Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Special Education


Special Education and Habilitative Services

Major Professor

Cronin, Mary E.

Second Advisor

Scott, Randall

Third Advisor

Bedford, April

Fourth Advisor

Gifford, Charles


Novice special education teachers often enter their professions with unique perspectives that contribute to the overall educational experience of their students. This research was designed to inform the existing literature revolving around novice special education teachers' experiences, and how they subsequently effect the perceptions and interactions engaged in with students with disabilities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Five novice special education teachers who currently serve students with disabilities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds offered their unique perspectives for this research. This research study consisted of individual interviews, two direct classroom observations, and responses to three reflections of recent experiences. The data yielded three main categories: (a) student attributes, (b) establishing rapport, and (c) teacher responsibilities, which included properties and sub-properties. To verify findings rival explanations were sought and triangulation procedures were utilized. Findings of this research are discussed in detail, with implications relating to novice special education teachers, K-12 school administrators, and special education teacher educators being addressed. Methods to address potential limitations to this research are presented, followed by suggestions for future research.


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