The special education process Essay
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The purpose of descriptive, qualitative study will be to discover how parents and teachers of special education students see their roles in the special education process. The study also will seek to assess the level of participation of the parents and teachers of students with special needs. The questions that will be specifically posed for the study are: a) What is the extent of parental involvement (participation) in the education of their children in special education self-contained programs?
b) Is there a significant difference between the perceptions of teachers and the perceptions of parents concerning their role and their importance of parental involvement for special education students in self-contained programs? The school district was selected based on its location, size and diversity.
The school district was selected based on: 1) high incidence of special needs students, 2) racial composition of students in self-contained program and 3) racial composition of teaching staff. The population was multicultural being primarily composed of African-American, White, Hispanic, and Asian parents and teachers.
The study was conducted through teacher and parent questionnaires which were specifically developed by the researcher for this study. The survey questionnaire was developed as a result of many discussions pertaining to parents’ and educators’ feelings about parental involvement in the special education process of their children. Two 25 item questionnaires (one for the parent and one for the special education teacher) served as instruments to compare the perceptions of parents and special education teachers.
The 25 item questionnaires helped ascertain how often parents participate in the various parental involvement opportunities in the school, determine parents’ level of understanding of parental involvement, measure the parents satisfaction with their current involvement, and get the respondents’ opinions regarding the effectiveness of parental involvement in the education of the children. The primary source of data was collected through parent and teacher survey questionnaires within the school district. Each questionnaire and corresponding teacher or parent was assigned a number for tracking and confidentiality purposes.
The anonymity of each survey participant was guaranteed because participant’s names were not placed on the instrument. Data collection entailed the use of self-administered survey questionnaires that were distributed by mail. Mailed surveys were utilized because they provided the most cost effective method of gathering data. Participating parents and teachers were given instrument packages with self-explanatory directions; they were asked to complete the questionnaires independently and return them. Participants were given two weeks to complete the 25 item questionnaire.
At the end of the two weeks, a follow up call or letter was made to parents. Questionnaires completed by the parents of 22 students in self contained were analyzed in relation to the special education teachers’ responses. A survey instrument was used to assess the perceptions the parents of children in self contained program on parental involvement in the education of their special needs children. Teachers were given a similar author-developed questionnaire to determine teacher’s thoughts about the parental involvement of the parents of their students in self contained program.
Participation was on a voluntary basis. The data for this study was collected through two questionnaires using a parallel sample. The parallel populations were: 1) parents who have children enrolled in special education program (self-contained) and 2) special education teachers. Variables considered were race, age, parents’ income, parent marital status, and parent educational level. Teachers’ variables include age, marital status, race, and teaching experience The nature and extent of parental involvement by parents of special needs children and teachers in self-contained classrooms were examined.
The study was intended to provide information on the differences between parents’ and school teachers’ perceptions of involvement in the special education process. The data will be presented as a summation of teachers’ and parents’ response to the questionnaires. The responses of the two groups were transcribed and analyzed using a description of results. The responses of the two groups were also compared on their perceptions of parent involvement. All data received through special education teacher and parent questionnaires were reviewed and analyzed through a detailed description of teacher and parent responses