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This paper aims to survey and interview parents of young children with disabilities to document their perspectives on what professionals working with their children need…
This paper aims to survey and interview parents of young children with disabilities to document their perspectives on what professionals working with their children need to know. Rather than comparing opinions over time or as part of an outcome study, this paper met with participants at a single point in time for a conversation addressing two questions with implications for training, program development and continuing research, namely, to what extent do families believe the Advancing Community College Efforts in Paraprofessional Training (ACCEPT) standards and topics are important to include in educational programs preparing professionals to work with young children with disabilities in inclusive settings (survey)? How satisfied or dissatisfied are families with the practices of early childhood educators working with their children with disabilities in inclusive and other settings (focus group)? What knowledge and skills do families recommend are important for the preparation of early childhood educators working with children with disabilities in inclusive and other settings (focus group)?
An exploratory design was used to gather information for use in future research and program development and research efforts. Descriptive statistics were compiled for the survey data and focus group interviews were content-analyzed for themes consistent with the project’s eight standards and topics.
Analyzes of survey and focus group interview data indicated that parents/caregivers held consistent views about information and skills needed to prepare teachers and others to work with children with disabilities in inclusive settings. Parents/caregivers were asked to complete a brief survey prioritizing the importance of the eight ACCEPT standards and topics when preparing early childhood educators for working with children with disabilities in inclusive settings. They all (n = 21) rated each standard and topic as “very important” (4) and provided 184 comments during follow-up interviews that represented positive examples, negative examples and recommendations distributed across the eight focusing standards.
This research identified the need for educators to understand the high value and importance of communication with parents of children with disabilities. This study further suggests the need for teachers to value each child’s individual needs and differences for their relationships with children and families to thrive.
Educating students with disabilities in the same classrooms and instructional environments as their natural neighbors and peers (i.e., inclusion) is a promise of…
Educating students with disabilities in the same classrooms and instructional environments as their natural neighbors and peers (i.e., inclusion) is a promise of significant substance and value for many special educators. When federal legislation mandated that students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education in least restrictive environments, at least in principle, the schoolhouse doors were opened for all students. In this chapter, we provide a brief historical review of efforts to educate students with disabilities in inclusive environments and provide direction for what we believe are important practices for creating high-quality inclusive learning environments.
The process of placing students into special education programming often begins with the teacher being able to identify appropriate educational placements (Rizza &…
The process of placing students into special education programming often begins with the teacher being able to identify appropriate educational placements (Rizza & Morrison, 2003). It is important that educators know how decisions regarding placement will impact the daily lives of students including their social interactions with peers and the curriculum used to service students. The least restrictive environment (LRE) mandate of the Education of All Handicapped Children's Act of 1975, later reauthorized as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 stated that students with disabilities must be educated with non disabled peers to the “maximum extent appropriate,” “and that they may be removed from the general education environment only if they cannot be satisfactorily educated with the use of supplementary aides and services” (Hosp & Reschly, 2003, p. 68). Furthermore, the LRE ensures that students with disabilities must have access to the general curriculum and be taught with their nondisabled peers (Turnbull, 2003). As a result, fully integrated applications of learning strategies designed originally for students with disabilities are implemented, and scores on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) have increased, and sanctioned accountability measures for all students have increased (Sailor & Roger, 2005).
The contemporary focus on high fidelity implementation of research-based practices often creates tensions for educators who seek to balance fidelity with needed…
The contemporary focus on high fidelity implementation of research-based practices often creates tensions for educators who seek to balance fidelity with needed flexibility as they strive to improve learner outcomes. In an effort to improve how decisions are made such that flexibility is achieved while fidelity to core components is maintained, this chapter begins with a discussion of the role of fidelity in research and practice. Particular attention is given to current conceptualizations of fidelity that may help inform theoretically and empirically driven adaptations to research-based practices. Specifically, we describe adaptations based on the instructional context for implementation and the characteristics of the individual learners. A framework for adapting research-based practices is then presented with relevant examples from research designed to optimize learner responsiveness without sacrificing fidelity to core components. The chapter ends with implications and future directions for research and practice.