Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)
Teaching and Learning (Education)
Date of Defense
First Committee Member
Beth Harry - Committee Chair
Second Committee Member
WENDY MORRISON CAVENDISH - Committee Member
Third Committee Member
ORA PRILLELTENSKY - Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
WALTER G. SECADA - Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
EUGENE PROVENZO - Committee Member
This qualitative study addressed an intersection in which the application of the medical model to educational disabilities and its implications for educational labeling of students interacted with the professional enculturation of clinical social workers. Employed as clinicians in programs administered in a large south eastern school district in the United States, five social workers served elementary students labeled Emotionally/Behaviorally Disabled (EBD) through federally authorized provisions for special education related services. This study used grounded theory methods to discover and analyze the social workers' underlying assumptions, values, and patterns of practice with regard to ethical and guild issues, roles and responsibilities, and bases of knowledge. The study found that participants interpreted and applied a knowledge base grounded in the normative aspects of social work. Their preparation made it possible to compete for licensure (LCSW) and assume roles as professional helpers but did not provide all the tools they needed to carry out their work as clinicians with students in EBD programs. Secondly, it found that ambiguities regarding ethics, guild issues, and roles emerged with regard to acting as helping professionals in an integrated professional setting. Each practitioner exercised certain latitude to respond as needed to challenges which varied from site to site. Finally, the findings reflected how the clinicians have situated themselves in the face of the demands of documentation procedures and of participation in meetings endemic to special education.
Critical Social Work; Social Relations Approach; Ecological Approach; Multidisciplinary Teaming; Over Identification And Disproportionality; Educational Decision Making
Rippey, Jean Michele, "Emotional Disturbance as an Educational Disability: Implications for Social Workers" (2008). Open Access Dissertations. 174.