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ERIC Number: ED516121
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 157
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2296-3
A Case Study: How Middle School Administrators, Teachers, and Special Education Support Staff Collaborate to Address the Academic and Social Needs of Slow-Learning Students
Burgner, Dawne M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
Few research studies have been conducted related to students identified as slow learners who are enrolled in general education classes. In this research study, the definition of a slow learner describes the student as one who has "not" been identified as a student with a learning disability. The purpose of this study was to investigate how three Illinois middle schools addressed the academic and social needs of students identified as slow-learning students who did not qualify for access to special education services. The literature review introduces research studies and historical information that focus on education legislation, characteristics of the slow-learning student, and the academic and social needs of the slow-learning student. A qualitative case study approach was used to examine a pilot program that focused on addressing the needs of slow learners and was implemented by the schools as a portion of their Response to Intervention (RtI) plans. Data were collected through interviews, classroom observations, and document reviews provided by the participants: three administrators, three general education teachers, and three members of the special education support staff. Findings revealed that school teams that consisted of a group representative of the entire staff displayed high levels of collaboration. The findings showed that teachers who were successful in working with slow learners had developed skills to address students' cognitive and motivational needs. The findings also indicated that school teams that had maintained an interactive communication process were able to develop interventions through a collaborative process. Implications arose from the findings to indicate that by working toward continual improvement of the collaboration process and keeping the lines of interactive communication open, school teams should be able to provide the foundation for slow learners to raise their levels of academic achievement and improve their organization and social skills. While this study focused on the work of the adults who are involved in the planning and implementation of an intervention program for the slow learner, future studies that focus on the effectiveness of the interventions and the perceptions of the slow learner would be appropriate. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois