A Statewide Survey of Elementary Special Education Programs Teachers’ Experience with a Functional Behavior Assessment
AuthorWest, Nanami Kanayama
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This study examined elementary special education teachers’ perceptions of and experiences with Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) in classroom settings. We conducted a cross-sectional, online survey with elementary-level special education teachers in rural school districts in Nevada. Survey results indicated that most of the responding teachers did not correctly define descriptive assessments, indirect assessments, and functional analyses. Even though respondents reported conducting functional analyses as their most frequently used approach to determining function of problem behaviors, this finding is doubtful given the lack of correct identification of definitions of approaches. Two-thirds of respondents reported that they did not receive any training on conducting FBAs within the last three years. Perhaps reflective of this lack of training, over half of the respondents indicated not being confident at all or not being very confident in conducting FBAs. In contrast, over half of the respondents indicated having some degree of confidence in interpreting FBA results. The most frequently reported barriers to conducting FBAs included lack of knowledge, lack of time, lack of trained staff to assist, and lack of professional training. Other findings based on the differences between teachers in each of the special education programs are noted. Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.