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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: Culture in Special Education: Building Reciprocal Family-Professional Relationships
Publication Date: 1999
Authors: Kalyanpur, Maya and Harry, Beth
Source: Paul H. Brooks Publishing
Abstract: Jacket description: "With personal anecdotes, case examples, and detailed theoretical discussions, this book brings to light the potential impact of cultural assumptions on parent-professional interactions in special education. Essential reading for future teachers, it helps them become aware of and work to cast aside traditional stereotypes — about other cultures and their own — in order to work effectively with students' families. This textbook also helps educators understand the importance of developing education plans that will enhance children's learning and respect their cultural beliefs. Undergraduate and graduate students of special education will find ways to improve communication with parents and learn to more effectively teach children with diverse cultural heritages." Excerpt: "The posture of cultural reciprocity has four guidelines: Step 1. Identify the cultural values that are embedded in the professional interpretation of a student’s difficulties or in the recommendation for service. Step 2. Find out whether the family being served recognizes and values these assumptions and, if not, how their view differs from that of the professional. Step 3. Acknowledge and give explicit respect to any cultural differences identified, and fully explain the cultural basis of the professional assumptions. Step 4. Through discussion and collaboration, set about determining the most effective way of adapting professional interpretations or recommendations to the value system of this family." (pp.118-119)
Categories: Policy & Practice

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