First Advisor

Gershwin, Tarcy

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Discipline decisions regarding students with exceptionalities are complex. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) includes regulations that may safeguard educational access and opportunities through the manifestation determination (MD) process. Professionals knowledge, skill, and advocacy may also play a role in the successful implementation of the MD provision and a student’s access to education. A key element included within IDEA (2004), the MD provision and much of the work of any educator is collaboration. Further, it may be assumed that an accurate MD decision is made meeting team members’ effective collaboration (Lewis, 2017). Given the importance of collaboration within a MD meeting, the question of how teachers are trained to collaborate becomes paramount. Despite the importance of collaboration, there is still much to be understood about the topic and training of preservice teachers. Further, very little research has examined the role of collaboration through the MD process. The current phenomenological study explored the value of an instructional training package that included three components: (a) direct instruction, (b) simulated MD meetings, and (c) Video Analysis (VA). Semi-structured interviews as well as pre- and post-selfassessment descriptive results were analyzed to explore 14 participants’ experiences. Participants overwhelmingly found the instructional package as valuable. Specific findings related to the perceived successes and challenges of the training and future directions for practice and research are discussed.


218 pages

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