Abstract

Using an adaptation of Brownell and Smith's (1993) conceptual model, this study sought to examine the perception of primary and secondary special educators in St. Lucia of their roles as compared to roles of special education teachers universally. A survey, consisting of 89 Likert-scale statements and five closed ended questions, was administered to the entire population (i.e. 82) of special educators in primary and secondary schools in St. Lucia. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics including percentages, means, and t-tests. The independent sample t-test was used to determine the difference in the frequency of role engagement between the two groups of special educators. The results revealed that like special educators globally, special education teachers in St. Lucia engaged in all roles under study (i.e., Academic instruction, Non-academic instruction, Instructional Support, Responsive Behavior Management, Special Education Assessment, Classroom Assessment, Special Education Paperwork) but engaged in them at varying degrees. They regarded all but one role (i.e. Responsive Behavior Management) to be very-to-extremely important. Respondents utilized a continuum of practices from exclusionary to inclusionary but made greater use of exclusionary practices. Implications as well as recommendations to improve practice are discussed.

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