ERIC Number: ED228586
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec-23
Reference Count: 0
Educational Decision Making in Students' Careers. Final Report.
Mehan, Hugh; And Others
The Education for All Handicapped Students Act (PL 94-142) mandates a referral process for learning disabled or educationally handicapped students. To see how a local agency implemented the federal law, and to describe institutional decision making in general, the day-to-day decision making activities of educators in a California elementary school as they made evaluative decisions about referring students to special education programs were studied. Detailed data were gathered by field observation, review of reports, interviewing, and videotaping key decision making events. The interaction of teachers with referred and nonreferred students was also compared. Results showed that there was considerable variability in the behavior of referred students but consistency in teachers' accounts of students' behavior. "Normal" and many different types of special students were described in similar terms. An examination of school psychologists' diagnostic practices found students' performance on psychological tests were collaboratively produced between testers and students. Analyses of district level placement committees showed that the full range of placement possibilities was not discussed. Results suggest that school districts are organized to implement standard practices rather than make systematic choices from a range of alternatives. The report includes a section on policy implications of the study, references, a summary of psychological and educational tests administered, and an explanation of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (Revised). (JAC)
Descriptors: Decision Making, Educational Diagnosis, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Elementary School Teachers, Evaluation Criteria, Individualized Education Programs, Learning Disabilities, School Psychologists, Special Education, Student Evaluation, Student Placement, Teacher Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., San Diego. Center for Human Information Processing.