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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

1-1-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Special Education

First Advisor

Gerald Oglan

Second Advisor

Marshall Zumberg

Abstract

ABSTRACT

THE SOCIAL PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES HELD BY AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES WHO PARTICIPATED IN A SELF-CONTAINED SPECIAL EDUCATION MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR THREE YEARS AND DROPPED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL AFTER THE NINTH GRADE

by

SHERRELL HOBBS

December 2010

Advisor: Dr. Marshall Zumberg

Major: Special Education

Degree: Doctor of philosophy

There are two parts to socialization, informal and formal. In the United States, informal lessons of socialization come from a child's primary caretaker(s). Imagine a child growing up in this informal setting only to see the world from one perspective through that unique experience. Later the child goes into a formal school setting, to realize that the world is not one-dimensional and to learn socialization skills.

At the elementary school level, the general education curriculum requires children from kindergarten through third grade to participate in self-contained classrooms. At the middle and high school levels there are different teachers who are responsible for instruction in the four academic areas--English Language Arts (ELA), reading, mathematics and science. The exception is middle school students typically travel as one homeroom class to each teacher's classroom. While in high school, students have individual schedules with a different group of students in each classroom.

While inclusive teaching practices do exist in public education where African American males who have a disability are educated, there are still African American males who are placed in self-contained special education middle school classrooms in 2009. This research is important because it explores the attitudes and perceptions of African American males who participated in a self-contained special education middle school classroom and if the experience had any influence on their decision to drop out of high school.

As a result of this study, by examining the specific needs and requirements revealed through a focus group of African American males who have a disability who participated in a self-contained special education middle school classroom and dropped out of high school; public school districts and special education school administrators are now in a better position to make "informed decisions" about how special education programs are designed and implemented for ALL students.

In the data analysis, as open-ended questions were examined, the answers to the questions were used to look within the individual's responses and across to other participant's responses in cross-reference to the content of each participants' response throughout the data sets. Grouped categories of the information into various segments helped to discover ways that the content was alike and different. Critical in the use of this method to evaluate the data, many data sets were produced. The scope of each category was then categorized, grouped and named which yielded emerging patterns.

The sequence of behavior events is what ultimately led to each of them dropping out of high school and ultimately feeling like there was no point in continuing on.