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Validity Evidence to Support the Development of a Licensure Assessment for Early Childhood Special Education Teachers: A Job-Analytic Approach

Robustelli, Stacy L.; Tannenbaum, Richard J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Job Analysis, Licensure, Certification, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Validity


A job analysis was conducted to define knowledge/skills important for entry-level early childhood special education teachers. The results will be used to guide the development of new test content specifications for the Praxis SeriesTM Special Education-Early Childhood Education (SPED-ECE) assessment. A draft domain was constructed from the existing test content specifications and various national and professional organization standards. A National Advisory Committee (NAC) of early childhood special education teachers and college faculty reviewed and modified the draft domain to reflect the knowledge/skills they believed were important for safe and effective practice and needed at time of entry into the profession. The revised domain consisted of 74 statements clustered within seven major categories: (a) Development and Characteristics of Learners; (b) Disabling Conditions, IFSP and IEP Development, and Service Delivery; (c) Assessment, Evaluation, and Eligibility Criteria; (d) Teaching and Learning; (e) Learning Environment; (f) Family, Professional Partner, and Community Relationships; and (g) Professional and Ethical Practice. Survey responses of 456 early childhood special education teachers provided independent evidence of the importance of the domain. Respondents judged each knowledge/skill statement on a scale ranging from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important). Seventy-three knowledge/skill statements had mean ratings above 3.50 in the aggregate sample and for subgroups containing more than 30 respondents. These results indicate that 73 statements may be considered appropriate for guiding the development of new test content specifications for the SPED-ECE assessment.

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