Collaboration with parents in special education

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Education

Document 1

Through research exploration, the paper provides cases studies conducted to highlight the characteristics of the effective collaborative model and its impacts on special needs students. The importance of collaboration approach, as well as the challenges existing in establishing a useful collaborative model, is also outlined in this paper. Lastly, precise contemporary insight on the roles and responsibilities of teachers and parents and how each ought to be viewed is also enumerated herein. Introduction There is an essential need for parents and teachers to collaborate in support of the student's outcomes. Collaboration among many people typically includes the general collaboration that teachers are required by teaching standards while developing their classroom lesson plans. According to Mittler, in many occasions, professionals (teachers) dealing with special needs children are often confined to the definition of a parent as mothers and rarely includes fathers (1987).

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Moreover, concern about other family members such as sisters and brothers and other people living in the same household with the special need child has been overlooked. Therefore, Mittler suggests that the current perspectives must be widened not to include mothers only but also foster parents among others (1987). Special education programs have been in the limelight in the recent decades creating monitoring, regulation, evaluation and overwhelming criticism from different educational stakeholders such as parents and education officials. A need to address an all-inclusive education system has thus pushed for new education policies to be adopted that would ensure that collaboration between parents and teachers of children with special needs have been achieved (Adams, Harris & Jones, 2016). The results of these changes will be the creation of an exceptional student molded as result of positive relationship change between teachers and parents (Mereoiu, 2016).

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Parents-teachers collaboration approach as outlined by Lee et al. is founded on its ability to foster exemplary outcomes among students as well as improving the decision making efficiency (2008). It is also expected that the collaboration will help in optimizing the students learning and provide a platform for monitoring them to achieve a particular goal (Reed, Osborne & Waddington, 2012). Moreover, according to Christenson & Sheridan (2001), the parent-teacher collaboration also helps in regards to issues of consultation, joint efforts undertakings as well as sharing information to create a meaningful and efficient education for special education students. Therefore, parents and teachers must learn about their interests and responsibilities towards the special education of their children and accept to work closely together to achieve and create better opportunities (Epstein, 1995).

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Moreover, collaboration between parents and teachers brings positive educational outcomes. Christenson (2002) connotes that shared responsibilities between teachers and parents always yields sound educational results. Therefore, each has a part to perform. On one hand, teachers have the responsibility with the available resources to provide parents with support (Cramer, 2006). In most cases, parents and teachers have conflicting ideas and opinions in regards to issues such as special services to be granted to the children, eligibility of the students to such services and the issue of placement (Armon & Terry). Parents are seen as the decision makers in regards to evaluation and implementers of an individualized education program for their children thus possessing an inclusive due process right (NICHCY, 2012). Therefore, when parents assert for such rights, a conflict always emerge between them and the districts (teachers included).

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As a result, enmity and mistrust are born when such professionals (teachers included) considers parents as uninformed and obstacles to their practice. Parents on their parts developed anxiety and dissatisfied thus opting for litigation. However, reality shows that in most cases parents and teachers have conflicting ideas, beliefs, culture, and language thus unable to communicate and create a meaningful relationship towards the child’s well-being. As a result, the educational experience of children is affected. However, even with the considerable steps taken towards effective collaboration between parents and teachers, achieving more positive results is possible through some recommendations collected from the abovementioned information. One, the educational sector should be more concerned with building trust with parents as this is viewed as the center pillar of parents-teachers collaboration.

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In this case, trust can be built as suggested by Wellner through teachers’ portrayal of their competence, knowledge of the special needs students, predictability, reliability as well as readiness. S. Teacher-parent collaboration for an inclusive classroom: success for every child/Donnie Adams, Alma Harris and Michelle Suzette Jones. The Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Science, 4(3), 58-71. Angell, M. E. Retrieved from: www. academia. edu/. /Collaboration_with_Parents_in_the_Special_Education_Setting. Accessed on April 21, 2018. Supporting home-school collaboration. University of Minnesota: Children, Youth and Family Consortium. Christenson, S. L. , & Sheridan, S. Teaching Exceptional Children, 44 (3), 22-30. Education Research Cramer, S. F. The special educator's guide to collaboration: Improving relationships with co-teachers, teams, and families. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. , Harrington, R. A.

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