Extent of Parental Involvement in Improving the Students' Levels in Special Education Programs in Kuwait

Article excerpt

This research study investigates the degree to which parental involvement impacts students' levels in special education programs in Kuwait. More specifically, this research discusses several scientific methods for research included within the significance of the study and research questions for this study. Research methods and results using a participant sample indicated some interesting results. The study showed that parents of special needs children can be involved in classroom activities and school functions in many different ways. The results showed that over 70% of the participant sample were engaged in some forms of involvement with their special needs children. Through additional percentage, chi-square and factorial analyses additional results were indicated. Parental involvement in the special education programs is critical to the continued development of children with special needs

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Parental involvement is an effective means for augmenting and improving special education programs. Involvement can include both quality and quantity of psychological and physical activities that people use in their experiences (Chang, 2005).A growing body of research (e.g., Gallagher, Rhodes, & Darling, 2004; Hallahan, & Kauffman, 2000; Comer & Hayes, 1997; Campbell, 1992) examined different participants related to students with special needs. The emerging research base examines several interesting factors: levels of involvement, student achievement, and special educational programs focusing on parental involvement.

Additionally, studies such as Gallagher, et al. (2004) have shown the impacts of parental involvement on students in both special and general education programs. For example, Gallagher, et al. examined uses of parent educators in children's educational programs. The results indicated that parents who participated in the education process helped teachers to monitor and to manage the students' educational process in the classroom as well as deal outside the classrooms in different settings. The outcomes of Gallagher et al.'s research showed that parents obtained beneficial ways of working and dealing effectively with special education students. This model gave parents an opportunity to learn about their children's needs within the classroom as well as capitalize outside classrooms and in different contexts on their own knowledge and understandings of their children.

Helping parents understand their child's disability is a very important factor for improving children's' education and life experiences. In these programs, parents and teachers, work in tandem, to encourage and develop students into productive citizens(see Fallen & Umansky, 1985). Therefore, increasing knowledge concerning students with special needs are societal and overall Governmental imperatives.

Not knowing and understanding issues and causes that lead to disabilities of young and older adults in contemporary societies creates greater problems in the long run (Gonzalez, Brusca-Vega, & Yawkey, 1997). To fix these same problems later in life with younger and older adults becomes more costly and expensive. For example, providing parental training on using and developing emotional and educational supports with parents having children with special needs facilitate teachers' understandings of their students. In turn, these same understandings have the potential to increase students' achievements in educational programs (Gallagher, Rhodes & Darling, 2004, Gouvias & Soroniatis, 2005)).

From an empirical research perspective, Campbell (1992) and Gargiulo (2003) from a more descriptive mode, indicated that students' with special needs achieved positive educational outcomes resulting directly from their parents' involvement in the educational programs. Comer and Hayes (1997) also noted positive relationships between parental involvement and their children's academic achievement in school. …