Beyond the IEP meeting: parents' perceptions of music education for individuals with exceptionalities
Rice, Nancy Marie Farley
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In this phenomenographical study I documented and analyzed the perspectives of six mothers whose sons attended a postsecondary music academy in the northeast to discern the essence of parental experience and the meanings they attributed to music education. Education for students with exceptionalities arose from parental advocacy and legal battles; however, a review of the literature indicated that research had not documented the essence of parental experience and the meanings parents made of music education. Public Law 94-142 (1975) mandated parental involvement in the education for children with exceptionalities in a system that required parents’ presences at Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and, as amended, is still in effect today. This law protects educational rights of individuals with exceptionalities and is designed to enhance their education, while insuring the rights and involvement of parents in educational planning. I explored the relationships between perceived experience and social capital, and documented the actions six mothers took based upon the meanings they made of music education. Parents whose offspring with exceptionalities have pursued music education beyond the American public school system offered insights about their experience and the meanings they ascribed to music education for their children. Bracketing, intuiting, analyzing, and describing were used to document data collected from interviews, blogs, and journals. A theoretical relationship was considered between perceived experience and social capital.