As more and more children are being identified as needing special services, all teachers need to know special education laws. One hundred and thirty-eight preservice teachers answered an online survey about their knowledge and confidence level of IDEA and Section 504. Our participants, on average, did not have accurate knowledge of IDEA or Section 504 laws (overall IDEA X = 42%; 504 X = 40%). Having coursework related to IDEA and Section 504 laws did increase participants’ scores, regardless of whether they were majoring in a special education related degree or not. However, their scores were still low, basically at chance level. Having coursework related to IDEA and Section 504 laws also increased participants’ confidence in their scores. Except for participants who had not taken a class with Section 504 information, participants’ confidence levels were also associated with their scores. The qualitative data showed that the majority of the relevant responses were from participants who had had coursework on special education laws. Overall, the results showed a general lack of knowledge about specific details of these special education laws.
Horner, Sherri L.; Mrachko, Alicia; O'Connor, Evelyn A.; and Yasik, Anastasia E.
"Pre-Service Teachers’ Knowledge of Special Education Laws,"
Mid-Western Educational Researcher: Vol. 32:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/mwer/vol32/iss1/4