When a group meets to discuss a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), they are called a team, but they rarely understand the perspectives of the people with whom they are sitting at the table. This is especially true when cultural and linguistic diversity is part of the equation. This unique book explores the individual perspectives of IEP meeting participants who work with students who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD). Authors interviewed a principal, a general education teacher, a special education teacher, a teacher of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), an educational advocate, a disability rights attorney, a parent, a translator, a school psychologist, a specialist, a transition services specialist, and a guidance counselor. Their experiences provide critical insight for those seeking to realize the potential of these sometimes marginalized students. Interviews examined the dynamics of home-school communication, IEP meetings, and cross-cultural interactions. The perspectives shared in this book relate to known best practices and also provide practical suggestions for improving the experiences of teams serving the CLD population.
Karrin Lukacs is an award-winning Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Her research interests include teacher change agency, online learning, and stay-at-home mothers who want to become teachers.
Sherry L. Steeley is an Associate Teaching Professor at Georgetown University who works in ESL/EFL teacher education and international teacher education programs. Her research interests focus on teacher agency and identity, cultural transitions and school climate, and other issues related to equity and effectiveness in education.
Chapter 1: The Principal’s Voice
Chapter 2: The General Education Teacher’s Voice
Chapter 3: The Special Education Teacher’s Voice
Chapter 4: The ESOL Teacher’s VoiceChapter 5: The Advocate’s Voice
Chapter 6: The Disability Rights Attorney Voice
Chapter 7: The Parent’s VoiceChapter 8: The Translator’s Voice
Chapter 9: The School Psychologist’s VoiceChapter 10: The Specialist’s Voice
Chapter 11: The Transition Services Specialist’s Voice
Chapter 12: The Guidance Counselor’s Voice
Appendix: Commonly Used Acronyms
About the Authors
This book serves as a critical resource in highlighting the “invisible cultural barriers” that often shape IEP meetings with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) families. The book uses interviews with CLD parents and a range of educational stakeholders to excavate the conflicts and challenges inherent in these situations. The book’s chapters are organized around portraits of twelve educational professionals involved in this process. The themes and dilemmas presented in these chapters make this book essential reading for all those interested in better serving the needs of CLD parents and their children.
Special educators, teachers, administrators and parents who read this book will learn what it takes to make special education work for culturally and linguistically diverse students, and they will learn it through carefully presented perspectives of 12 different people who might be involved in the special education process. This unique volume bridges the gaps between families and schools, classroom teachers and advocates, and administration and faculty. It rings true to my experience as a high school administrator striving to help special education students. I wish I had this book at the point in my career when I most needed it.