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ERIC Number: ED527072
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 155
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-9367-1
Shifts in Power and Authority in an Elementary Inclusion Program: A Case Study
Klein, Mary
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, St. John's University (New York), School of Education and Human Services
This case study was conducted to analyze what happened when administrators in Wedgewood School District mandated special and regular education teachers on the elementary level to begin a special education inclusion model. Teachers were not permitted to adopt their own models of inclusion and were given the five Lipsky and Gartner (1995) collaborative/co teaching options. Elmore (1987) believes that all change represents a shift in authority and power. Teachers fear losing authority in their classroom. They believe they hold the power and authority. A change in instructional design, challenges that belief. With the implementation of the Wedgewood inclusion program came the questions "who is now in charge?", "who holds the power?" and "how is power shared?" Based on this study, the researcher was able to gain a better understanding of how teacher pairs in an inclusion model communicate, collaborate and establish relationships to implement a new instructional model. This case study employed qualitative methodology. Direct observations in the inclusion classrooms were conducted to document changes in the instructional process and shifts in authority as teachers attempted to construct inclusionary classrooms by implementing Lipsky and Gartner approved collaborative/co teaching models. Interviews with teachers and administrators at various intervals during the first school year of change were hosted. The purpose in the observations and interviews was to gain insight into how teachers negotiated authority in this new instructional model. During the interviews, teachers said that although they understood the five inclusion models, the majority of teachers did not believe they were owners of the program. Overall, the principals did not view themselves as advocates for the teachers who accepted their new role as inclusion team members. All participants viewed the project as a central office initiative. An analysis of the interview and classroom observation data focused on authority issues that centered on developing new beliefs and practices. The data did not indicate that the teachers developed either new beliefs or practices, but rather that teacher team members simply assumed the beliefs of the traditional general education teacher. The authority relationships did not evolve over time: rather they were determined at the onset of the program by the general education teacher. [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: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A