Background of the Study
Significance of the Study
The importance of this study is anchored on its ability to provide insights about the situation and needs of the SPED teachers in order to provide for the proper interventions to the student with special attention. By gathering empirical research data about the SPED Centers regarding their facilities and staff.
In terms of a deductive analysis, the research can provide insights as to what is the difference between SPED Centers in different areas, say for example in an Urban setting and a Rural setting. Hence, gives the current situation that the SPED Centers have.
Moreover, this study is also important because it can serve as a source of information about the difference between the Urban and Rural SPED Centers provided that it can serve as a background reference for future researches in line with this study.
Statement of the Problem
In case where there are children who are in need of special attention, it is the responsibility of the SPED teachers to provide the sufficient and compatible way of teaching to each demands of the special students. Nonetheless, it is by extreme importance that the students shall be given the proper intervention for their needs. Furthermore, the teachers and the facilities should be made adaptable for the learning of the students. Hence, the setting of the SPED Center should be of the same standards considering that they are both public institutions providing the same social service to the public.
It is within this context that the researcher would like to seek answers to the following research questions: What are the facilities present in an Urban SPED Center and Rural SPED Center? Are the students properly segregated according to their needs i.e. hearing impaired, visually impaired and etc.? Are the teachers legible for teaching or do they have a background with regard to special education? Like for example did they studied Speacial Education in their Bachelor’s Degree or have earned units about special education. Are the teachers in the SPED Center given an assistant teacher for the handling of the special students provided that if the classroom has a big population size of special students? How many students with special needs are there in a classroom setting? Or what is the ideal number of students with special needs present in a classroom for proper learning? Are there enough teachers to handle the number of children present in the SPED Center in both Urban and Rural setting? Also, are there enough classrooms to accommodate these children with special needs?
To gather and analyze the information about the SPED Centers in a Rural and Urban setting regarding the students learning environment.
To determine whether or not the SPED teacher is legible in handling the students with special needs and are they enough in the SPED Center.
To determine the facilities present in in a Rural and Urban setting.
To determine proper segregation of children with different needs and know the ideal number size in a classroom setting.
To determine the number of classrooms in the SPED Centers.
Scope and Limitations
Inasmuch as this research project is only designed to gather specific information about the SPED Center in both the Urban and Rural setting, its result may not be reflective of the other SPED Centers in other areas in the setting aforementioned. By extension, its results may not apply to other SPED Centers in the country. Thus, this research project may suffer from the problem of external validity which means that the result of this research may not be generalizable to other areas of the country.
Despite this limitation, the researchers believe that a study of this sort is of extreme importance in determining how well the SPED Centers in both the Urban and Rural setting provides to its students with special needs. The researchers likewise believe that a study such as this can indeed serve as a part of a reference material that will allow other researchers to gather insights as to what the difference are.
REVIEW ON RELATED LITERATURE
This section of the research provides a literature review on the key themes that would give particular information on the problems presented in this research. The review of literature is divided into parts. The first part includes the presentation of different accounts regarding the nature SPED Teaching. The second part presents several articles of what the ideal SPED Centers should be, followed by the sequential narrative of the SPED Centers in an urban setting. The last part illustrates the SPED Centers in a rural setting.
The Nature of SPED Teaching
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1997 requires not only the beneficial curricula be accessible to students with disabilities but also, that the school monitors the students learning outcomes and include the tests scores as a state of accountability and assessment systems. This mandates was reinforced when late President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, and, consequently, the IDEA 2004. These initiatives of the legislative have influenced the inclusion of many students with disabilities in the education environment and a state wide assessment to all students.
One of the most important challenge that we should consider in the fields of special education is developing a qualified workforce and to create a work environment that sustains special educators’ involvement and commitment (Billingsley, 2004). The special educators are now tasked of ensuring that students with disabilities are gaining progress towards the same state as their non-disabled peers, in addressing their individualized education goals, hence providing opportunities to accessible general education curriculum with only few precedents available in guiding them to work (McLeskey, Henry, & Axelrod, 1999).
The special education programs shares the same features with programs considered exemplary in general education. Say for example, in both fields, teaching education is collaborative, labour intensive, focused on connecting theory and practice and invested in creating teachers who can respond to the needs of the child and the youth, especially those with diverse needs. Some qualities that are exemplary to the general teacher education programs (e.g., clear programmatic vision, integrating subject-matter pedagogy with educational theory and field experience), nonetheless, these are referred to as minimal in special education. Comparably, special education teachers’ education programs have some distinct features differentiating them from the general education programs (Brownell, Ross, Colón ; McCallum, 2005).
