Research Proposal 2014

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Question:  How has the education of Autistic children in the public school system evolved over time in relation to the education of children with other learning disabilities?


Relevance:  Autism is a prominent issue in today’s world because the amount of children being diagnosed is constantly increasing.  Rather than find cures, another option is to educate them to the best ability.  The school system structure is constantly being critiqued and new ideas are always being discussed as we learn in our class.  However, we tend to study the broad reforms throughout history.  There were not always classifications of children with disabilities.   In the past they all fell under the category of “mental retardation”.  I feel it would be interesting to research how the school practices dealt with these children throughout points in history.


Research Strategy:  When beginning research for this project I was not exactly sure where to begin, but I knew I wanted a variety of sources.  In class I really liked the way back machine and I am going to pick a specific region (West Hartford Public School District) and look at the school website.  As well, I am going to find old IEP’s (individualized education programs).  This term was not created until 1975 in the National Handicap law but it was modified before hand.  As well, I will do extensive research in the area of scream rooms, isolation, and discipline tactics used for children with disabilities.  Another aspect I will look for on school websites will be the classification process of identifying children with a learning disability.  I want to compare it to all the documents that I have found from today.  I also want to compare aspects such as due process and parental involvement throughout history.  In order to do this I will try to find average working hours of parents.




A Parent’s Guide to Special Education in Connecticut


The Basic Special Education Process Under IDEA 2004


IEP Manuals and Forms


Evaluating Children for Disability


The History of Special Education: From Isolation to Integration



“I Believe in Inclusion, But…”: Regular Education Early Childhood Teachers’ Perceptions of Successful Inclusion



The Legislation and Litigation History of Special Education



Mentally Retarded Citizens: Challenges for the 1970’s


National Autism Prevalence Trends From United States Special Education Data

One thought on “Research Proposal 2014”

  1. Christina, you have proposed to investigate a thoughtful research question, and I would like to suggest ways to ensure that you will fulfill the expectations for this assignment.

    First, think about tweaking your research question to narrow its time period, geographic focus, and comparative element. For example, do you wish to ask:
    How has the education of autistic children, relative to others with disabilities, changed in the US from (insert time period)?

    Second, since you did not describe your search strategy and the databases or keywords you used, nor did you cite items in an academic format as requested, it looks very haphazard. For an historical focus on change over time, I recommend that you begin with the WorldCat database to find books (or chapters of books) on the history of special education, and look to see how those authors write about autism (and the sources they use). Here is the full citation of one such book you cited:
    Winzer, M. A. History of Special Education: From Isolation to Integration. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 2012.
    In addition to the Google Play version that you can purchase online, I also see an earlier 1993 paper edition available at the Trinity Library

    When you find one item like this in a search database, you can click on the subject term and refine it further to identify similar items, as I did here:

    I recommend scheduling a meeting to talk further about your sources and next steps for this interesting research essay.

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