Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Jack E. Robinson

Committee Director

Gail S. Taylor

Committee Member

Rebecca S. Bowers

Committee Member

Linda W. Deans

Committee Member

Linda W. Deans

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


This study sought to identify the behavior management, programming, and other teaching characteristics of alternative education teachers perceived by teachers, administrators, and students to be effective when the teachers are working with alternative education students. The characteristics examined were taken from empirical and related urban-centered literature, which underscore the behavior management and programming skills needed by teachers who work with students with behavior disorders. Stated and implied characteristics from related alternative education literature were also used.

There is a need to identify effective characteristics of alternative education teachers, since alternative education programs are becoming an integral part of the regular programming for students. In addition, little empirical data on effective characteristics of alternative education teachers is available.

The analysis of data was descriptive using four-point Likert Scale survey questionnaires. The questionnaires were single-staged, cross-sectional surveys. The surveys were administered to 18 teachers, 12 administrators, and 37 students.

Data obtained during this study help to support the theory that many of the behavior management and programming skills used with behavior disordered students are ones needed by alternative education teachers in working with students. Findings using the criterion set by the researcher revealed that 53 of the 71 skills on the survey were perceived by the teachers, and administrators as "very important" to "important." There were varying discrepancies with the alternative education students with all teaching skills. Results of this survey have made it apparent that the data collected in this study have significance for staff development and policy considerations for teachers in working with alternative education students.

Areas for further research include research to investigate and use other categories of knowledge and skills competencies. The other categories are (a) theory and knowledge, (b) field experience and practice, and (c) evaluation, research, and technology. A repetition of this study in other cities and a comparison of results to further refine what characteristics are perceived as most important is needed, and a replication in other AE settings to further validate these characteristics as ones needed to be targeted in training programs for alternative education teachers.


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