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ERIC Number: ED532008
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 197
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-3837-3
Tolerance: Our Voice--An Elementary School Package in Support of Siblings of Children with Special Needs
Gopman, Beth Alswanger
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Union Institute and University
Although study and research focus on the needs of children with mental and physical disabilities, this pilot study focuses on the siblings of children with a special need (SCSN), those brothers and sisters who face unique stresses in their own lives. The study explores the world of the nondisabled siblings, identifies some of the problems they face, and through active research involving teacher practitioners in classroom settings, reveals intervention strategies that appear to assist SCSN in coping with their siblings and others. The researcher developed an original values clarification instructional curriculum, "Tolerance: Our Voice" (including a flip-chart book, instructional acetates, posters, charts and a computer program) for classroom implementation. This curriculum was presented through a multi-discipline approach, with the intent of modifying peer sensitivity toward SCSN, their disabled brothers and sisters, and the SCSN's own attitude toward and acceptance of their disabled siblings. The study, consisted of 10 sessions, took place in a public elementary school with two Grade 1 classes and two Grade 2 classes during the first semester of the school year. The researcher instructed a total of 35 Grade 1 and 37 Grade 2 students each week. The 4 volunteer classroom teachers became reflective practitioners, building extensive repertoires for future use. Data collected from meetings and student activities reveals dependent and independent variables noted in a daily log. The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test Statistics, analysis indicates there was significant positive gain on all 10 questions of the Tolerance unit from pretest to posttest at the 0.05 level of significance. The researcher thus concludes that the implementation of the new curriculum did have a positive effect on participant understanding and tolerant attitudes toward special-needs children and nondisabled siblings. Results of the Teacher Surveys and weekly meetings reveal the need for values clarification infusion into standard curriculum on a regular basis and the value of addressing the unique needs of SCSN and their disabled siblings. This researcher suggests more research and study is needed to build a strong empirical foundation that results in the realization of positive and natural socialization of siblings of special needs children within school settings. [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 Education; Grade 1; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A