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Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education

Abstract

As part of a movement toward collaboration between general and special education teacher preparation, the authors met with focus groups including parents of teenagers with disabilities, English and special education teachers, and pre-service teachers from both programs. Some of our most relevant findings sprang from conversations with parents whose children were placed in inclusive settings. The issues that surfaced highlight several issues relevant to teacher development and support. Most remarkable is the clarification that there are two worlds of education: school for the masses and school for the exceptions. The purpose of this article is to present what we learned from parents of teenagers with disabilities through our analysis of the primary issues they identified. We also provide a context and hypothesis for gaps in teacher expectation and preparation, and finally identify pathways for improving teacher preparation through collaboration at the university, school, and teacher levels.