Research and Evaluation Methods in Special Education

`In an era when government policy emphasizes 'scientifically based research' (No Child Left Behind), this book provides an important resource in understanding what this means' - Diane Browder, Snyder Distinguished Professor of Special Education, University of North Carolina, Charlotte `This is a superb book. I learned by reading it, and I found myself rethinking some of my own thinking about research on individuals with disabilities' - James Ysseldyke, Professor, University of Minnesota The purpose of this book is to enable the reader to use tools to design, conduct, and report research in a way that transforms, when appropriate, the delivery of special education. This book explores ways to adapt those research methods to the special education context by providing the reader with a framework for developing research questions and methods, as well as critically analyzing and conducting research focusing on the specific special education context. Unique contextual factors and populations in special education have implications for research conceptualization, design, implementation, interpretation, and reporting. Types of contextual issues specific to special education research that are addressed in this book are: ] The definition of who constitutes the special education population is not clear-cut. What are the implications of labeling someone at risk or disabled? ] How can appropriate identifications be made for such populations as developmentally delayed or learning disabled? ] What are the implications of conducting or critiquing research that addresses different types of functional impairments? The audience for this book includes people who need information to support their decision-making. This includes those who set policy, administer and implement programmes, teach the students, and advocate for people with disabilities. For all these people, this book provides guidance in the conduct or critical analysis of research with special education populations. The populations that are included are primarily those that are eligible for funds under the federal government's classification system of special education students in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1997. Additionally, the text includes discussion of infants and toddlers with disabilities and persons with developmental delays and those at risk.