In the context of special teachers, there is an apparent support between the students with special needs and the special teachers. In a case wherein the competency the teacher possesses in teaching the children with special needs. The knowledge and skills they hold has been effectively utilized for extending the different instructional methodology with adaptive and assistive devise that is required for children with special needs. This same technique was used by the traditional teachers, however, the use of such methodology is ineffective to serve the children with special needs in a classroom with diverse needs (Holmberg and Jeyaprathaban, 2016).
SPED Centers Ideal Setting
Researches on special education contributed significantly to the knowledge and practice not only related to individuals with disabilities but also for learners. One of the responsibility of special educators is to design an intervention that meets the feasibility criteria for the general education classrooms aimed to enhance the outcomes for a range of learners (Vaughn and Swanson, 2015). A classroom provides the classical medium in educating students through allowing an open forum of communication between the student and the teacher (Rivera, 2016).
The improvement of the school is the process of the school to ensure that all the students are achieving at a high level, including students with the most significant disabilities. Successful schools are dynamic institutions with high expectations for everyone. Effective improvement happens when you intentionally build goals around the educators, parents, students and community members. It creates efforts that are designed to create and equitable and an inclusive learning environment which addresses the social and individual barriers in learning, and eliminating the idea of tracking and cultural biases within the institution (Vaughn and Swanson, 2015).
In a research-based classroom instruction which ensures that every child, regardless of the ability, has access to the best instruction possible, which eliminates the presumption about the difficulties due to inadequate instructions. It is within the general education context, wherein special education research has exercised considerable influence with regard to the features of the instructions which affects the outcomes for the learners. Nonetheless, there are innumerable examples, evidence of this influence is display when considering just two classroom strategies: mnemonics and instructional feedbacks (Vaughn and Swanson, 2015).
Variety and flexible classrooms have created a more suitable classroom facilities so that students can learn more freely and individually according to their abilities. In a case where there is proper lighting and seating arrangement for children with special needs, and the use of adaptive devices such as group hearing aids and architectural barrier in a free environment for free movement of children with physical limitations. The same for this is not observed in the traditional practice where there are only a few classroom facilities available (Holmberg and Jeyaprathaban, 2016).
Studies have shown that the support in inclusive classroom from general and special teachers are imperative for the education of the children with special needs. In a one to one practice, students get support only from the special teachers and in a traditional practice they get support only from the general teachers. The support from both the general and the special teachers are a holistic approach towards an effective instruction and it can be observed only in a flexible and creative classroom practice. This kind of support will create a successful inclusive classroom practice where they can demonstrate the mastery in learning and the possibility of getting support from the learning community. The mastery in learning among the children with special needs is dependent upon their abilities and disabilities, also the support of their teacher (Holmberg and Jeyaprathaban, 2016).
Urban SPED Centers
According to Zamora and Dorado, studies have found that the educational inequalities between rural and urban are generally improving over time as shown by the education Gini estimates for rural and urban areas. The decomposition analysis shows that, at the national level, the rural-urban gap or the rural-urban educational inequality is the main contributor to the inequality in education, in contrary, at the provincial level, the main contributor is the inequality within the rural areas. This only implies that educational provisions should be enhanced in rural areas.
There is a need for the provision of special education program in Urban Nigeria, wherein it was made in the National Policy of education. They defined special education as education for children and adults who have troubles in learning due to the different handicaps they possess, such as blindness, difficulty in hearing, social maladjustments, among others, due to the different circumstances during birth through inheritance, social position, mental and physical health patterns, or an accident during the later life. There are also those who are specially gifted and talented who are intellectually precocious and thereby finds themselves insufficiently challenged by the current programs in a normal school. Therefore, special education is the education of people who needs additional academic and social assistance (Eskay and Oboegbulem 2013).
In designing an appropriate curriculum for special education in an urban school, it takes into consideration the following principles; first is the limited number of new concepts to be introduced in the lesson to avoid confusion among the students; secondly, is to teach from a simple to complex and from concrete to abstract. Ensure that all the students understood one concept before proceeding to another; thirdly, avoiding the usage of elaborate language or unclear models in teaching concepts. Use simple language; fourth is to never introduce many concepts to the students, space the introduction of new concepts; fifth is the introduction of higher-order skills only when students have learned the basic concepts. The introduction of this kind of skill will not be useful if the basic concept are not yet firm; lastly is the idea of “practice makes perfect”. Allow the students to learn concepts and to use them frequently before the application. All of the aforementioned should be considered in the creation of SPED Centers in an Urban setting (Eskay and Oboegbulem 2013).
