Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Howard Moskowitz

Abstract

A Southeastern school district was in the initial phases of a response to intervention (RtI) model using 3 tiers of intervention prior to students being identified for participation in special education. General education classroom teachers were responsible for all Tier I interventions by differentiating the core curriculum. However, teachers received little to no specific training related to implementation, progress monitoring, and data analysis of these differentiated interventions. This case study examined teachers' perceptions of the current implementation of RtI in one elementary school and their perceptions of professional support needed to implement, assess, and analyze RtI data. This qualitative research project study used constructivism as the theoretical framework. The research questions centered on teacher perceptions of how the implementation of the RtI model impacted teacher efficacy in meeting the needs of students and to what extent teachers at the school felt prepared to implement Tier I interventions as they were intended. The purpose of the study was to identify gaps in practice and teacher perceptions of the effectiveness of Tier I intervention. Data collected from questionnaires and individual interviews were analyzed using open coding. Themes and concepts that emerged related to Tier 1 were the use of data, instruction, support, analysis, and differentiation. These findings led to the development of 3 specific trainings to provide educators with more knowledge about Tier I implementation and data-driven decisions in the RtI process at the school. Because it may strengthen the implementation and effectiveness of Tier I level interventions in the general education classroom, the project has the potential to decrease the number of students referred for special education evaluation and placement.