Integration of Students with Disabilities into a Contemporary Technology Education Program: a Case Study
Description: The impacts resulting from the integration of students with moderate-to-severe disabilities into a contemporary technology education program are described in this study. The research centered around questions that addressed impacts on students with disabilities, on regular students, on teachers, and on parents of students with disabilities. The study took place in a ninth-grade technology education class and involved two students with moderate-to-severe disabilities. One subject was a 15-year-old male student who was autistic, had a speech handicap, and was mildly retarded. The other student was a 17-year-old male who was emotionally disturbed and learning disabled. Data were collected through classroom observations, videotaped sessions, and interviews with teachers and parents. Notes taken during observations and from videotaped sessions were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. Interviews were also transcribed. The transcripts were reviewed, and significant data were transferred to interview synopsis sheets for incorporation with the other findings. No major problems were found with the integration of the students with disabilities into the technology education program. The students with disabilities caused no discipline problems and were readily accepted by the regular students. However, because the students with disabilities were not actively involved in many of the activities of the class, much of their time was spent off task. The findings reveal that the technology education teacher, who was provided only minimal orientation prior to the placement of the students with disabilities in his class, used regular students as well as individual attention to direct the students with disabilities. A strong need for in-depth, ongoing communication was indicated between special education staff members and mainstream teachers. The importance of providing an orientation for regular students before students with disabilities are placed in mainstream classes was also evident from this study.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Pullias, David T. (David Terrell)