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ERIC Number: ED530974
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 178
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-5444-1
Narrative Research in Early Childhood Special Education: "Troubling" Teachers' Stories about Classroom Practice
Esposito ViVona, Ann Michelle
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
Early childhood special education teachers provide instruction to young children with special needs in order to address developmental delays that have been identified through standardized tests. Educational goals and objectives are individualized and progress is measured through legally mandated standards of practice, thus positioning the teacher as a technician who is expected to follow a narrow and prescriptive curriculum. The present study used a Foucaultian lens to call this assumption into question through the exploration of classroom practice. A qualitative study was employed to investigate three teachers' narratives of their lived experiences, in a collaborative effort to illuminate how the teachers come to know and act on the curricular needs of the toddlers and preschoolers in their classrooms. This examination of each teacher's lived experience detailed her strategies and beliefs around curriculum development and implementation, and explored her perspective on the location of her pedagogy within the early childhood special education system. This action research study was conducted by the school principal in collaboration with the teacher participants. The teachers engaged in research about themselves as professionals through a series of three in-depth interviews, multiple classroom observations, document review, and researcher reflection that provided insights into the way each teacher engaged in early childhood special education within and outside of classroom instruction. As is evidenced in each particular story, the participants portrayed distinctly individual approaches to their teaching responsibilities while remaining grounded in developmentally appropriate practice. An analysis of the data revealed that the teachers considered the information in each student's Individual Family Service Plan or Individualized Education Program to be of relative value contingent on several other sources of contextual information. Curriculum development is described as a dynamic, emergent process that is informed by individual learning styles, social awareness, interests, abilities, and sources of motivation. The teachers' narratives provided insight into this complex process and suggested that the teachers view themselves as having a primary role in the co-construction, development and implementation of the student's educational plan. [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: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A