Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Investigating the Attitudes of Elementary School Teachers, School Psychologists and Guidance Research Center Personnel on the Process of Preparing the Individualized Educational Program and Challenges Faced during the Related Process

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Investigating the Attitudes of Elementary School Teachers, School Psychologists and Guidance Research Center Personnel on the Process of Preparing the Individualized Educational Program and Challenges Faced during the Related Process

Article excerpt

Abstract

Th is study aims to analyze the attitudes of elementary school teachers, school psychologists and guidance research center personnel regarding developing an individualized educational program (IEP) process as well as challenges faced during the related process, according to several variables. Th e study included 201 participants who were working in several districts of Ankara province. Th e Attitudes towards IEP Development Process Scale and the Challenges during the IEP Development Process Scale were used in this study. Th e scales were developed and the validity and reliability of them have been investigated by the researchers. Results have shown that, with the exception of age variable, attitudes with respect to the IEP development process and challenges faced varied according to the post as an elementary school teacher, school psychologist or guidance research center personnel as well as to variables such as the institution the participants worked in, previous involvement in in-service training and previous participation in IEP development. While terms of in-service training sessions did not lead to a signifi cant difference in attitudes, it proved to be a variable causing signifi cant diff erences in terms of the challenges faced. Findings regarding attitude diff erences across the variables revealed that gender [t(201) = .29; p > .07] and participation in in-service training programs [t(78) = 1.83; p > .07] did not lead to a signifi cant diff erence on attitudes whereas age [F(2-198) =7.67; p < .01], occupational status [F(2-198) = 8.72, ; p < .01], type of institution [t(199) = 3.43; p < .01], participation in in-service training on IEP development [t(199) = 4.05; p < .00] and involvement in the IEP development process [t(197) = 2.93; p < .01] led to signifi cant diff erences. Findings regarding challenges faced across the variables revealed that gender did not lead to a signifi cant diff erence on attitudes [t(201) = .07; p > .09], whereas age [F(2-198) =3.78; p < .05], occupational status [F(2-198) = 19.78; p < .05], type of institution [t(199) = 4.98; p < .01], participation in in-service training on IEP development [t(199) = 6.32; p < .001], term of in-service training programs [t(78) = 2.26; p < .05] and involvement in the IEP development process [t(199) = 4.46; p < .01] led to signifi cant diff erences.

Key Words

Individualized Educational Program (IEP), IEP Team, IEP Developing Process, Attitudes towards the IEP, Guidance and Research Centers.

Liability to develop individualized educational programs (IEP) to meet the educational requirements of children with special needs have been introduced in several legislations. Th is liability is provided under the USA Education for All Handicapped Children Act dated 1975, Canada School Act dated 1995 and UK Education Act dated 1996 (Fiscus, & Mandell, 1997; T.C. Basbakanlik Özürlüler idaresi Baskanligi, 2005).

Taking into consideration the studies regarding the IEP development and implementation in Turkey, it is observed that such studies are rather new and that IEP development and implementation for individuals with special needs were introduced through Decree Law no 573 enacted in 1997. Th rough this Decree Law, the right of education was provided to all individuals with special needs so that they could benefi t from educational facilities (MillÎ Egitim Bakanligi [MEB], 1997; Sucuoglu, & Kargin, 2006). In the aftermath of the Decree Law dated 1997, Regulation on Special Education Services dated 2000 defi ned IEP in its article no 62. According to this defi nition, IEP is "the special curricula developed for an individual in need of special education, which is approved by his/her parents; being developed in line with the needs of the individual as well as the teacher and parents, including also the supportive education services in accordance with the designed purposes." Article 63 of the abovementioned regulation provides for the setting up of "IEP Development Teams. …

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