TitleProfessional development training in special education
NameGunteski, Anne M. (author), Vitello, Stanley J (chair), Mayer, Matthew J (internal member), McCune, Lorraine (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education,
Parents of developmentally disabled children,
United States. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
DescriptionThe Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) established a role for families in the educational planning process for their children. The concept of a collaborative partnership between families and professionals was strengthened and supported by additional amendments to this act in 1997. Partnerships between families who have children with special needs and the professionals who work with them reveal a complex scenario. Parents may feel that they are to blame for their child‟s issues or simply feel vulnerable from the stress of raising their child, and professionals may feel inadequate or unprepared to meet the needs of the family. Despite legislation and research recognizing the benefits of collaboration as best educational practice in special education, collaborative partnerships are not always achieved. Barriers such as lack of training and knowledge, problematic professional attitudes and behaviors, and lack of experience may contribute to this policy-to-practice gap. Informed by previous research conducted in 2006 and 2007, which utilized the Family-Professional Partnership Scale (Summers, 2005), this dissertation study examined the professional perspective on the kinds of training needed to achieve a collaborative partnership with families of their students with disabilities. This descriptive case study included a sample of the professional staff of a single private special education school. Participants included twelve classroom teachers, six speech therapists, three occupational therapists, and one physical therapist. Three forms of data were collected: surveys with the twenty-two participants, document review, and four focus groups involving all participants. Findings include a review of patterns regarding the need for the staff development program as related to parent-professional partnership, what parent-professional partnership entails, and the benefits, challenges and future trends of staff development programming. As federal policy, research and best practice guidelines continue to support and promote the goal of a collaborative partnership between professionals and parents of children with disabilities; this research which focused on the perspective of professionals provides much-needed data to identify components of staff development programs which are needed to achieve this elusive goal.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Anne M. Gunteski
CollectionGraduate School of Education Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.