Do General and Special Education Teachers Foster the Peer Interactions of Students with DisabilitiesReport as inadecuate

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A study of 22 elementary, middle, and secondary students with disabilities investigated the adequacy of Individualized Education Program (IEP) statements of present level of functioning and goals related to peer interactions. The study also evaluated the extent to which general and special education teachers employed teaching strategies that fostered social interactions, and assessed whether instruction was aligned with the IEP's characterization of pupil social development. A principal components analysis indicated that the IEPs accurately described the peer interactions of students with disabilities. Independent measures by observers, the students themselves, and certain teacher measures were generally consistent with the IEP's statement of present level of functioning and peer interaction goals. The research also found that providing accurate information on the IEP about level of functioning and goals regarding peer interaction was not sufficient to ensure that instructional practices were designed to meet those needs. Students whose IEPs identified peer interaction needs did not receive greater access to instructional strategies that afford peer interaction. General education settings were found to be somewhat more likely than special education settings to employ teaching strategies that foster peer interaction, providing some support for claims that inclusion fosters social integration. (Contains 37 references.) (CR)

Descriptors: Disabilities, Educational Practices, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, Individualized Education Programs, Interpersonal Competence, Peer Relationship, Secondary School Teachers, Social Development, Special Education Teachers, Teaching Methods

Author: Gelzheiser, Lynn M.; And Others


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