ERIC Number: ED381299
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Voices of the Children: What Special Education Kids Say about Their Programming Experiences and Needs.
Primer, Vicky; Brown, Beverlyn Cay
During the spring of 1993, a needs assessment was conducted in rural Kansas communities to determine existing services and community strengths available to special needs children. Interviews were conducted with a cross section of the community regarding community resources, collaboration, parent and family involvement, planning processes, and educational funding. Secondary special education students offered their views concerning the effectiveness of special education services. Themes that emerged include: (1) motivation to learn when offered alternative styles of learning; (2) desire to participate in noncompetitive school activities, especially athletics; (3) sense of being different and misunderstood by both school personnel and other students; (4) desire to participate in planning for themselves; (5) additional needed support for parents; and (6) life goals of independence, a good job, a good income, and having a family. Survey results also indicate that schools felt the pressure of inadequate funding to meet the rising costs of special education; teachers saw the lack of space and resources as prohibitive in providing alternative learning experiences; and staff felt that they were inclusive of parents in program planning and implementation. However, parents saw schools as inflexible in arranging meeting times and felt that too many children were expelled from school or removed from school activities as a source of punishment. Results suggest that improved communication and understanding of the needs of all parties involved would help improve special education programming. (LP)
Descriptors: Educational Experience, Educational Needs, Needs Assessment, Parent Attitudes, Parent Participation, Parent School Relationship, Participative Decision Making, Rural Education, Secondary Education, Secondary School Students, Special Education, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Reaching to the Future: Boldly Facing Challenges in Rural Communities. Conference Proceedings of the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) (Las Vegas, Nevada, March 15-18, 1995); see RC 020 016.