Rural SPED Centers
In the context of the Philippines, not every Filipino family can afford to send their kids to schools even if the constitution mandates in providing and maintaining free public education in elementary and in high school. The data provided by the Department of Education shows that for school year 2004-2005, only 4.8% of the total population of children with special needs are provided with the basic educational services, the remaining 95.2% of the population are not given their proper right for education. As of now, there are at least 2,149 public and private schools that offers Special Education Program in the country. The government supports 230 of the SPED Centers in the elementary level sector. SPED Centers are mostly located in the regional cities and urban areas. Similarly, private SPED schools and Centers are located in urban areas where there are a lot of paying customers. This only manifests the fact that children in rural areas are not sufficiently provided educational services despite the presence of the Special Education Program in the Philippines for about a 100 years (Durban, 2011).
In the rural North Carolina where they face challenges high poverty, continuous increase of dropouts, and a growing English Language Learner (ELL) population. Base on the data provided by the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, the rate of poverty for children in rural North Caroline counties was about 45% higher than in the urban counties. Provided by these data, the number of children with special needs also increase, hence, according to research, educators do not feel prepared to teach these kids with special needs (Evans, Williams, King ; Metcalf, 2010). In the case of China, UNICEF estimated that less than 2% of the disabled have access to some form of services like education. In cities, the percentage for people with disabilities could be higher while in Rural settings, services are nearly non-existent (Lynch, 1994).
The rural school systems concerns with the relation as to how special students are assessed, thus creating challenges to how states would calculate progress to reflect accountability. Nonetheless, the main issue here is the concern of higher transportation cost in the rural setting.
This study will be conducted at an Urban SPED Center in Tacloban City, Leyte and in a Rural SPED Center in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
The respondents of this study will be the selected Faculty of the Urban SPED Center and Rural SPED Center..
Sampling Technique/ Method
The researchers will utilize the following procedures in determining individual research respondents:
The researchers will request for a list of the Faculty of the Urban SPED Center and Rural SPED Center. The list will serve as the researchers sampling frame.
Due to limited resources and time constraint, sampling weights worth 50% of the Faculty of the Urban SPED Center and Rural SPED Center will be applied in choosing the respondents.
The researchers will utilize the simple random/ sampling(SRS) procedure in identifying individual respondents. The table of random numbers or the fishbowl method will be used for this purpose.
Data will be collected by means of interview questionnaires that will be given to the target population. The questionnaire was designed to know what the situation and facilities they have in their respective SPED Centers.
This research study will be descriptive, qualitative, explanatory and cross-sectional in nature.Simple random sampling will be used for the for this research. According to Welman and Kruger , simple random sampling affords each member of the population the same chance of being included in the sample.
The researchers will use an interview schedule for this study. The interview questionnaire will consist of the following parts:
2. Data regarding the facilities and faculty of the SPED Centers
E. Units of Analysis
The units of analysis of this study are the actual responses reasearch respondents will answer to the researchers.
F.Method of Scoring
Each questionnaire will be evaluated and counted to ensure that all required fields were properly answered. Questionnaires will also be recounted to verify if the sample size will be achieved. Various analyses will be performed to the data. Research data will be presented in textual form.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter presents and discusses the results of the interview schedule questionnaire presented to the twenty (20) respondents of this study. The chapter is divided into two parts. The first part shows the demographic profile of the study respondents and the second part is the opinions of the respondents regarding the implementation of the K-12 Program.
A. Demographic Profile
This section consists of information of the respondents which includes their sex, age.
Table 1. Sex of the Respondents in the Urban SPED Center
Female 4 100%
Male 0 0%
TOTAL 4 100%
Table 1 shows that all 4 (100%) of the research respondents were females.
Table 2. Sex of the Respondents in the Rural SPED Center
Female 3 100%
Male 0 0%
TOTAL 3 100%
Table 2 shows that all 3 (100%) of the research respondents were females.
Table 3. Age of the Respondents in the Urban SPED Center
59-above 0 0%
54-58 0 0%
49-53 2 50%
44-48 0 0%
39-43 1 25%
34-38 0 0%
29-33 1 25%
TOTAL 4 100%
Table 3 indicates that most (50%) of the participants in this study are between the age of 49 to 53.
Table 4. Age of the Respondents in the Rural SPED Center.
59-above 0 7.14%
54-58 0 7.14%
49-53 0 14.29%
44-48 0 14.29%
39-43 0 42.86%
34-38 0 7.14%
29-33 1 7.14%
TOTAL 3 100%
Table 2 indicates that most (6%) of the participants in this study are between the age of 39 to 43.
B. Opinions of the respondents regarding the Facilities and Conditions of the SPED Center.
This section will showcase the respondents’ opinions regarding the Facilities and Conditions of the SPED Center. This will include the classrooms and the way of teaching the teachers do and the knowledge they have.
