School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Gail Collins


Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Teacher Efficacy




Given the need for research that emphasizes age and grade-appropriate content in authentic settings, the purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe special education teachers’ lived-experience of providing students with emotional and behavioral disorders access to the general education curriculum in a separate school setting. The research addressed the essential research question: What are teachers’ experiences of providing students with emotional and behavioral disorders access to the general education curriculum? Bandura’s social cognitive theory, concept of self-efficacy, and the associated achievement goal theory and guided the study and provided context for findings. All participants were teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders, who have been selected through purposeful, outlier, and criterion sampling methods. Data was collected through questionnaire, focus group interviews, and semi-structured interviews. Data was analyzed using Moustakas’ (1994) processes of epoche, transcendental-phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation, and synthesis. Four themes emerged from data analysis: positive perspectives of self-efficacy, relativity of defined success, creation of student success experiences, and embracement of pragmatism. The results of this study will provide educational stakeholders with an increased understanding of the challenges of authentic implementation of instructional interventions with grade-appropriate content for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Keywords: emotional and behavioral disorders, efficacy, general education curriculum

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