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Research and Evaluation Methods in Special Education by Donna M. Mertens

Research and Evaluation Methods in Special Education


Research and Evaluation Methods in Special Education by Donna M. Mertens

`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.


The authors have set for themselves a challenging task--to enable readers to design, conduct, report, and understand research in a way that transforms (when appropriate) the delivery of special education. What is even more amazing is it appears they have developed a guide that makes this task a reality. -- CHOICE, June 2004 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 E. Ysseldyke, Professor 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

About the Author

Donna M. Mertens is Professor in the Department of Education at Gallaudet University. She teaches research methods and program evaluation to deaf and hearing students at the MA and PhD levels. She conducts research and evaluation studies on such topics as improvement of special education services in international settings, planning for the inclusion of students with disabilities in neighborhood schools, enhancing the educational experiences of students with disabilities, preventing sexual abuse in residential schools for deaf students, improving access to the court systems for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, and improving the preparation of teachers of the deaf through appropriate use of instructional technology. Her research focuses on improving methods of inquiry by integrating the perspectives of those who have experienced oppression in our society. She draws on the writings of feminists, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, as well as indigenous peoples who have addressed the issues of power and oppression and their implications for research methodology. Dr. Mertens has made numerous presentations at the meetings of the American Educational Research Association, American Evaluation Association, Association for College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, International Sociological Association, International Mixed Methods Conference, American Psychological Association, African Evaluation Association, Canadian Evaluation Society, Visitors Studies Association, and other organizations that explore these themes. She served as president and board member of the American Evaluation Association from 1997 to 2002 and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation, 2002-2003. She is the editor for the Journal of Mixed Methods Research (with Max Bergman as coeditor). Her publications include four edited volumes, Indigenous Pathways to Social Research (coedited with Fiona Cram and Bagele Chilisa, 2013), Handbook of Social Research Ethics (coedited with Pauline Ginsberg, 2009), Creative Ideas for Teaching Evaluation (1989), and Research and Inequality (coedited with Carole Truman and Beth Humphries, 2000), and several authored books, including Program Evaluation: A Comprehensive Guide (with Amy Wilson, 2012), Transformative Research and Evaluation (2009), Research and Evaluation Methods in Special Education (coauthored with John McLaughlin, 2004), and Parents and Their Deaf Children (coauthored with Kay Meadow-Orlans and Marilyn Sass Lehrer, 2003). She also publishes many chapters and articles in edited volumes, encyclopedias, handbooks, and journals, such as Journal of Mixed Methods Research, Qualitative Social Work, Eye on Psi Chi, Educational Researcher, International Journal of Mixed Methods Research, New Directions for Program Evaluation, American Journal of Evaluation, American Annals of the Deaf, Studies in Educational Evaluation, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th September 2003


Donna M. Mertens

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Corwin Press Inc an imprint of SAGE Publications Inc


296 pages


Teaching of specific groups & persons with special educational needs



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