ERIC Number: ED376660
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Relationships between Mainstreamed Special Needs Students and Their Peers in an Urban Middle School: A Case Study.
Demerath, Peter W.
This paper reports qualitative and quantitative data obtained about relationships between 27 students with special language needs or learning disabilities and their nondisabled peers (N=99) in four integrated eighth grade classes of an urban middle school in Massachusetts. The study involved approximately 120 hours of in-school observation over a 7-month period; structured and informal interviews with students, teachers, and school administrators; and a student-generated typology of the peer system. Primary findings included: (1) the students with language/learning disabilities were perceived humanistically by their peers, and were almost entirely integrated into peer groups; (2) though the bilingual students tended to stay in their own gender-specific peer groups, there was less conflict with regular education students than seen in previous years; (3) gender was found to be a more important predictor of peer social groups than primary language, ability, or ethnic origin. Findings suggested that teacher-constructed notions of inclusion (primarily prescriptive groupings and classroom statements supportive of mutual respect of individual differences) affected student perceptions of and relationships with unlike peers. Fieldnotes and interview data describe student interaction in three different school contexts: (1) the inclusive classroom; (2) the non-inclusive classroom, the hallway, and recess; and (3) lunch. The student-developed typology of the school's peer system is discussed. (Contains 31 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Case Studies, Inclusive Schools, Intermediate Grades, Interpersonal Relationship, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Language Impairments, Learning Disabilities, Limited English Speaking, Middle Schools, Minority Groups, Peer Acceptance, Peer Relationship, Qualitative Research, Sex Differences, Social Integration, Social Structure, Special Needs Students, Urban Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts