A Mixed-Methods Design Study Describing The Variable Impacts Of Teacher Training On Teachers' Ability To Provide For The Cognitive Development Learning Needs Of Medically Fragile Elementary School-Aged Students.
Purpose. The purpose of the study was to describe through the Revised Bloom's Cognitive Taxonomy the impact of teacher training on the teachers' ability to provide for the needs of medically fragile students in grades kindergarten through sixth in the area of cognitive developmental learning. Methodology. The subjects in the present study were 48 credentialed teachers and academic members of the Association of Education for Children with Medical Needs (AECMN) who have been educators for medically fragile students. Subjects responded to two research instruments: (a) a 17-item survey assessing teacher training, medically fragile school-age students and their cognitive development, and (b) 12 individual semistructured phone interviews assessing teacher training preparation in working with medically fragile students and cognitive development. Findings. The findings revealed consistencies, patterns, and themes related to identifying and describing how teacher training prepared educators to understand how illness can affect a student's cognitive learning using the Revised Bloom's Cognitive Taxonomy as a guide. The findings revealed that there was a high level of frequency and consistencies regarding the lack of teacher preparation and training in instructing medically fragile students. The findings also showed that there were a very low percentage of respondents who received proficient or advanced training in regard to understanding how to instruct the cognitive development of medically fragile students in the classroom. Conclusions. The study data support the conclusion that teacher training and preparation do not effectively prepare teachers to address the cognitive developmental needs of medically fragile students. Teacher preparation is lacking in classroom training, experience, or curriculum, which addresses the specific needs of this student population. Recommendations. Teacher education preparation at universities must address the ever-growing reintegration of medically fragile students into the classroom and the need for teachers to be prepared to address the cognitive requirements of this population of students. Additional classroom training, hands-on experience and in-service training at the school or district level is needed in order to accommodate these students and to assist teachers in knowing that they are prepared as educators.