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The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education

"Encouraging the use of mediation and other collaborative strategies to resolve disagreements about special
education and early intervention programs."

RAISE Article Details

Title: Collaborative problem solving and dispute resolution in special education. Training manual.
Publication Date: 1999
Authors: Windle, R., & Warren, S.
Source: Oregon State Department of Education
Abstract: This training manual provides materials for conducting a workshop on problem solving and creating good agreements in special education. The first section of the manual provides a brief introduction to the world of special education and discusses why special education law is complex. Section 2 explores why conflict is created, seven types of conflict, and the three most common responses to conflict. The following section focuses on preparation for problem solving. Techniques are provided for dealing with difficult people and becoming an effective problem solver. Section 4 highlights critical communication skills and discusses barriers to effective communication. Section 5 provides steps in the process of collaborative problem solving, including sharing perspectives, defining the issues, identifying the interests, generating options, deciding on objective criteria, and evaluating options and reaching agreement. The next section focuses on strategies for success in dispute resolution. It provides solutions for common problems, including defusing resistance, refocusing the discussion or reframing the issues, dealing with emotional baggage, and educating. Section 7 discusses dispute resolution processes in special education, including mediation, complaint investigation, due process hearings, independent educational evaluations, fact finding, and arbitration. The final section contains suggested reading, definitions, and acronyms. (ERIC)
Categories: Policy & Practice
Due Process Hearings
Theory/Sources of Conflict

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