Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

From service coordination to recovery -of -function phenomenon: A paradigmatic case study of one school district's efforts to improve outcomes for students with brain injury
by Kimes, Katherine Alena, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2009, 482; 3359749
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this single case research study was to (a) develop an in-depth understanding of how services for students with brain injury are coordinated within a single school district; and (b) to describe the elements of a coordinated system of services and supports for students with brain injury within a school district. The district chosen was San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) in CA. Using Bronfenbrenner's (1992, 1993) ecological systems theory as the framework to guide this case study other key constructs such as service coordination, environmental enrichment, and the recovery-of-function phenomenon also guided the conceptual framework of this study. This study sought to answer (a) How is the system of coordination structured and how processes are employed within the district? (b) What was the motivation behind coordinating a system of services? (c) Is there evidence that the service coordination model delivers services in accordance with prevailing standards of coordination? (d) How does student information transfer throughout the system to support instruction? and (e) What lessons can be learned about service coordination for students with brain injury?

A combined methodology of qualitative and quantitative data consisting of site visits, interviews, document analysis, and survey questions were analyzed using the eight HRSA standards as a framework to interpret the data. The HRSA standards are a quality services as set forth in the Traumatic Brain Injury Program (PL 104-166, 1996), which was reauthorized in 2000 as PL 106-31. In addition to using the HRSA standards as a framework to interpret the data, the Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) tenth Content Standard of Collaboration was also used in this study. Both standards were used to analyze the SDUSD system of service coordination for students with brain injury. Descriptive analysis found that over a 5-year history, the model grew from the identification of a need to a system of services that provided students with brain injury access to appropriate education in their least restrictive environment. The model also included systematic personnel development. Therefore, this exploratory research study contributes to our understanding of the level of services, supports, and coordination of services needed for students with brain injury within the system of education.

The model system was found to meet all 8 of the HRSA standards in relationship to providing coordinated, long-term services, assessments, independence, continuing education, and funding. The CEC's Content Standard of Collaboration, Teacher Skills and Teacher Knowledge, was also met because the district established a TBI team, has on-going collaboration with the family and among professionals, offers a variety of placement options, and trains stakeholders on the implications of brain injury. However, more research is needed to advance our understanding of the relationships among effective service coordination, environmental enrichment, and the potential for students to recover brain function.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kochhar-Bryant, Carol Anne
Commitee: Leconte, Pamela J., Ruoff, Janis K.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Education and Human Development
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Special education, Teacher education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Brain injury, Educational outcomes, Recovery-of-function, Recovery-of-function phenonmenon, Service coordination, Special education, System change
Publication Number: 3359749
ISBN: 978-1-109-22019-3
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