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If the goal is collaboration: Toward more satisfactory inclusion of parents in the individual education plan meetings

Brenda K Jensen-McNiff, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Recognizing the deep and multifaceted literature that has established parent participation in IEP meetings as problematic (particularly in terms of parent affect and parent voice), the purpose of this study was to examine parent experiences with IEP meetings so as to then identify strategies for how such meetings could feel more welcoming and successful from parents' perspectives. If, as the law envisions, parents are to be partners in the educational strategies developed to engage their children at school, then it follows that the professionals involved in such meetings gain if they have more insight into how to collaborate with this crucial partner. ^ For this study, interviews with 15 parents were conducted, taped, and transcribed. Then, using a qualitative analysis methodology, each interview question was analyzed separately and coded. A cross-interview analysis was conducted by noting the number of interviewees that made the same or similar comments within each category. These categories were then developed into over-arching themes with key related concepts under those themes. Consistent with an emphasis on resolving problems of practice, these themes point to ways that professionals involved in IEP meetings can make those meetings feel more collaborative to the parents involved. ^ The sample for this study was not randomly recruited, but was intentionally diverse. The list of participants included parents of special needs students attending a public school who were verified in the last 1-5 years as Autistic, Behavior Disordered (BD) or Other Health Impaired (OHI). Acknowledging the fact that all were from the same rural region of one Great Plains state, participants in the sample did not seem to differ particularly from parent populations recruited elsewhere for other studies. For that reason, it is posited here that these parents' experiences with IEP meetings are not atypical and their suggestions for how meetings could feel more inclusive likely include recommendations that would pertain to other parents and students in other locations than just those directly described here.^

Subject Area

Education, Multilingual|Education, Special|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Jensen-McNiff, Brenda K, "If the goal is collaboration: Toward more satisfactory inclusion of parents in the individual education plan meetings" (2012). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3521951.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3521951

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