School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Rebecca Bowman


Behavior, Emotional Disturbance, School Behavior, Special Education, Special Education Teachers, Students With Emotional Disabilities


Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology


The purpose of this collective case study was to describe the characteristics necessary for teacher success in a classroom for students with emotional disabilities (ED) through the perceptions of teachers of students with ED, administrators, and behavior specialists in South District. Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory guided this study as it explains the mutual influence among cognitive, environment, and behavior factors for teachers. A rich description of the perceived characteristics necessary for teacher success in an ED classroom was created thereby answering the central question of the study: What characteristics does a person need to be a successful teacher in an ED classroom? Participants of the study included 12 teachers of students with emotional disabilities, five assistant principals, and two behavior specialists. A review of the literature reveled that there is a gap in current literature that describes the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary for successful teachers of students with ED. Data consisted of interviews, a survey (for descriptive purposes), a questionnaire, and relevant documentation (such as classroom level systems and procedures). Results of the study provide information on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for a teacher to gain success in an ED classroom. Theoretical, empirical, and practical implications are discussed.