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Preparing Special Educators to Engage in School Change for Inclusion of Students With Significant Disabilities

Sat, April 10, 2:30 to 4:00pm EDT (2:30 to 4:00pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Special and Inclusive Education Research Paper and Symposium Sessions


This qualitative study examines the impact of participation in a special education teacher preparation program implemented in close partnership with a neighboring district. Faculty and district partners mentored credential candidates to increase both the quantity and quality of time that students with disabilities spend in general education and promoted the active engagement of credential candidates and graduates in the process of school change towards inclusive practices while building a network of support among candidates and their mentors. Findings indicate that participants viewed themselves as agents of change, described shifting views of disability as they engaged in practitioner-advocacy work, and articulated a strengthened commitment to inclusive practices, with a practical emphasis on goal setting to sustain their efforts over time.