Considering Coherence: Teacher Perceptions of the Competing Agendas of RTI and an Existing Special Education Model

Angela Pyle


In 2005, the Ontario Ministry of Education introduced Responsiveness to Intervention (RTI) to the Ontario school system. RTI is a tiered approach involving increasing levels of support for students who are at risk for later learning difficulties. However, the introduction of this different support structure was not accompanied by a substantial shift in Ontario’s process of identifying and supporting struggling students. This paper uses focus group data to describe the perspectives of teachers who participated in the implementation of RTI and the tensions they experienced due to the lack of coherence between RTI and a special education framework where psycho-educational testing is the gateway to additional support.

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