An Examination of Parents' Perceptions of School Factors that Contribute to and Hinder the Academic Success of Students with Disabilities Attending an Intermediate School in Southeastern Virginia
Jones, Jataune Norkeisha
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Students with disabilities have historically underperformed on achievement tests in comparison to their non-disabled peers (Eckes and Swando, 2009; Hurt, 2012). This qualitative study explored parents' perceptions of school factors that contribute to and hinder the academic success of students with disabilities. The researcher collected data by interviewing a purposeful sample of parents of students with disabilities and gathered and reviewed their child's academic information. This qualitative research study utilized a phenomenological design approach that allowed the researcher to gain insights into parents' perceptions of students' lived experiences. Participants included a sample of parents of fifth-grade students with disabilities attending an intermediate school in southeastern Virginia. The researcher collected data for this study in the spring of 2017. Interviews were administered in one session, allowing the researcher to ascertain from responses to the 22 interview questions which school factors parents perceive as contributing to and hindering academic progress. The results of this study indicated that the success of students with disabilities was impacted by staff members' understanding of multi-modality learning, needs of students with disabilities, and the level of support needed by students. The findings also indicated large class size and the physical and cosmetic characteristics of a classroom had an impact on achievement. Parents recommended mentoring programs, restructuring the classroom environment, improving parent-teacher communication, and meeting the unique needs of students with disabilities as areas of improvement.
- Doctoral Dissertations