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ERIC Number: ED461195
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Addressing Diversity in Special Education Research. ERIC/OSEP Digest.
Utley, Cheryl A.; Obiakor, Festus E.
This digest reviews scientific and methodological problems in special education research related to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The first section of the digest discusses the various definitions of race, ethnicity, culture, and socioeconomic status. The problems with current race classification and the difficulties in determining the true economic status of families are highlighted. The second section of the digest examines epistemological issues that special education researchers should consider. Presumptions related to the use of racial categorization and inferences made to explain differences in group data are discussed. The paper emphasizes the critical need to use value-neutral methods of data collection and interpretation to ensure that research findings promote an accurate, not stereotypical, view of racial and ethnic groups. The use of cultural standards of data generalizations typically based upon universal statements reflecting Eurocentric normative and scientific principles in race and ethnicity research is explored. The last portion of the digest provides guidelines for developing unbiased research procedures in sampling, instrumentation, and measurement. Special education researchers are urged to take a proactive approach to ensuring unbiased, valid, and reliable research results by addressing issues of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic level in their research design, methodology, and reporting practices. (Contains 10 references.) (CR)
ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, ERIC/OSEP Special Project, 1110 North Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22201-5704. Tel: 800-328-0272 (Toll Free); Tel: 703-620-3660; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, Arlington, VA. ERIC/OSEP Special Project.