Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Response to Intervention (RTI) programs are designed to support students at risk of failing in school due to academic or behavioral problems. When RTI programs are applied inconsistently due to teachers' resources or knowledge, students may be wrongly identified for special education services. The purpose of this qualitative bounded descriptive case study was to explore K-4 general education teachers' experiences with RTI program implementation and the extent teachers used the RTI program in their classrooms. This study was guided by GagnÃ©'s conditions of learning theory. A purposeful sampling of 10 K-4 general education teachers, who taught an RTI program, volunteered and participated in individual semistructured interviews and classroom observations. Data were analyzed thematically using open, axial, and thematic coding. Participants revealed they needed materials and time to prepare and use interventions and desired parental participation in team meetings. Numerous interventions, large class sizes, and scheduling constraints with specialists were obstacles implementing RTI. Academic specialists' expertise, teaching methods, and assessment data assisted planning and implementing RTI in the classroom. Teachers demonstrated a high frequency of events of learning in lessons. Based on the findings, it is recommended that district personnel develop a tiered system of teacher support and a shared vision for an RTI plan, provide teachers with necessary materials and resources to deliver instruction, and plan actions for parental involvement. These endeavors may contribute to positive change by improving general education teachers' instruction to help students at risk of failure to be successful, thus, reducing unnecessary special education referrals.