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Record identifier : 569860
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Council, Eileen Harmon
Title and statement of responsibility : Equity of quality of special education programming: A qualitative study on the perceptions of special needs parents [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Temple University, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ed.D.
Body granting the degree : , Temple University
Summary or Abstract : It is well established in the research literature that special needs students who "belong" to racial and ethnic minority groups and/or are from low Socioeconomic Status (SES) classes have traditionally been over-represented in special education. Disturbingly, not only are minorities over-represented in special education classification, they are also under-funded. While research contends that the actual level and quality of service received by members of the above groups tend to be sub-standard to those of their white and/or higher income counterparts, parent perceptions regarding this may or may not align with this fact. This leaves the potential for a gap to exist between what objective measurements and observations uncover and what the parent holds to be true. This also raises the question of ethics in equity of information access for those with limited cultural or social capital. This qualitative study examines the perceptions parents from various demographic groups have regarding the special education services their children receive. Interviews with parents of special needs children who are from the Philadelphia and surrounding areas serve as the primary data source. Additionally, information gathered while assuming the role of observer participant in a local support group serve as a support source of data for my study. The parents of twelve special needs children were interviewed for this study. Each parent was asked a series of questions regarding their experiences with their child(ren)'s special education including, but not limited to, identification of the disability; ease/difficulty of obtaining services; design of education program offering; initiation of services; IEP implementation; and goal attainment. Several characteristics of the participants were focused on to identify commonalities among participants that determine likenesses in perceptions of various aspects of interest relating to special education services. Participation/observation in a support group for parents of special needs children, in addition to the literature distributed at that session also served as data sources for this study and that led to the study findings. Survey quantitative data, and information from limited IEP review, were also contributors to the pool of data that ultimately led to the study findings and recommendations. The conduction of a focus group was planned and attempted on more than one occasion during the study period, however, the recruitment of an acceptable number of willing participants proved to be an insurmountable challenge. One major area of interest in the study included determining if the participants believed there were differences in the special education services received by different students and if so, why. Interestingly, all of the respondents answered yes and identified eleven "major contributors" to the differences. The four considered most significant by a majority of the participants include Parental Persistence, Time Availability of the parents, the Connectedness/Access to Information maintained by the parents, and belonging to a high SES. After studying the content of all of the interviews, noticeable likenesses in the characterizations of the mindset of the participants regarding special education emerged. This commonality was so strong that it led me to give this phenomenon or theoretical concept a name-- Framing Mindset . Each participant, as a result of her experiences over an extended period of time with the "universe of special education" develops a certain "casting point" where the parent's attitude becomes "set" and future decisions regarding special education programming for that child follow similar thought patterns. Thus, the parent has adopted one of three "mindsets" that serve as the "framework" from which all of their educational choices are built. Finally the study looked at the question: "How does a special needs parent's current stage of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance) relating to having a son or daughter with a long term, often lifelong disability, influence the perception of the variables (quality, appropriateness, timeliness, comprehensiveness) comprising his or her child's educational programming?" According to the responses given by the study participants, the majority of the respondents had a connection between the stage on the Kubler-Ross' Grief Cycle and their satisfaction level with special education services; a small number of respondents did not have a connection between the stage on the Kubler-Ross' Grief Cycle and their satisfaction level with special education services; and for less than one quarter of the respondents it was not possible to determine if there was a connection between the stage on the Kubler-Ross' Grief Cycle and their satisfaction level with special education services..
Topical Name Used as Subject : School administration
: Special education
: Individual family studies
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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