The purpose of this multiple case study is to describe the experiences of case managers making mathematics placement decisions of high school students with high incidence disabilities. There is much information about what should be happening when making mathematics placement decisions of high school students with high incidence disabilities, but there is little research to describe what is happening. Participants include: three parents of high school students with a high incidence disability, three high school students with a high incidence disability, three case managers of a high school student with a high incidence disability, three high school mathematics teachers and three high school administrators from three different high schools in three different geographic areas: rural, suburban and urban. Four major findings emerged:
1. The placement process is a team decision.
2. Course options, the master schedule and graduation requirements are influential in the placement process.
3. A range of special education services are available, but not all needs are being met.
4. Data provides a jumping off point.
Three recommendations for further research emerged:
1. Based on the limitations of the current study in regards to generalizabililty, a survey of a large sample of case managers should be conducted across the state of Minnesota and/or the country, to evaluate the degree to which the same or similar findings may be uncovered regarding the placement process and the factors surrounding placement decisions.
2. Because perceived lack of meaningful participation among parents was common among all sites, a mixed methods study could be utilized to determine how meaningful participation could be improved.
3. During this study, student needs and the perception that student needs were not being met was a common theme across cases and participants. A similar follow-up study should be undertaken to determine a definition of “needs” and how best to meet those needs.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. April 2013. Major: Teaching and Learning. Advisor: Dr. Trudie Hughes. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 185 pages, appendices A-D.
Murzyn, Amy Lee.
Mathematics placement decisions for high school students with high incidence disabilities: a collective case study.
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