Understanding the Factors Contributing to the Special Education Teacher Shortage

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Authors
Dunlap, Gracelyn
Hamilton, Kinley
Lord, Deanna
Advisor
Gilboy, Kathleen
Editor
Date of Issue
2024
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Title
Understanding the Factors Contributing to the Special Education Teacher Shortage
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Abstract
The shortage of certified special education staff is a pressing issue, impacting the quality of support for students with diverse learning needs. We are researching why there is a lack of certified special education teachers. The main question we want to answer is, “Would knowing why there is a lack of certified special education teachers help us figure out how to improve conditions to reverse this pressing issue?” Our research methods include the use of Google Scholar, Carroll College’s Library Catalog, the ERIC database, and peer-reviewed articles. Through our research, we determined several main issues that contribute to the special education teacher shortage. Special Education teachers experience unmanageable workloads as their working conditions are not always ideal. Licensed Special Education teachers have tiring work environments including their tasking job assignments, large classes, general job stress, paperwork, lack of empowerment in the workplace, and the overall school climate. Often, they have too little time to plan and manage their workload effectively. Stress, exhaustion, burnout, and isolation come as a result of these large demands and lack of administrative support. Along with these issues, special education teachers do not always see their student’s progress, which can lead to unmotivated and decreased feelings of accomplishment. This research can be used to combat the certified special education teacher shortage by specifically attempting to address the issues that are leading to high teacher attrition rates.
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Education