Reports the findings of a qualitative study investigating the interactions relating to special education between principals and parent advocates. Specifically focuses on variations in perspectives among the principals and parent advocates on disability, special education and inclusion. Places a particular emphasis on exploring the perceived power imbalances in decision‐making processes and in incompatibility or conflict among values and interests. Data collected through a series of individual interviews and group dialogues involving both advocates and administrators, reveal how the participants define and manage their respective professional roles as they engage with one another in resolving ethical dilemmas in special education. The findings provide rich illustrations of shared decision‐making processes, alternative knowledge and understandings of special education and disability, and more politicized forms of parent involvement. These dialogical interactions also reveal the inequities, power imbalances and politics within organizational arenas that promote conflict. Proposes democratic, critical, and collaborative approaches to interactions as appropriate processes for managing such conflict.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited