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Dr Smita Tiwary Ojha


Diversity, Multidisciplinary intervention, Disproportionality, Case based instructions


Disproportionality means an unequal proportion of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education. It may be overrepresentation or under representation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education. Some specific learning abilities in a student like emotional expressiveness, family background including social and cultural orientation, physical and verbal communication styles, time orientation and different or unique learning styles, may be misunderstood by the teachers as disruptive, disrespectful, or aggressive which could result into disproportionate special education training. Furthermore, certain neurological and physical functioning or intrapersonal factors as well as interpersonal factors like perceptions and behaviors of educators and quality of educational opportunities, could also increase the probability of culturally and linguistically diverse students. The inappropriate identification and placement in special education due to social stratification by race, language, class, and ability increases the disproportion in the learning teaching group (Bal, Sullivan, & Harper,2014).  Griner and Stewart 2012 has stated that teachers and schools that are armed with the tools to enact a culturally responsive pedagogy are capable of effectively addressing the achievement gap and disproportionate representation of racially, culturally, ethnically, linguistically diverse students in special education programs. Villegas 2012) suggests that educators adopt a culturally responsive teaching framework which uses student’s cultural experiences as a bridge to learn cultural differences as strengths to build on and empower students from all societal groups. Since disproportionate placement of diverse students from various regional and culture groups in special education is a matter of ongoing concern, it is crucial that special teachers and trainers program prepare and develop expertise in student’s behaviors and that are reflective of cultural practices on one hand and disabilities on the other. The article describes sociocultural environments and characteristics of culturally and linguistically diverse students and also th e risk factors related to culturally and linguistically diverse student’s disproportionate placement in special education including suggested intervention programs.

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