Date of Conferral

2008

Date of Award

2009

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Linda M. Crawford

Abstract

Current research provides little insight into interaction during Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings. This lack of insight may impede decision-making regarding student placement. This collective case study addressed that problem by analyzing interactions of participants in IEP meetings. Rooted in a conversation analytic (CA) theoretical framework, research questions centered on ways IEP teams interacted, oriented to identities, and ascribed to potential power asymmetries, with analysis focused on talk preceding a child's educational placement. Six hours of IEP meeting footage from 13 meetings distributed across 3 Detroit area charter schools were transcribed in CA Jeffersonian notation and analyzed using CA methodology. A major finding of the study was the social order governing the IEP based on preemptive student placement decisions and the maintenance of the social order by meeting participants. This work potentially impacts the way in which IEP stakeholders view their productivity and strategies for improving IEP protocol. Findings offer guidance as to how to alter the conduct of IEP meetings in order to equalize power asymmetries. The study contributes to the body of CA research through the expansion of methodological tools available for educational research.

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