Social and legal changes since the 1970s have resulted in dramatic changes in the way children with disabilities are educated in public schools. The rapid growth in the number of children identified as disabled in the 1970s and 1980s, however, created cause for concern. High referral-to-placement rates raised issues of overidentification, misidentification, and bias. Research on teachers' referrals to special education helped support movements toward both prereferral intervention and inclusion. The present study investigated teachers' reasons for referral and evaluations of the referral process in an elementary school where prereferral and inclusion were being implemented. A modified analytic induction approach was used. Promising impacts of prereferral and inclusion were found, while bringing to light larger contextual and societal issues related to referral that continue to need researchers' attention, including the impact of poverty on children and issues in determining what is a disability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology