Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

John Kaufhold

Abstract

Response to Intervention, aka Response to Instruction (RtI), is a multi-tiered instructional process designed to provide research-based interventions to struggling learners. It has recently gained increased popularity with the perceived failure of the discrepancy formula model of placing children in special education services and with the recent reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Because RtI is just gaining ground in the field of education, limited research regarding teachers' perceptions of the process is available. This research project utilized a mixed-methods approach, combining survey and interview data, to assess teacher understanding and perception of RtI in a rural North Carolina community. Both schools included in the study are currently piloting the RtI process. The results of the study found that even though most teachers seem to have a grasp on the roles and responsibilities associated with RtI, many teachers have substantial concerns regarding the implementation process. Most notably, teachers were concerned with the amount of time that was being dedicated to the RtI process and to the lack of available manpower. Teachers also noted improvements that could be made to improve the implementation process. Teachers specifically identified the importance of strong educational leadership within the school building as a factor in the success or failure of RtI within the schools.

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