|dc.description.abstract||As a culminating project for my Masters degree, I
produced two informational videos for the Stevens Point
Area Public School's Special Education Department.
The purpose of this work was to develop communication tools
designed to help increase the involvement of parents, whose
children are being evaluated for placement in special
This first video has three main objectives. First it
explains the rationale and goals of special education.
Second, it explains the procedures and terminology involved
with the delivery of special education services. Third, the
video stresses the importance of parental involvement and
encourage parental participation in the evaluation and
placement process as well as in the delivery of special
The second video offers strategies for parents on how
to become more effective educational advocates for their
children and help them succeed in school. It emphasises a
partnership between parents and schools and stress the
importance of attitude, discipline, and communication in
working for children's educational success.
The theme of this project is bringing parents closer to
their children's education. One objective of education is
to involve parents in the important educational decisions
that effect their children. In special education, these
decisions are made using a multi-disciplinary format.
Specialists in various areas of education Join with parents
to decide how to best meet the learning needs of the child.
In an effort to have parents become a part of the multidisciplinary
team that determines the educational program of
their children, school systems will provide plenty of
information about the programs, policies, procedures, and
goals of the special education department. Every effort is
made to see that parents get the facts.
In my teaching career, I have seen a great deal of
effort aimed at the parent's cognitive preparation for M-Team
and special education participation but I have not seen
any formal, district wide communication tool that addresses
the affective dimensions of involvement in the special
education system. I have never seen a tool that is
specifically designed to motivate parents to get involved in
their child's education. I have never seen a formal tool
that works to empower parents not only with the facts they
need but with the recognition that they are valid and equal
members of the multi-disciplinary decision making team.
To help make important decisions about their child's
education, parents are invited to participate in an endeavor
that is at best unfamiliar and at worst frightening and
intimidating. It is not that the affective concerns of
parents are ignored by education professionals, but a
formal, district-wide tool that would provide a "common
ground" of attitudes and beliefs between parents and
professionals involved with delivering special education
services would be of value.
I felt that a tool like this was needed and a video
presentation would be an effective way to address this
I begin my work with a brief overview of the special
education system. I cite research that indicates a need for
greater effort in parent education and involvement.
I review the district wide materials the Stevens Point
Area School System's Special Education Department uses in
their formal efforts to inform and engage parents in their
I developed a rationale and proposal for this project
and took it to the special education administration of the
Stevens Point Area Public Schools. Together, the district
and myself developed a basic program design.
Next, I offer reasons why I felt video would be an
appropriate medium for this type of project.
I then present treatment of the videos themselves
followed by the scripts that were produced and a detailed
production schedule that sets the various deadlines of the
project, leading to a completion date of May 1993.||en_US