ERIC Number: ED346704
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr-16
Special Education Decision Processes for Anglo and Hispanic Students.
Moecker, Donald L.
This study examined the interpersonal dynamics of participants in special education placement committees serving students with limited English proficiency. The theoretical and conceptual framework of Chris Argyris and Donald Schon was applied to interactions observed in simulated placement committee meetings. Individual decision making related to program options, and student ethnicity, and routinized behaviors was explored. The knowledge base, reasoning, and communication patterns of decision makers were investigated. Results indicated evidence of dysfunctional interpersonal communication that deterred quality reflection and effective problem solving. Fifteen of the 60 subjects were unable to voice potentially crucial concerns because they did not wish to hurt the feelings of others, because they felt inferior to others, or because they were concerned about causing disruptions of the process. Behaviors present in the meetings included one person controlling the meeting and attempts at minimizing or suppressing negative feelings of others. There was a need to promote rational, rule-oriented decision-making. In 7 of 12 placement decisions, eligibility for special education services was based solely on one piece of information. There were frequent references by professionals to "retesting" students until they qualified for specialized programs. Second language issues appeared to cause difficulty for the meeting participants. Implications of the study findings are discussed. (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children (70th, Baltimore, MD, April 13-17, 1992).