Special Educators’ Perceptions of High-Leverage Practices

Cynthia Ann Farley, PhD
Rhonda S. Black, EdD

University of Hawaii at Manoa


The most effective way to improve the performance of students is to improve the practice of their teachers (McLeskey & Brownell, 2015). Teachers must provide highly effective, research-based instruction responsive to the unique needs of students with disabilities for quality outcomes to occur. High-Leverage Practices (HLPs) were developed by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) as a list of research-based practices that special educators should be able to successfully implement. A mixed methods design was used to investigate the perceptions of special educators who teach in Hawaii regarding HLPs in the area of instruction.  Outcomes indicated that special education teachers in Hawai’i perceived themselves to be knowledgeable and skilled in the majority of the HLPs, however there were numerous barriers preventing them from implementing the practices on a regular basis.

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