The preparation of teachers for the education of multihandicapped (hearing impairment/mental retardation) children

Laura Snyder-Jones, Tennessee State University


Educational literature relates that very few teacher education programs provide specific course work and field experiences designed to prepare their graduates to work with multihandicapped hearing-impaired children. The purpose of this study was to examine and identify those competencies needed by Special Education teachers to deliver quality educational programs to hearing-impaired mentally retarded children in the State of Tennessee. An additional aim was to develop a model teacher education program of study for multihandicap certification with specialization in the area of hearing-impaired/mental retardation. A questionnaire was used to survey 121 teachers of multihandicapped hearing-impaired/mentally retarded children representing regions of East, West, and Middle Tennessee. The questionnaire was subdivided into two sections, a demographic section and a course and descriptor section. The respondents rated on a Likert-type scale from 1 (lowest priority) to 5 (highest priority) courses and topics for inclusion in a teacher training program. Data obtained from the respondents were combined into one data file after analysis of demographic data revealed no significant difference within the three populations. A frequency distribution of demographic data provided information about the characteristics of teachers surveyed. Means and standard deviations were computed on each questionnaire item relating to courses and descriptors. Mean and standard deviation scores were ranked in descending order from highest to lowest. Kendall's Correlation Coefficient was used to determine the relationship between demographic data and the ranked course and descriptor data at the.05 level of significance. Results of the study indicated that teachers of multihandicapped hearing-impaired mentally retarded students rated higher those courses conforming to four major competency areas: assessment, planning, instruction, and experience. Courses receiving lower rated scores included media instruction, aural-oral communication, and two courses relating to professional growth, pro-seminar and inservice education and leadership training. From this survey, a proposed program of study for multihandicapped hearing-impaired/mental retardation was identified. Five interrelated divisions for the program of study were utilized and courses prioritized by teachers participating in this study were assigned to each division. The curriculum components included a professional core, content for the speciality, participation, electives, and research. A model graduate program of study requiring $1{1\over2}$ to 2 years and 48-57 semester hours was recommended.

Subject Area

Teacher education|Special education

Recommended Citation

Laura Snyder-Jones, "The preparation of teachers for the education of multihandicapped (hearing impairment/mental retardation) children" (1989). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9019543.