Implementing classroom accommodations for children diagnosed with a mental health disorder is often vital for student achievement, but implementing those accommodations can often be difficult and daunting for many teachers-especially those who have low expectations for classroom behavior (Ohan et.al, 2008). Previous research has indicated that teachers’ perceptions of the efficacy of a particular intervention are positively related to the overall implementation and efficacy of the intervention (Eckert & Hintze, 2000; Wilson & Jennings, 1996). Understanding teacher motivation and perceptions involves a multifaceted approach that includes the examination of intrinsic motivational factors factors, values, and self-efficacy. Teachers may have valuable classroom experience and expertise that are helpful in guiding effective treatment plans and interventions that are often important components in student achievement.
A larger research project conducted by this team in the area of teachers’ perceptions of psychological recommendations found that neither teachers’ perceptions of the necessity for the successful implementation of psychological recommendations, nor the clarity of the psychological report were influenced by the student’s diagnostic type (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD] versus Oppositional Defiant Disorder [ODD]). Preliminary data supported the notion that the type of mental health diagnosis does not affect teachers’ perceptions about their ability to provide classroom accommodations and or modifications based on diagnosis. The results of this study also produced findings that were inconsistent with previous research (Ruble et al., 2011) in the area of teacher self-efficacy and experience (Harris, Norton, Emick, Hubbard, 2013).
Researchers for the current project sought to understand teachers’ perceptions toward implementing classroom accommodations for students suffering from ADHD and ODD. A second goal was to better understand other factors that may impact or influence teachers’ perceptions of challenges related to implementing accommodations and modifications for children with behavioral disorders in the classroom via qualitative responses, as there is a limited amount of research on the topic.