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ERIC Number: ED513717
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 317
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-1047-5
Collaboration and Conflict: Insights regarding Reducing Barriers to Participation through a Survey Study of Parents and School Administrators during Special Education Planning
Tucker, Vanessa E.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington
Parents and school administrators are both stakeholders in the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) process. While the inclusion of parents in the process as full members is mandated by IDEA 2004 there remains a growing problem of conflict within this process. Research has reviewed the process of conflict during the IEP meeting and other educational planning as well as collaboration, but very little information exists regarding the nature of conflicts between parents of children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders) and school administrators. This mixed-methods survey study of parents (n = 135) school administrators ("school professionals") (n = 82) discussed the nature of their collaboration as well as conflict. Data were obtained through two electronic surveys designed to elicit both frequency information from pre-designed questions as well as from open-text boxes. Data from the text boxes were analyzed using the grounded theory method. Parents identified valuing the IEP process, wanted their input to be included, and wanted their expertise to be recognized. Administrators discussed their values and their efforts to lead school groups while interacting with and sewing families. Members of each group reported experiencing conflict with the other group at some point in the educational process. Findings indicated that when conflict occurred it had the potential to become a vicious cycle. The cycle of conflict was created and maintained when the stakeholders attempted to gain control of the conflict situation through solution-focused actions. Data from this survey indicated that parents felt marginalized by actions and activities they described, while school professionals felt disempowered from their ability to lead as a result of parents' actions. Environmental constraints were also identified and discussed. These constraints included the influences of outside providers as well as the tension of resources. Insights from both groups' descriptions provided some direction regarding ways to prevent conflict as well as to address the conflict cycle once it has started. Parents provided insight into several tangible actions that schools and school professionals could instigate to prevent or ameliorate conflict. Resources for groups that are already in conflict were discussed. The implications of this research and recommendations are reviewed. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A