Increased Competency in the Working Relationship
Training opportunities can increase sensitivity and awareness of commonly overlooked influential factors. Unfortunately, according to Fish (2008), collaborative relationships fail to exist in particular for families of low socio-economic status and cultural diversity. Failure to effectively and actively work with diverse populations represents a major deficit.
Parents cannot contribute as efficiently to special education discussions if their family’s perspective of reality is not acknowledged. Sheehey (2006) said that the assumption that knowledge in the form of training, degrees, and credentials begets power is at odds with parent participation as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the expectation that parents should advocate for their children suggests that all parents adhere to Western values of individualism, equity and freedom of choice.
Through training, teachers and school faculty might acquire new perspectives about their roles and contributions to benefit the culturally diverse practice of both regular and special education. The common experience of special education relevant training can help both schools and parents to be more considerate of the previously unidentified needs of the other.
A variety of factors may influence the creation of successful parent-school partnerships including teachers feeling overtaxed in their jobs and possibly resenting the added burden of dealing with parents who seem underappreciative, adversarial, or as simply lacking interest. Parents may be unfamiliar with special education procedures and relevant language, may lack an understanding of the limitations of the school and teachers, or may be reluctant to question school personnel about the supports and services available to their child (Whitbread, 2007).
Training that allows for open discussion and reflection helps people to consider alternative viewpoints that are often missed once disagreements or misunderstandings are influenced by strong, negative emotions. Established commonalities and respected differences can be fostered by special education training opportunities, which can focus on any topic or skill desired to be improved.