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ERIC Number: ED526524
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 202
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-4676-6
Perceptions of General and Special Educators and Paraprofessionals on Educational Setting for Students with Emotional Disturbance
Ahlgren, Katherine Leigh
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Educational placement decisions for students with emotional disturbance (ED) are to be made in settings which least restrict their interactions with typically developing peers, per the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004 (20 U.S.C. 1400 (c)(5)(D)(F)). High levels of restrictive settings compared to students with other disability categories (Gagnon & Leone, 2005, Harris-Murri, King & Rostenberg, 2006), and perceptions of difficulty of integration into general education classrooms (Cook, Cameron, & Tankersley, 2007, Mehan, Hertwick & Miehls, 1986) have contributed to concerns that students with ED may not be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE), and that opportunities for them to meet academic and social goals alongside typically developing peers may thus be compromised. This study sought the perspectives of general and special educators and paraprofessionals who serve students with ED related to the continuum of settings, the factors that influence recommendations for educational setting, and the contextual features of general and special education classrooms that may impact decisions related to setting for students with ED. Questions were asked of educators working in one small school district located in the Midwest. To answer the research questions, a focus group design, followed by individual interviews was utilized. Using constructivist grounded theory (CGT) (Charmaz, 2006), the author found that organization of the district's special education service delivery system into separate settings for general and special education had significant impact upon educators' perceptions of educational settings, recommendations for educational setting, and perceptions of the context of general and special education settings. Educators' rigid conceptions of their roles were linked to services delivered in settings other than general education, educators' location of problems within the child, probable over-reliance upon paraprofessionals, and questionable meaning of inclusive placements. Suggestions for research and practice, including institutional unlearning, investigation patterns of paraprofessional's service delivery for students with ED, and further exploration of placement decisions are recommended. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A