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ERIC Number: EJ890575
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0827-3383
What Do I Know? Parental Positioning in Special Education
McCloskey, Erin
International Journal of Special Education, v25 n1 p162-170 2010
The literature that is meant to guide parental participation in special education often refers to parents as vital team members who are critical in designing the best programs for their children (The Family and Advocates Partnership for Education, 2004; The State Education Department, May 2002). However, a disconnect can occur between the information meant to guide parents and their experiences (Benson, Karlof, & Siperstein, 2008; Harry & Klinger, 2006; Rogers, 2003). This qualitative case study (Dyson & Genishi, 2005; Glesne, 1999; Merriam, 2001) uses positioning theory (Harre & van Langenhove, 1999b), to explore how Sherry, a parent of a preschool child with special needs, is positioned and positions herself, in interactions with doctors, teachers, and therapists when issues of disability and special education arise. In keeping with literature meant to guide her in school meetings, Sherry took an active position as a team member (reflexive positioning), and this position was accepted and celebrated by the providers and teachers who worked directly with her son. In the neurologist's office, this parent needed to negotiate her position with the doctor, bumping up against the medical model of disability (interactive positioning). Finally, at school district meetings, Sherry explains how the school officials make certain positions unavailable to her by evoking her role as her son's parent (interactive positioning). The researcher suggests ways to support parents' interactions with professionals involved in special education and implications for teacher education programs.
International Journal of Special Education. 2889 Highbury Street, Vancouver, BC V6R 3T7, Canada. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: Parents
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A