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ERIC Number: ED558903
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 244
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-7982-9
Unheard Voices: Korean Immigrant Mothers' Experiences with the United States Special Education System
Kim, Jeanie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of Korean immigrant mothers of children with special needs in the New York metropolitan area in the special education process (e.g., referral, evaluation, meetings, services), and to better understand how these mothers perceive special education, disability, and their relationships with professionals. This study aimed to inform professionals with regard to how they can better support Korean immigrant families throughout the special education process, and to help Korean immigrant mothers to find their rights and become equal partners in order to promote active participation and build reciprocal relationships. This qualitative study, which was framed within a critical theory paradigm, was conducted based on the assumption that some groups of people have more power than others. Multiple techniques were used to gather data including a series of in-depth interviews, casual conversations, email and/or phone exchanges, observations of a variety of meetings and pre/post conversations of observations, along with member checking methods to give some immigrants' voice. Results from this study revealed that the promise of legislation of parent rights to be involved in their children's education as equal partners is not guaranteed in the field of special education. Despite many research studies documenting the significance of strengthening the role of parents of children with special needs from diverse cultures and ensuring they have opportunities to participate in their children's education, Korean immigrant mothers are marginalized in the United States special education system due to their limited knowledge of their rights and special education process, limited English proficiency, limited cultural capital, and the ways in which they are impacted by professional dispositions. While much more work is needed to create equal partnerships between immigrant mothers and professionals, this study provides insights into how to build more effective relationships between families and schools, and how to increase understanding of what professionals and schools can potentially do to foster more supportive and effective relations with Korean immigrant mothers. The study also demonstrates ways for Korean immigrant mothers to get their voices heard by professionals and to be involved in their children's education as active participants. [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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York