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Title Page Families and IEP Meetings in a Lower Socioeconomic Urban School Setting: Identifying Barriers to Participation and Strategies to Increase Engagement

Geibel, Jennifer (2019) Title Page Families and IEP Meetings in a Lower Socioeconomic Urban School Setting: Identifying Barriers to Participation and Strategies to Increase Engagement. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examined family engagement in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings from the point of view of various stakeholders, including family members of students receiving special education services, and educators, such as classroom teachers, special educators and paraprofessionals. Six educators and three parents were interviewed to glean information regarding family involvement in the special education process. Documents were also analyzed to supplement the information gained from the interview process. This analysis examined both school-wide documents, such as mission statements and family engagement policies, and student-specific documents, including IEPs and other special education documentation.
Common practices in special education and family engagement were analyzed in relation to identified policies and procedures, and explored processes surrounding such topics as communication and building collaborative partnerships. Family engagement in IEP meetings was specifically reviewed according to the viewpoints of multiple stakeholder participants. Several barriers to family participation in the special education process were identified within this study. Minor concerns included logistical challenges, such as scheduling and transportation, which were generally easily overcome, and more serious issues, such as ineffective communication, lack of special education knowledge, and inadequate family-school partnerships, which proved more indelible. A number of strategies were described as means to overcoming these described barriers, including frequent, ongoing communications in a variety of forms (texting, communication books, etc.), building of relationships of mutual respect and trust, and the provision of trainings to teach parental rights in the special education process. Recommendations were identified for administrators, special educators, classroom teachers, and family members, to increase authentic family school partnerships within the IEP process.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Geibel, JenniferMusicGeibel@gmail.comJMG2550000-0002-0273-0803
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorKaczmarek,
Committee MemberDelale-O'Connor,
Committee MemberPoggi,
Committee MemberEpstein,
Date: 25 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 July 2019
Approval Date: 25 September 2019
Submission Date: 5 September 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 167
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: family engagement IEP parents special education planning
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 14:41
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 14:41


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