The purpose of this study was to explore the content-area teachers' perceptions of the effect that compliance with the teacher training for content-area teachers of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students mandated by the Consent Decree had on their instructional practices within the content-area classroom. In order to provide an overview of the factors which had an effect on the content-area teachers' mandated training, various areas were reviewed: history of legislative actions that led up to the Consent Decree; stipulations set forth in the Consent Decree; Miami-Dade County Public Schools District LEP Plan including stipulations for teacher training; research on teacher training for teachers of language minority students; and the process of change. This descriptive study specifically addresses teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of the mandated teacher training as it relates to language minority students.
Content-area teachers who had completed the mandated teacher training were surveyed using self-administered anonymous questionnaires mailed to their school sites. Questions focused on the teachers' perceptions of: students' need of second language instructional strategies within the content-area classroom; teacher training requirements mandated by the Consent Decree; ad changes in their instructional practices as a result of the training.
Based on the responses of the subjects, the results of this study indicate the overall success of the training implemented to comply with the stipulations set forth in the Consent Decree. In general, the results indicate that the teachers perceive that they are ultimately in agreement with the mandated training. The results also indicate that the teachers perceive a need for second language strategies when working with language minority students. These results can serve as starting point for further research not only into teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of training for teachers of language minority students but also into the outcomes of this teacher training as it is reflected within the classroom.