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Bewertung der Lehrereffektivität für Schüler mit und ohne Behinderung

von NFI Redaktion

Research has often focused on how teachers and educators can best teach and accommodate students with disabilities. But are the methods used to teach students with disabilities effective and inclusive for all students? Researchers from Michigan State University are among the first to answer this question.

Faculty and doctoral students from across MSU, including the College of Social Science and the College of Education, are providing some of the first insights into differentiating the effectiveness of teaching for students with and without disabilities.

Their study suggests that policymakers may need to consider measures of teacher quality that specifically look at these student groups separately to help schools make decisions that are best for student outcomes.

Published in the journal „Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis,“ this study represents a significant breakthrough in understanding how to best measure the performance of students with and without disabilities.

Most students with disabilities spend the majority of their school day in general education classrooms, but many teachers report not being adequately trained and prepared to teach these students. We thought that by using statistical measures of teacher quality, we could determine which teachers are effectively teaching these students and how much teachers‘ ability to educate these students in general education varies.

Scott Imberman, study author and Professor in the Department of Economics within the College of Social Science and the College of Education

It is important for students with disabilities to have access to highly qualified teachers, and not all teachers receive the necessary training and skills to support these students. They may also face greater challenges with certain subjects, such as mathematics. Student success is often determined by the performance of the entire class rather than individual students.

When assessing the success of all students, numerical measures known as Value Added Measures (VAM) are typically used. However, these measures often do not differentiate between evaluating students with and without disabilities.

Given the large enrollment and number of students with disabilities, the MSU research team conducted a study using data from the Los Angeles Unified School District. They created two specific value-added measures: one to evaluate effectiveness for teachers instructing students with disabilities and the other for students without disabilities.

They found that some of the most effective teachers for students without disabilities achieved lower value-added scores for students with disabilities. Similarly, they found that the best teachers for students with disabilities achieved lower value-added scores for students without disabilities. This means that some students who may seem to benefit from a highly qualified teacher may actually fare better with other teachers.

Imberman points out that the greater inequality lies in the fact that „while some general education teachers may have special skills that make them more effective for students with disabilities, our case study in Los Angeles suggests that disabled students are usually not matched to these teachers.“

While the results do not pinpoint how teachers can be better matched with students with disabilities, they encourage schools and policymakers to examine how both student groups, especially those with disabilities, can achieve better educational outcomes. It is also necessary for educators, particularly those with more experience, to receive appropriate training to support students with disabilities.

„We hope that our methods can be used in the future to help school officials better match students with disabilities to teachers best suited for instructing them and better assess which teachers may need additional training for educating disabled students,“ Imberman said.

The research team included Imberman, Katharine Strunk, Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania; Nathan Jones, Associate Professor in the Special Education program at the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University; W. Jesse Wood, Senior Analyst at Abt Associates; Neil Filosa, PhD student at MSU Department of Economics; and Ijun Lai, researcher at Mathematica.


Michigan State University

Journal Reference:

Holz, WJ, et al. (2023). Are Effective Teachers for Students with Disabilities Effective Teachers for All? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. doi.org/10.3102/01623737231214555.

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