Accommodations in Teacher Education: Perspectives of Teacher Candidates with Learning Disabilities and their Faculty Advisors

Karen Csoli, Tiffany L. Gallagher

Abstract


This study of teacher candidates with learning disabilities profiles their experience in a teacher education program. Two teacher candidates and their faculty advisors offer perspectives at various points during the teacher education program. Findings indicate that the teacher candidates were able to complete their required courses when their professors facilitated appropriate accommodations for them. In their elementary classroom practica, the participants thrived when teaching in their trained discipline or content area, but often needed scaffolding from teacher associates when teaching mathematics and reading. Prior to disclosing their disability to their teacher associates, the teacher candidates attempted to gauge their mentors’ tolerance of learning disabilities. Based on their lived experiences, the participants held distinct beliefs about integration and reducing the stigma of learning disabilities. Discussion on the implications for teacher education and support of teacher candidates with learning disabilities is offered.

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