would determine whether there was a need for more instructional materials and/or further professional development for the special education staff members taking part in the study.


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