Incarcerated Hispanic females with disabilities : perceived barriers returning to public schools
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While there is a significant amount of research centered around minority youth and their barriers toward transition back into a traditional school setting, the research paints very broad pictures of the youth who find themselves in these unique circumstances. There is a lack in research that deals with specific subpopulations of the groups targeted by the existing research. While one article may center around minority youth, much of the research would be conducted with males rather than females. While this research is insightful, it does not produce a complete picture. The research presented herein was conducted at a residential treatment facility over the course of six months, and focused on a sample of six Hispanic girls, ages 13-14, who have been identified as needing special education services. This study is meant to be seen through the lens of self-determination theory, which provides insight into the perspective and viewpoint of each participant. When searching for the causes of student and school failure, deficit thinking can be present within the view of those involved. Therefore, the effects of deficit thinking is taken into consideration within this study. The data was collected via interviews and surveys in which each girl participated, and an analysis of the documents and records located in each girl’s educational file. Since the nature of qualitative research calls for the emergence of themes that arise under each research question, the results of the research are presented through the prevailing themes of each of the research questions. This study found, the girls are aware of the challenges that can arise from returning to a traditional school setting, yet recognize what they and teachers can do to ameliorate potentially negative situations. Likewise, the research found that teacher relationships and teacher interactions with students are vital to transition. The study also found that the girls do have goals for the future and the prospect of future peer interactions present a problem as well. While this study provides insight into an overlooked population, it also tells the story of six strong young women who otherwise may have gone unseen.