Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences

Department

Health and Medical Sciences

Advisor

Deborah DeLuca, J.D.

Committee Member

Terrence Cahill, Ed.D

Committee Member

Genevieve Pinto Zipp, Ed.D.

Keywords

Staff Training; Mentoring; Video Self-Monitoring; Performance Feedback; Reflection; Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Background: The increased prevalence of Autism has generated higher special needs enrollment and requires teachers to acquire the skills to address Autistic children’s unique needs. At the same time, however, budget cuts have generated a shortage of qualified professionals with expertise in autism interventions. More effective staff training may provide an avenue for addressing this shortage. This study investigated the impact that a Staff Training Procedure (STP), consisting of Video Self-Monitoring (VSM), Performance Feedback (PF) and Reflection (R) with and without Mentoring has on sustained and generalized teacher performance on two DVs – application of the Learn Unit (LU) and Rate of Effective Instruction (ROI). Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Study Design: Exploratory Quasi-Experimental Approach Setting Two private schools utilizing principles of Applied Behavior Analysis

Participants: 10 female teachers instructing 3-5 year old autistic children

Outcome Measures: Teacher performance outcomes on LU and ROI after: Phase 1 – a 2-hour workshop; Phase 2 – the addition of fixed period of Mentoring while engaging in the STP; and Phase 3 – after the formal STP and Mentoring period has ended.

Results: The STP appeared to enhance teacher performance and sustainability of Procedural Integrity. The greatest improvement and most consistent performance was observed among teachers who received STP plus Mentoring as opposed to STP alone.

Conclusion: Adding Mentoring to an existing STP appears to enhance teacher performance and Procedural Integrity with sustainable outcomes. The possibility of using VSM as a skill acquisition procedure is highlighted.

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