Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

Linda M. Raffaele Mendez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael J. Curtis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.


Educators, Multidisciplinary teams, Prereferral intervention, Intervention assistance, Problem-solving, School factors


Intervention assistance (IA) programs have been developed as a mechanism for avoiding costly special education referrals and for supporting teachers in their instruction of students with varying needs within the general education classroom (Safran and Safran, 1996). Although IA programs are designed to be consultative, multidisciplinary approaches to assisting teachers, some studies report that teachers conduct the majority of classroom-based interventions for a given student on their own prior to referring students to an IA team (Wilson, Hagen, Gutkin, and Oats, 1998). It is important to determine what interventions or strategies teachers commonly consider and what factors are associated with breadth and depth of intervention knowledge. The purpose of the present study was to replicate a portion of the research of Wilson et al. (1998), which assessed general education teachers knowledge of classroom-based interventions. The present study also extended the work of Wilson et al. by using an exploratory descriptive/nonexperimental design to examine the degree to which teachers individual professional characteristics, as well as the IA practices of the schools in which they work, were related to their knowledge of interventions.

Twenty-nine general education teachers in Hillsborough County, FL responded to a vignette describing a typical classroom-based problem in a structured-interview format. Participants responses were then counted and coded for (a) how specifically interventions were described, and (b) what types of interventions the teachers used (e.g., instructional, behavioral, etc.). Teachers also completed a brief demographic questionnaire, which included items about the IA programs at their schools, as well as their individual referral history over the last two years, and the degree to which they had been trained in classroom-based interventions. Results were similar to Wilson et al. with regard to number of intervention ideas, but teachers were more specific than in previous investigations. Descriptive data regarding teachers' characteristics as problem-solvers and their perceptions of IA at their school are offered, but few noteworthy relationships were identified between these variables and structured interview outcomes. Nevertheless, the present study offers a glimpse into the intervention practices of general education teachers. Implications for both school psychology practice and research are offered.