Elementary Teachers' Referral to Special Education in Light of Inclusion and Prereferral: "Every Child Is Here to Learn . . . But Some of These Children Are in Real Trouble"

Nancy Mamlin, Karen R. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social and legal changes since the 1970s have resulted in dramatic changes in the way children with disabilities are educated in public schools. The rapid growth in the number of children identified as disabled in the 1970s and 1980s, however, created cause for concern. High referral-to-placement rates raised issues of overidentification, misidentification, and bias. Research on teachers' referrals to special education helped support movements toward both prereferral intervention and inclusion. The present study investigated teachers' reasons for referral and evaluations of the referral process in an elementary school where prereferral and inclusion were being implemented. A modified analytic induction approach was used. Promising impacts of prereferral and inclusion were found, while bringing to light larger contextual and societal issues related to referral that continue to need researchers' attention, including the impact of poverty on children and issues in determining what is a disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-396
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume90
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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