Public schools in the United States have a legal mandate to provide families with an opportunity to be actively involved in the decision making process regarding the education of their children with disabilities. However the majority of parents remain passive participants in the special education process. Culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) families of exceptional children have drawn particular attention for their low participation and involvement in special education meetings as compared to Euro-American families. Although there has been an increase in the research regarding parental involvement of CLD families in the special education process, there has been insufficient qualitative research which addresses the experiences of ethnic subgroups, such as the Diné (Navajo People).
The purpose of this case study was to determine the understandings that Diné (Navajo) parents had regarding the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings they attended. Five families of children with disabilities participated in this study. The parents were interviewed before and after the meetings. Although parents' individual stories were unique, qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts revealed three common emergent themes: A Subordinate Relationship, Negotiating Subordination, and Undeniable Caring. The case study that follows describes the data collected and analyzed through the lens of the methodology of portraiture. Recommendations are offered to agencies who work with Navajo families in rural settings in their journey towards true collaboration and cultural reciprocity.
|Advisor:||Riemer, Frances J., Applequist, Karen L.|
|Commitee:||Applequist, Karen L., Peterson, Patricia J., Sanderson, Priscilla R.|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|Department:||Teaching and Learning/Educational Specialities|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Special education, Teacher education, Native American studies|
|Keywords:||Culture, Dine, IEP, Individualized education plan, Navajo, Special education|
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