Discussion 1: ethical issues facing special education | EDSD 7072 – Research Methodology for Special Education | Walden University


Discussion 1: Ethical Issues Facing Special Education

The most pressing ethical issues facing special education today are not new. While the particular examples of the mistreatment of children in the research studies from this module’s Additional Resources occurred in the past, they are no less relevant today. As a special education professional, you may determine that the reasons for the abuse exist now, just as they did when the studies were conducted. As a leader in the field of special education, it is critical to be sensitive to the pressures and challenges facing those conducting scientific investigations. Acute awareness of these challenges will support you to act effectively and ethically in your own practice and when scrutinizing the practices of others.

In this Discussion, you will consider specific examples of ethical issues in special education research. You will also examine the relationship between seeking to conduct a valid study and weighing the cost relative to impacts on study participants.

To prepare:

· Review all module Learning Resources and consult the articles found in the Additional Readings list. Pay particular attention to content focusing on ethical research issues with students with exceptionalities.

A response to the following:

· What is one of the most pressing ethical issues facing the field of research in special education today?

· Analyze the relationship between research ethics in special education and validity. What are the potential abuses, and by whom?

Support your responses with specific references to the Learning Resources, outside resources, and personal experience.

Learning Resources

Note: To access this module’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Florian, L. (Ed.). (2014). The SAGE handbook of special education (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage.

  • Chapter 21, “A Disability Studies Frame for      Research Approaches in Special Education”(pp. 351–367)

    Focus on the promise of disability studies approach to      research, addressing policy and socio-cultural context, and disability      studies and transformative influence.

O’Neill, R. E., McDonnell, J. J., Billingsley, F. F., & Jenson, W. R. (2011). Single case research designs in educational and community settings. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Rumrill, P. D., Cook, B. G., & Wiley, A. L. (2011). Research in special education: Designs, methods, and applications. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

  • Chapter 1, “Introduction to      research in Special Education” (pp. 3–17)

    Focus on the elements of research that are common across      studies in the field of education. Also pay particular attention to      characteristics of research that are unique to special education. Note      challenges to the science of special education.

  • Chapter 4, “Ethical Issues      and Guidelines for Special Education Research” (pp. 73–99)

    Focus on a review of the underlying ethical principles of      special education. Pay particular attention to the treatment of human      subjects. Consider that the use of the results of a research study should      consider impacts on research participants.

  • Chapter 5, “Research Validity” (pp. 100–117)

    Focus on the general concept and specific types of research      validity. Review definitions of internal and external validity and the      threats to each. Note how you may apply what you learned to critique your      own work, and the studies conducted by other researchers.

Vaughn, S., & Swanson, E. A. (2015). Special education research advances knowledge in education. Exceptional Children, 82(1), 11–24.

Additional Resources

Although every Additional Resource is not required reading, it is highly recommended that you read all of the Additional Resources. Be sure to make note of the Additional Resources which align with the content and focus of Discussions and Assignments.

Note: The resources were selected for the quality of the information and examples that they contain and not the date of publication.

Cook, B. G., Tankersley, M., & Landrum, T. J. (2009). Determining evidence-based practices in special education. Exceptional Children, 75(3), 365–383.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the synthesizing of research approaches, findings, and recommendations. Reflect on the analysis of studies. Note the processing for applying quality indicators and standards.

Florian, L. (Ed.). (2014). The SAGE handbook of special education (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage.

  • Chapter 20, “Comparative and International      Perspectives on Special Education”(pp. 335–349)

    Focus on International perspectives on research in special      education, research gaps, and the future of research on special and      inclusive education.

Kubina, R. M., Kostewicz, D. E., & Datchuk,. S. M. (2010). Graph and table use in special education: A review and analysis of the communication of data. Evaluation & Research in Education, 23(2), 105–119. 

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the use of the survey, paying particular attention to data graphs and tables. Study the findings and conclusions.

Mastropieri, M. A., Berkeley, S., McDuffie, K. A., Graff, H., Marshak, L., Conners, N. A., & Cuenca-Sanchez, Y. (2009). What is published in the field of special education? Analysis of 11 prominent journals. Exceptional Children, 76(1), 95–109.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the types of articles published in the field of special education. Consider the meaning of this for the future of special education and review how the analysis was conducted.

Rumrill, P. D., Cook, B. G., & Wiley, A. L. (2011). Research in special education: Designs, methods, and applications. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

  • Chapter 2, “Getting Started      in Special Education Research—Variables, Research Questions, and      Hypotheses” (pp. 18–37)

    Focus on research questions, identification of variables,      theory, and sampling. Review sources of research ideas. Consider the      various types of sampling procedures and the variety of variable types.

  • Chapter 3, “Measurement and      Statistics in Special Education Research” (pp. 38–72)

    Focus on measurement issues, with a particular emphasis on the      purpose of measurement in special education. Reflect on levels of      measurement, statistics, and the array of approaches to statistical      analysis.

  • Chapter 9, “Guidelines for Composing and      Evaluating Research Articles” (pp. 193–215)

    Focus on the structure of a research report. Reflect on the      organization of a paper and the most critical elements that should be      included. Study APA format carefully as it is the typical style expected      in research reports.

Vince Garland, K. M., Holden, K., & Garland, D. P. (2016). Individualized clinical coaching in the TLE TeachLivE Lab: Enhancing fidelity of implementation of system of least prompts among novice teachers of students with autism. Teacher Education and Special Education, 39(1), 47–49.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the all aspects of the study especially the multiple probe across participants’ single case design. This is a very good example of single subject research to address a practical problem in teacher education.

Ethical Challenges in Research

The following reports address the many ethical challenges inherent in research with children.

Matutina, R. E. (2009). Ethical issues in research with children and young people: Robin Matutina reviews the literature on the ethical dilemmas involved in conducting child-specific research and suggests strategies to safeguard the legal rights of children. Paediatric Nursing, 21(8), 38–44.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the history of research with children. Note that most of the studies occurred in the United States. Consider the implications for today’s researchers.

Mayeux, L., Underwood, M. K., & Risser, S. D. (2007). Perspectives on the ethics of sociometric research with children: How children, peers, and teachers help to inform the debate. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 53(1), 53–78.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the purpose of sociometry. Reflect on the challenges presented to researchers who seek to treat children ethically. Consider steps for protecting children.

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