Jackson, Lewis (Lewis B.)

Committee Member

Brewer, Robin D.

Committee Member

Banerjee, Rashida


Special Education


University of Northern Colorado

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Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





223 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The purpose of this study was to examine how educator teams’ described the access and progress assessment functions of adaptations aligned to academic standards for students with significant disabilities and how they accounted for sustained use across the curriculum and school days. This study used a qualitative multicase research design combined with the photo elicited interview technique. It was conducted in three elementary school classrooms in a western state. The participants in the study consisted of three educator teams and two District special education coaches. Multiple sources of data were collected including (a) classroom observation field notes, (b) transcripts from photo elicited interviews, follow-up interviews, and confirmation interviews, and (c) artifacts (e.g. photographed adaptation examples). Formal within-case and cross-case analysis was employed along with confirmatory analysis. The findings resulted in descriptive case vignettes and major themes that addressed each research question. The three major themes that emerged to answer the first research question pertaining to access functions were tangible and doable, student-centered, and blend with classroom materials and instruction. The three major themes answering the second research question related to progress assessment functions were show what students know, blend with what peers are learning, and ownership of learning. Four major themes addressed the third research question associated with sustained use across the general education curriculum and schools days: team collaboration, resources available, rhythm and routine, and build momentum. Additional analysis was completed to take into consideration the relationships between themes, and these reconfigured findings were discussed as components within a holistic visual model. Five essential components were delineated (a) student- centeredness, (b) classroom instruction, (c) people support, (d) resources, and (e) familiar formats. These components could serve as reference points for practitioners who are responsible for developing and implementing adaptations aligned to academic standards for students with significant disabilities during language arts, social studies, and science lessons in elementary general education classrooms.

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