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Validity Evidence to Support the Development of a Licensure Assessment for Teachers of Students With Behavioral Disorders and Emotional Disturbances: A Job-Analytic Approach

Robustelli, Stacy L.; Swiggett, Wanda D.; DiCrecchio, Nicole
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Job Analysis, Licensure, Certification, Special Education Teachers, Teachers of Students with Behavioral Disturbances and Emotional Disorders, Validity, Praxis


A job analysis was conducted to define knowledge important for entry-level special education teachers of students with behavioral disorders and emotional disturbances. The results will be used to guide the development of new test content specifications for the Praxis Series Special Education: Teaching Students with Behavioral Disturbances and Emotional Disorders (SpEd: BDED) assessment. A draft domain was constructed from national and professional organization standards, various state standards, textbooks, existing test specifications, and scholarly literature. A national advisory committee (NAC) of special education teachers, college faculty, and a special education diagnostician reviewed and modified the draft domain to reflect the knowledge they believed was important for safe and effective practice and needed at time of entry into the profession. The revised domain consisted of 78 statements clustered within five major categories: (a) Development and Characteristics of Students with Emotional Behavior Disability, (b) Planning and Managing Learning Environments, (c) Instruction, (d) Assessment, and (e) Foundations and Professional Responsibilities. Survey responses of 260 special education professionals provided independent evidence of the importance of the domain. Respondents judged each knowledge statement on a scale ranging from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important). A total of 74 knowledge statements had mean ratings above 3.50 in the aggregate sample and for subgroups containing more than 30 respondents. The results indicate that these 74 statements may be considered appropriate for guiding the development of new test content specifications for the Praxis SpEd: BDED assessment.

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