Faculty Publications and Presentations

Publication Date


Document Type



Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Psychology | Special Education and Teaching


This article was published in The Teacher's Education Journal Spring 2016, Vol. 9 49-62. Permission has been granted by the editors (http://www.ateva.org) to upload this contribution to Liberty University’s scholarly repository. All Rights Secured. No copy of this file may be sold or reprinted in whole or in part. To purchase the entire journal issue that contains this contribution, please visit the website of the publication.


Perceptions of working with students of emotional disabilities or who are considered Emotionally/Behaviorally Disturbed (E/BD) is varied across the spectrum. However, one constant that does hold true is that all pre-service teachers have some hesitation in working with such students, especially if they lack any previous exposure to students with E/BD. This study compared pre- and post-test Likert-scale type surveys about pre-service teachers’ (n = 35) perceptions regarding students with E/BD. In between the pre- and post-test, the pre-service teachers were given classroom instruction and were assigned a practicum field experience to observe and work alongside students with emotionally charged behaviors housed in an alternative educational facility. The scores were analyzed via a paired t-test and findings revealed that practical observation experience at an alternative school setting for E/BD students and instruction on behavior management strategies had a significantly positive effect on survey respondents’ perceptions regarding E/BD students.