TRANSITION OF STUDENTS FROM A SPECIAL CENTER TO SELF-CONTAINED CLASSES IN GENERAL EDUCATION SCHOOLS: PARTICIPANTS' EXPERIENCES

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Files

Bachman, C.M..pdf (14.91 MB)
No. of downloads: 57

Publication or External Link

Date

1996

Citation

Abstract

The process of transferring disabled students from a special center to self-contained classes in regular schools was investigated through case study research. The purpose of the study was to determine how different participants experienced the transitions and how their roles affected their experiences. The experiences and perceptions of participants, specifically parents, teachers, and administrators were explored through qualitative methodology. The transitions of six students served as the focus of the case studies. Data was collected through three techniques, semi-structured interviews, participant observations, and review of archival information. All participants reported that the opportunity to model appropriate social skills and behaviors were a benefit of the transition. Parental anxiety was reported to be a major barrier by school staff and parents. Parents perceived their role as the "decision maker" in the process. They were concerned about safety, ridicule by other students, and loss of a community of supportive parents. Having the child attend his or her home school was important to school personnel but not to parents. Teachers at the special center based their decision to transfer a child on a match between the child's skills and the regular school's preparation and willingness to work with the child. Teachers at the receiving schools were concerned about their lack of skills to teach severely disabled students and lack of resources. Administrators perceived their role as one of leadership and setting the tone. They are not directly involved in the transition process unless difficulties arise. The primary barrier in the transition process is the lack of a shared conceptualization regarding how best to deliver educational services. The factor expressed by all participants as most facilitative of the process was open, honest, and frequent communications amongst participants. The transitions were reported as successful by the participants based on their subjective impressions. Success of the transitions was not evaluated or measured through traditional objective criteria because such measures were not available.

Notes

Rights