Table 5. If they are SPED Graduates in the Urban SPED Center
Yes 1 25%
No 3 75%
TOTAL 4 100%
Table 5 shows that an overwhelming number of 3 (75%) of teachers of that are not a SPED degree graduate.
Table 6. If they are SPED Graduates in the Rural SPED Center
Yes 1 25%
No 2 75%
TOTAL 3 100%
Table 6 shows that there are 2 (66.67%) of teachers that are not a SPED degree graduate.
Table 7. If the students are properly segregated in the classroom in the Urban SPED Center
Yes 2 50%
No 2 50%
TOTAL 4 100%
Table 7 shows that the segregation process in the classroom is divided into half of which 2 (50%) agrees and half of which 2 (50%) disagrees.
Table 8. If the students are properly segregated in the Rural SPED Center
Yes 1 25%
No 2 75%
TOTAL 3 100%
Table 8 shows that about 2 (50%) says that the students are not properly segregated.
Table 9. Respondents’ opinion for every statement in the survey in the Urban SPED Center
SA A N D SD Total
f % f % f % f % f % f %
Statement 1 1 25% 2 50% 0 0% 1 25% 0 0% 4 100%
Statement 2 3 75% 1 25% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 4 100%
Statement 3 2 50% 1 25% 1 25% 0 0% 0 0% 4 100%
Statement 4 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 1 25% 3 75% 5 100%
Statement 5 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 2 50% 2 50% 4 100%
TOTAL 6 21.01% 4 23.19% 1 28.26% 4 14.49% 3 13.04% 21 100%
Table 10. Respondents’ opinion for every statement in the survey in the Rural SPED Center.
SA A N D SD Total
f % f % f % f % f % f %
Statement 1 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 2 66.67% 1 33.33% 3 100%
Statement 2 0 0% 0 0% 1 33.33% 2 66.67% 0 0% 3 100%
Statement 3 0 0% 0 0% 3 100% 0 0% 0 0% 3 100%
Statement 4 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 3 100% 3 100%
Statement 5 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 3 100% 0 0% 3 100%
TOTAL 0 0% 0 0% 4 28.26% 4 14.49% 413.04% 21 100%
Statement 1: There is enough number of students in the classroom.
Statement 2: The environment is suitable for the learning of the students.
Statement 3: Teachers have sufficient knowledge in handling students with special needs.
Statement 4: There are assistant teachers present in the classroom.
Statement 5: there are enough teachers in the SPED Centers.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This study sought to determine the opinions of the staff of the SPED Centers in both the Urban and Rural regarding the facilities and conditions of the SPED Center in their area. The researcher used the survey method and chose the respondents through convenient sampling.
The researcher designed an interview schedule which sought to determine the demographic profile of the staff and their opinions regarding the facilities and conditions of the SPED Center. Based on the list both the SPED Center provided, a total number of 50% plus of the teachers or staff served as research respondents. As such, a total of 4 respondents in the Urban SPED Center and 3 respondents in the Rural SPED Center were interviewed for this study.
Based on the gathered research data, the researchers therefore conclude that there is an overwhelming numbers of teachers in both Rural and Urban SPED Centers that are not SPED graduates. Hence, in terms of knowledge in teaching such a condition where students need special attention, we cannot fully guarantee that they are aware of the things one SPED teacher must do in order to have an effective teaching strategy. In terms of segregation of the student’s majority on both SPED Centers say that they are not properly segregated in the classroom, thus making all the students in one venue knowing that they have different needs. Lastly, there is a huge difference in terms of the conditions in the SPED Center. Most of the people in the Urban SPED Center does not fully agree with the lack of classroom, but people in the Rural said that the main issue in theirs is that they have little space and are in need of more classrooms. Also, in terms of environment, people in the Urban agrees that the environment for them is suitable for learning, contrast to the Rural where majority says that the environment is not suitable for learning. In the part of teaching strategy where the teachers have sufficient knowledge in teaching, most people in the Rural area said that they were neutral on that part, different from the Urban where they strongly agree on that. Similarities on both of the SPED Centers are with regard to the teaching assistant, wherein both agrees that they lack assistant in teaching the students. Finally, with regard to the number of teachers present in the SPED Center, both agrees that there are little number of teachers in the provision of education to the children with special needs.
Based on the aforementioned conclusions, the researchers would like to recommend the following:
The government should provide more facilities for both the SPED Centers, because this are issues that enables the teacher to have a better teaching environment.
There should also be an increase in employment of SPED teachers.
The students should be separated in terms of the needs they require so that progress becomes easier.
Finally, more researches concerning the differences between the Urban and the Rural SPED Centers should be dwell on considering a different variable.