Author

Emily Timpe

Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Imbeau, Marcia

Reader

Wissehr, Cathy

Second Reader

Eilers, Linda

Abstract

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010), child abuse and neglect continues to be a significant issue in our country. An estimated six million children were the subject of reports of child maltreatment in 2009. Walsh, Laskey, McInnes, Farrell, Mathews, and Briggs (2011) explained that many educators are not well-equipped to recognize the signs of abuse among their students. Conducting a study to discover the preparedness of current and pre-service teachers to recognize when a child is being abused should identify potential gaps in the education of teachers, not only in college/university programs, but also in professional development workshops. Promoting awareness and expanding the knowledge of those in the field of education will tremendously benefit students whom these professionals will encounter in their careers. The purpose of this study was to discover if practitioners in the field of education, whether future or current, could benefit from intensive instruction on child abuse, including characteristics of abused children, various types of abuse, and risk factors for abuse. Research in this study focused on the question: Does education about child abuse and neglect improve the ability of teachers to recognize abused and neglected children? Information revealed through this study was used as a justification for better child abuse education programs. If participants were able to improve their ability to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect in one hour, the knowledge gains over the course of a semester class or weekend workshop could be tremendous.

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