Educators in juvenile corrections : their understanding of the special education process and how it influences their practice Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zw12z7372

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  • In juvenile corrections education approximately 50% of the students are eligible for special education services. This dissertation examines Oregon's juvenile corrections educators' understanding of their role in the special education process. This process involves student referrals, evaluations, and eligibility determination for special education services, and the development of individualized education programs (IEP). The study describes how the educators' understanding of the special education process influenced their instruction for students with disabilities. The research involved interviews with respondents representing the Youth Corrections Education Programs in Oregon. The data revealed five leading issues for regular education teachers in the juvenile corrections education programs. The issues that emerged from the participants' interviews were accommodations for students with disabilities, responsibilities for the delivery of special education, special education eligibility, student medications, and transition services. The educators gave the impression they believed they knew all they needed to know about the special education process. These juvenile corrections teachers believed their special education personnel and administrators were primarily responsible for the students with disabilities. The educators were not generally aware of their responsibility for the implementation of a student's IEP or to provide the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided for the student. However, even though the corrections educators stated they knew the necessary information concerning their students with disabilities, the teachers did ask for additional information on providing accommodations for these students. Implications are drawn for educational practice and further research. Discussion in the area of educational practice centers on professional development for regular education teachers in special education law and student eligibility. An alternative role for the special education teacher is proposed, incorporating classroom modeling and consulting. Finally, the topic of adapting curriculum to accommodate the needs of special education students is considered. In the area of further research, the need for a follow-up study is evident. This would include the addition of observational data, a study of the role administrators play in advancing the practice of special education in juvenile corrections, and an examination of the prevalence of mental health issues affecting juvenile corrections students.
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