This qualitative research was designed to understand Israeli parents' experience of their working process with teachers in the planning and implementing of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students with disabilities. The IEP aims to respond accurately to the unique needs of every child with disabilities. IEPs, found to reduce disparities in school outcomes, are based on diagnosis (medical/psychological), the child’s familiarity in different learning-related settings, school team work, and collaboration between teachers and parents. The demonstrated benefits of teacher-parent collaboration for improving students’ academic achievements and overall functioning are of prominent importance in special education. However, interaction and cooperation between teachers and parents are often quite limited. Method: Twenty parents (18 mothers, 2 fathers) underwent semi-structured open interviews, following the research protocol designed for this study. Thematic qualitative data analysis was used. Findings: Teachers contact parents at the beginning of every year, but parents feel that teachers mostly prefer to update them on the IEP they have already created. Almost half of the participants in the current study (n=8) felt comfortable with this method, as they acknowledged the teachers' professionalism, while the others criticized the teachers for not being genuinely reaching for the parents' voice. When collaboration between teachers and parents was achieved, parents evaluated it as efficient, and pleasant. Conclusions: Parents expect teachers to create more collaboration with them. They expect teachers to consider them more, for the benefit of the IEP planning process and implementation.
Asnat Dor, Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel, Israel
Stream: Professional Training
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