Meeting Family Needs: Culturally Sensitive Approaches to Transition Juan Portley, M.Ed Special Education University of Oklahoma

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  • Meeting Family Needs: Culturally Sensitive Approaches to TransitionJuan Portley, M.EdSpecial EducationUniversity of Oklahoma

  • OutlineIEP/Transition Req.Barriers to ParticipationDichotic ParadigmCLD Over-generalizationSelf-DeterminationTransition Planning ProcessHistory of MarginalizationPoverty, Isolation, & Low SESFamily Involvement/Sensitive ApproachesFuture Practice and Conclusion

  • IEP/Transition RequirementsIntent of IDEA 2004Purpose of IDEA?Family collaboration & student inputMeeting mandates does not equate to positive outcomes

    Typical IEP/Transition ProcessResearch (Martin et al., 2004)

  • Barrier to Participation

    Myths:School staff perception of parent competenceParents as too emotionally involved System is too complexPersonnel attitudes

  • Why the Dichotic Paradigm?Attempt to be culturally sensitive to explain the lack of postsecondary achievement of American minority groups.

    Poor postsecondary outcomes40% of Native American students exit high school early.Only 40% of graduating NA students enter postsecondary ed.Postsecondary retention rate are approx. 15%Graduate degrees: approx. 1%

    U.S. Dept. of Education, (2002).

  • Successful IndividualsLongitudinal studiesLong term benefitLink to SD componentsSelf-awareness/Self- efficacy, Problem SolvingReframing SD

  • Research ReviewLongitudinal studies:Adults with a variety of disabilities(LD,MR,EBD,ODD,Autism, etc.)

    Successful adults were found to have higher levels of self-determination skills.

    Set goals and used strategiesFlexibility, perseverance, self-esteem, etc.

    Were more proactive across environments.Social/Family/Work, etc.

    Gerber, Ginsberg, & Reiff (1992); Goldberg, Higgins, Raskind, & Herman, (2003); Raskind, Goldberg, Higgins, & Herman (2002); Wehmeyer & Swartz (1997); Wehmeyer & Palmer, (2003)

  • Self-Determination ComponentsSelf-awarenessSelf-advocacySelf-efficacyDecision-makingIndependent performanceSelf-EvaluationAdjustment

    Martin & Marshall, (1996)

  • SD Mismatch with CLDCultural barriers

    Differences exist in cultural expectations

    Interdependence v. Independence

    Leake & Black, (2005); Wehmeyer, Agran, & Hughes, (1998)

  • Postsecondary Success

    Levels of SD and work behaviorsSocial ClassEmployer demandsPre-requisitesSoft Skills

  • Proposed Alterations to TransitionFocus more on InterdependenceFocus less of self-awarenessConsult with family more than studentBe culturally sensitive What does this look like?

  • National Parent-Teacher Practices

    Promote school-community communicationSupport parenting skills developmentRecognize the parents role as teachersWelcome parents and utilize their efforts expertiseTreat parents as full partnersUse and collaborate with community resources

    PTA, 1997

  • Begin Early!!!Current Dropout Issues

    What factors exist for minorities that might correlate with attrition rates? Ex: Poverty

  • Transition Planning ProcessDefine your valuesTime spent before, during, or after the process.Who knows the answers?Whos goals are followed?How do you define the goals?What assessments?How are they administered?

  • Transition Planning ProcessDefine Success: Whos involved?Whos values?Be Flexible with time/inputTime spent up front saves in the end.Does all input require verbal interactionIdentify Cultural Barriers

  • Gather Relevant information:Discussion points prior to meetingHopes for students futurePast experience in working with school and planningExperience with ancillary staff and servicesAreas of sensitivity for personnel awareness

    Defur et al. 2001

  • Family FindingsDesires a sense of normalcyNeed for personnel who listens Parents wanted respectOpportunity to build trustFelt blamedEmpathize with individual circumstances

    Defur et al. (2001)

  • Reality for American MinoritiesNative AmericansUnemployment rate77%Highest dropout rate 44% Navajo Nation Census (2000)Pervasive BarriersLowest GNPAlcoholismTeen pregnancyDepressionAcademic & Vocational apathy

  • Whos Culture is CLD?Mostly Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Asian used for inference. AssumptionLit. uses N.A. vaguely to point out interdependency to the tribe.

    Preface statements with may exist, occur, be found, or happen(?)

    Black et al., (2003); Leake & Black, (2005); Leake et al., (2006)

  • Over-generalized Inferences

    Are collectivistic characteristics innately cultural?

  • PovertyHistoric marginalization


    Boarding schools

    Fragmented family structures


    Internalized low self-identity

    Limited financial resources

  • Poverty and IsolationCommunal living


    Limited access


    Limited vocation opportunities

  • Low SES FactorsLess verbal interactionLess explicit maternal teachingLess positive beliefs for confidence in ability to impact childs behaviorLiving conditions (space, transportation, child-care, etc.)Low employment rateHigh single-parent homes

    Brinker, Seifer, & Sameroff, (1994)

  • Whos at Risk?Irregular attendance2 or more years below grade level Disinterested in schoolLow income Overage for their gradeDiscipline problems

    Schargel Consulting

  • Educational HistoryBlack AmericansSlaveryDestruction of family/culture/language, etc.

    Educational Segregation (Brown, 1954; Larry P., 1979)

    Segregated settings: NLTS2 & Res.Higher rates of segregated settingsDisproportionate diagnosis2/3 the rate of expectation.

    Harry & Anderson, (1994)

  • Educational HistoryNative Americans

    Westward ExpansionRemoval of tribe community

    Generational TraumaUnemployment, high abuse rates

    Lack of Educational HistoryBoarding schools

  • Carlisle Indian SchoolThe common schools are the stomachs of the country in which all people that come to us are assimilated within a generation. Unknown

  • Carlisle Indian School (1879-1918)When a lion eats an ox, the lion does not become an ox, but the ox becomes the lion.Unknown

  • Rare Data75% Apache youth with and without LD resided at home

    71% of participants with disabilities were unemployed

    78% of general. ed. school leavers reported substance abuse

    46% reported being arrested

    Ramasamy et al. (2003)

  • Minority Parental ExpectationDesire more active role in the decision making process (Blue-Banning et al., 2002).

    Minority parents rated higher than Anglo parents on school involvement (Geenen et al., 2006).

    Minority parents want their children to be successful and attain self-sufficiency (Geenen et al., 2002).

  • Five Sub-themes: What makes a differenceCommunication: Listen/LearnCollaboration: Invite/Open environmentConnection: EquityCaring: EmpathyCelebration: Expression

    Defur et al. (2001)

  • Culturally Sensitive Approaches

    Appreciate the uniqueness in each family.

    Be aware of the influence of your role as a professional.

    Acknowledge your own cultural biases.

    Seek new understanding of cultures.

    Develop an awareness of cultural norms.

    Learn with families.

    Dennis & Giangreco (1996)

  • Recommendations for Improving Practice

    Examine minority parent and student post-school expectations

    Explore factors effecting minority academic apathy

    Examine teacher academic and post-school expectations

    Constant transition program development/improvement

  • Conclusion

    Establish open communication

    Be welcoming to differences

    Teacher Preparation:Quality mentoring for teachers/students/familiesAdopt reflective approaches for teaching cultural reciprocity with family collaboration.

  • Conclusion (cont).KeysBegin early!Establish quality leadership/vision