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Title:Peer interactions and roles of high school students with severe disabilities during inclusive service-learning
Author(s):Bonati, Michelle
Director of Research:Dymond, Stacy K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dymond, Stacy K.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Halle, James W.; Santos Gilbertz, Rosa Milagros; Greene, Jennifer C.
Department / Program:Special Education
Discipline:Special Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Severe disabilities
Secondary education
High school
Peer interactions
Group roles
Abstract:The purpose of this mixed methods case study was to examine how high school students with severe disabilities interact with peers and adults, the relationship between specific contextual factors and peer interactions, and the informal roles students with severe disabilities assume during inclusive service-learning. Data were collected through video and live observations of four high school students with severe disabilities throughout an inclusive arts-based service-learning project, and interviews with peers, art teachers, and focus groups of preservice teachers who facilitated the service-learning project. The data were analyzed using a combination of inductive and deductive processes to investigate peer and adult interactions, contextual factors, and the roles assumed by students with severe disabilities during the project. The findings indicate that students with severe disabilities had interactions with peers during inclusive service-learning that ranged in frequency and ease from natural to challenging; the majority of interactions were task related; adults and peers had positive perceptions of group functioning; and adult interactions occurred primarily within the function of providing supports. All of the contextual factors examined were each found to be associated with peer interactions. Students with severe disabilities assumed a variety of roles that fell within the three categories described in the literature: group building roles, task completion roles, and individualistic roles. An additional role category, neutral roles, emerged through the qualitative analysis. Recommendations for future investigations and inclusive service-learning practice are also presented.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Michelle Bonati
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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