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ERIC Number: EJ863801
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0888-4064
A Qualitative Analysis of Teachers' and Counselors' Perceptions of the Overrepresentation of African Americans in Special Education: A Preliminary Study
Shippen, Margaret E.; Curtis, Rebecca; Miller, Alan
Teacher Education and Special Education, v32 n3 p226-238 2009
In this study, the authors investigate the perceptions of general educators, special educators, and school counselors on the topic of overrepresentation of minorities (specifically, African American) in special education programs. The study took place in a rural school district in south central Alabama, where overrepresentation of African American students in the category of mental retardation had been identified as a chronic problem by the Alabama State Department of Education. Participants took part in focus groups that were held separately for each identified group (e.g., general educators: n = 5; special educators: n = 4; and school counselors: n = 4). Qualitative data collected from the focus groups were examined using content analysis, resulting in the identification of multiple overlapping themes related to overrepresentation. These themes included a lack of family involvement, misinterpretation of assessment results, a lack of understanding of overrepresentation, and unclear ideas about disability characteristics. Findings from the data include a discussion of variables related to systematic bias and susceptibility to disability labeling. Implications for professional development and educator training are presented. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama