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A Knowledge Base for Beginning Special Education Teachers

Wesley, Scott
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Beginning Teachers, Job Analysis, Job Knowledge, Praxis Series, Special Education, Teacher Certification


(84pp.) This study utilized a multi-method approach to identify a content domain that is related to the job of the newly licensed special education teacher. The results of the study will be used to develop specifications for the special education test that will be included as part of the subject assessments of The Praxis Series: Professional Assessments for Beginning Teachers. A draft domain of important knowledge statements was constructed by ETS staff, reviewed and revised by an External Review Panel of subject-matter experts and a Special Education Advisory Committee, and subjected to verification/refutation through the use of a national survey of special education teachers, administrators, and college faculty. The survey participants were asked to rate specific knowledge statements of the domain using a five-point importance scale, and a cut point of 2.50 (midpoint between moderately important and important) was chosen. 181 of 189 knowledge statements were verified to be important enough by those surveyed to be used as the foundation for the development of test specifications for the special education examination. Correlation coefficients all exceeded .80, indicating substantial agreement in the importance ratings across a wide array of special education professionals. Evidence of the comprehensiveness of the content domain within each of the 11 major knowledge categories indicated that the survey respondents thought the categories were reasonably well covered by their statements. Finally data were collected in the Recommendations for Test Content section of the survey regarding the emphasis that should be given in the test to each of the 11 categories. This information will be used by the Advisory Committee in their decisions about the appropriate weighting of the test. (JGL)

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