The Case for Cases in Preparing Special Educators for Rural Schools

By Butera, Gretchen; Dunn, Michael W. | Rural Special Education Quarterly, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

The Case for Cases in Preparing Special Educators for Rural Schools


Butera, Gretchen, Dunn, Michael W., Rural Special Education Quarterly


Abstract

The challenges of teaching in rural settings present those who prepare special educators with particular issues. The case study method is described as a promising way to accomplish this. Two sample cases are used to illustrate how case studies can be used in the preparation of special educators for rural schools.

Teachers in the twenty-first century assume a challenging role. The classrooms they teach in include a diverse set of students in background, in languages spoken and in their exposure to the pre-requisite skills that students necessary to respond successfully to standardized curriculum. The students in today's classrooms are assessed with unprecedented frequency and teachers are increasingly held accountable for their progress (Linn, 2003). The number of students identified with disabilities has risen, especially those with mild disabilities (Lyon, 1996).

In the past, many of the challenges involved in teaching diverse learners were viewed as concentrated in urban schools. If this were ever true, it no longer appears to be the case (Ludlow & Brannan, 1999; Rosenkoetter, Irwin, & Saceda, 2004;). Like their urban counterparts, rural teachers are struggling to be successful teaching increasingly diverse students. In addition, the particular context of rural schools adds complexity to the teachers' tasks. The availability of resources, geography, and distance may make it difficult for teachers to collaborate with colleagues and the families of their students. Teachers in rural schools struggle to maintain connections to the digital world and they are more likely to teach both in and out of the field in which they are certified (Beeson & Strange, 2000).

Special educators in rural places, like their colleagues in urban or suburban settings, sometimes teach students with multiple disabilities. However, rural special educators may lack access to resources to help them develop coordinated, comprehensive intervention plans for their students with multiple needs. Rural schools often have difficulty attracting and retaining specialists such as school psychologists, physical, occupational or speech and language therapists (Ludlow, 1998). Special educators may be the only one person trained to teach students with disabilities at the site. Under these circumstances, they do not have colleagues to help them solve the pedagogical problems students with disabilities present. It is clear, therefore, that preparing special educators to be active in solving complex educational problems becomes essential.

Although one-fourth of US school children go to schools in rural areas or small towns of less than 25,000 populations, the particular issues of rural schools are largely ignored in the discussion about the direction of American education (Beeson & Strange, 2000). Many rural schools are in regions of the nation that are chronically economically depressed and have high percentages of students from families in poverty. Declining enrollment and school consolidation combined with low teacher pay combine to challenge the circumstances of teaching in these schools. Yet in a recent review about personnel needs for rural areas in special education, Rosenkoetter, et al. (2004) point out that the numbers of personnel preparation projects sponsored by the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) targeting rural areas have declined in recent years. Given this challenging context, the question for teacher educators is how to best facilitate the training of pre-service special education teachers for rural schools. Infusing teacher education curricula with situations and dilemmas specific to teaching in rural schools is essential because doing so provides preservice teachers with opportunities to consider pedagogical problems in rural context.

The use of videotapes, CD-based instruction and various forms of distance education hold promise for connecting novice special educators in rural locations with university-based preparation programs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Case for Cases in Preparing Special Educators for Rural Schools
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.