Are we playing the same tune? : a comparison of parent-teacher values and priorities for the development of a child with disabilities


Teacher-parent partnerships in education are crucial when responding to the challenges of the 21st century. As teachers and parents work collaboratively to enhance children's development, the need for building productive alliances becomes essential. The link between these institutions takes on added significance as parents and teachers of students with disabilities work together as partners. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the ranking of selected values and beliefs about child development by parents and teachers of students with disabilities. The sample was comprised of 10 teachers considered out of field, teaching in exceptional education classrooms and 10 mothers whose children with disabilities were receiving services in special education classrooms. Participants were interviewed individually using a Q-sort rank and order task. The Q-sort involved a set of 15 cards, which were presented to the participants. Each card listed a characteristic(s) that could be ascribed to a child (e.g., responsible, obedient). Participants were asked to sort the cards into three groups of five cards according to the importance they ascribed to the characteristics. Data analysis was divided into two phases. First, the similarities and differences on participants' ranking were examined within and across groups. Means and standard deviations were calculated and used for comparison. Second, definitions ascribed by mothers and teachers to the top three and bottom three characteristics were transcribed and analyzed to compare their constructed meaning for each of these characteristics. Research findings yielded that mothers' and teachers' are in fact in agreement as to the characteristics that they value and believe to be the most arid least important to the development of a child. Results also described differences in the definition of selected constructs or characteristics responding to the role participants played in the lives of the children. Similarities and differences identified in this study may assist in the development of healthy parent-teacher partnerships and strengthen those that already exist.


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Thesis Completion





Blanes, Maria E.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Education

Degree Program



Dissertations, Academic -- Education;Education -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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