ERIC Number: ED385093
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jul-27
Addressing Minority Overrepresentation in Special Education: Cultural Barriers to Effective Collaboration.
This paper examines the cultural differences that arise because of disability, ethnicity, and social status and their impact on assessment practices, programming, goal setting, and the special education processes established by legislation, especially in light of the over-representation of minorities in special education. Suggestions for resolving existing cultural barriers include encouraging parent groups to become involved and providing professionals with culturally competent information and suggested practices. The paper considers the conceptual discrepancies and cultural barriers that exist between minority families and the special education system. Overrepresentation of minorities in special education is discussed in terms of historical patterns, assessment procedures, and legal suits and legislation. A section on definitions and stratifications considers minority classifications, disability categories, and class and status categories. Parental rights in special education as documented by court litigation and legislation are reviewed. Existing cultural differences are identified through consideration of typically American cultural values, contrasting values of identity, contrasting views of disability, and contrasting views of relationships. Implications of cultural differences for parental involvement in the schools are discussed. Specific recommendations to increase parental involvement are offered. (Contains 41 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Classification, Compliance (Legal), Cultural Differences, Cultural Influences, Definitions, Disabilities, Disproportionate Representation, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Groups, Family Involvement, Incidence, Minority Groups, Parent Participation, Parent School Relationship, Social Status, Special Education, Student Evaluation, Student Placement, Values
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children (73rd, Indianapolis, IN, April 5-9, 1995).