Parents' Participation in Special Education in the Context of Implicit Educational Ideologies and Socioeconomic Status

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This qualitative study situates parents' perceptions of their participation and role in special education planning in multiple contexts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 diverse parents of children with disabilities. The findings reveal the existence of special education discourses and practices that are entrenched in a deficit-based model and in implicit educational ideologies that sanction segregated education for many children with disabilities. Parents' perception of themselves as advocates was a key theme. Decisions about the placement of children with disabilities in inclusive classrooms appeared to be parent-driven. The findings shed light on the socioeconomic contexts in which family-professional partnerships and educational decision-making for children with disabilities are embedded.

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