Improved Communication between General Education Team and Special Education Team

ImprovedCommunication between General Education Team and Special EducationTeam

Communicationbetween General Education Team and Special Education Team

Significanceof Research Problem

Itis evident that the general educational team and the specialeducation team have not been communicating effectively in the recentyears to ensure meet the special learning needs of special educationstudents in classrooms (both general and special educationclassroom).

Communicationis an important aspect in education especially when dealing withchildren with special learning needs. It helps both the specialeducation team and the general education team to identify, addressand meet the needs of these students Special education programs havebeen designed to meet learning needs of children difficulties inlearning. These programs have adapted use of special instructionalmethod of delivery, teaching methodology, and educational contentthat meets the relevant needs of these students. Therefore, it iscrucial for special education team to communicate with generaleducation team on decisions made concerning special educationchildren to accomplish the desired outcomes in education (Salvia,Ysseldyke, &amp Witmer, 2012).

Purposeof Study

Thepurpose of the study is to examine ways that school administrationand the special education team communicate to meet the educationneeds of students with special learning needs.


  1. How to improve communication between general education team and special education team?

  2. What is the significance of improving communication between general education team and special education team?

Variablesof the Study

Thestudy consists of both dependent and independent variables, whereeducational outcomes of students with special learning needs dependon the communication between general education team and specialeducation team.

Theoreticaland Conceptual Framework

Boththeoretical and conceptual framework will be used to guide thisstudy.

Reviewof the Literature

Thissection reviews literature on effectiveness of communication betweenspecial education team and general education team to meet thelearning needs of special education students. The literature alsoinvolves a discussion on negative effects of failing to incorporatethe general education team in important decision making process onspecial learning needs. Additionally, the literature reviews theinteraction between special education team and general educationalteachers to determine the progress of the student and the importanceof improved communication on students.

Evidenceby Crosland&amp Dunlap (2012)reveals that the special education team and general education teamoften fail to communicate with one another to meet the educationalneeds of their students. It is important for special education teamto communicate with general education team on how to achieve bettereducational outcomes among children with special learning needs whenincorporated in general classroom. Similarly, the special educationteam may fail to comply with education curriculum requirementsprovided by the State. The State requires Special education team toinclude the general education teachers in their decision makingprocess because they also play an equal role in providing speciallearning needs to special education children. Thus, this causes thegeneral education team to have little knowledge on how to implementthe instructional guidelines that are relevant in addressing thespecial learning needs of students.

Additionally,studies by Dunn,Constable, Martins and Cammuso (2016) pointout that special education teachers and general teachers experiencechallenges in working in corporation to support the special needs ofstudents with learning difficulties to meet their learning needsusing the curriculum requirements of the general classroom.Miscommunication between general teachers and special educationteachers creates difficult situations that cause frustrations both inteachers and students thus generating confusion. Lack of effectivecommunication hinders effective collaboration among teachers, whichis an essential tool in enhancing success in the education process.

Accordingto Talbott,Mayrowetz, Maggin and Tozer (2016),special team members such as therapists may fail to communicate theirdecisions about special students with the general education teachers.Lack of communication of the decisions made may cause the generaleducation teacher to experience difficulties in attending effectivelyto students with learning challenges. A general educator dealing withseveral students from different classrooms or different grades mayfail to meet the needs of each special education student due toineffective communication. Therefore, effective communication betweengeneral education teachers and special education teachers wouldpromote collaborative decision making and improve academicperformance of the special education students by creating anappropriate environment for them.

Table1: Conceptual Framework

Independent Variable

Special education needs

Dependent Variable

General education team

Special Education team

Intervening Variable


Proper decision making process



Thestudy used a qualitative research approach to explore the extent ofcommunication between general education team and special educationteam to meet the learning needs of special education students.


Atotal of 25 participants were sampled through random sampling method.Theparticipants of the study included school administrators, generalteachers and special education teachers. The study was conducted in asuburban elementary school located in the East Bay area of SanFrancisco. The sample methodology was adequate because it providedthe required data for analysis of this research.

Table2: Sample of Study



School administrators


Special Education Team


General Education Team




Thestudy employed the use of voluntary participations of the schooladministration, general and special education teachers. Validatedsurvey design and interviews were used in the study for datacollection. Validity is defined as a methodological element used inresearch to confirm applicability of the tools in the study(Csikszentmihalyi&amp Larson, 2014).The survey design was used to determine the needs for effectivecommunication between school administration and special educationteam. The results obtained from the survey were analyzed to establishthe extent of communication between these groups. Interviews involvedthree school administrators, three general educational teachers andthree special education teachers. The notes from the interview werereviewed and used to develop themes of the study.



Thedata collected from surveys were analyzed through comparing thecommon and differences of answers provided by the participants. Thenotes from the interviews were analyzed by determining thecommonalities and differences in themes.


Independent Variable

Dependent Variable

Statistical Tool

To improve communication between general education team and special education team

Special education needs

Special education team and general education team



Thestudy finding indicated that communication is an essential aspectbetween special education teams and general education team. Effectivecommunication is hindered by the inability of the general educationteam and special education team to make important decisions together.The special education team tend to leave out the general educationteam from most of their decision making process. Poor communicationcauses general education teachers to experience difficulties inimplementing programs that meet the needs of special educationstudents thus fail to efficiently monitor the progress of thesestudents.

Thestudy findings demonstrated that ineffective communication betweenspecial education team and general education team has become anincreasing problem currently and has impacted negatively on educationoutcomes in children with special learning needs. Special educationrequires adequate cooperation with different teams to enhance itseffectiveness. Both schools and special education teams’ plays asignificant role in meeting the special learning requirements ofstudents with special learning needs.

Consequently,the study finding showed the significance of communication betweenspecial education team and general education team. The study revealedthat improved communication enables special education teachers andgeneral education team to determine various ways of communicatingefficiently with students thus understanding their learning needs andsupporting them. Effective communication allows teachers to developinterpersonal skills that contribute towards building and maintainingrelationships with students and other special education teams.Additionally, the study findings confirmed that improvedcommunication has many benefits to students such as it decreasesfrustration and disruptive behaviors, and increases verbal speech andcommunication thus enhancing their success.


Schoolscan improve communication between general and special education teamsby setting up annual meetings to discuss the progress and challengesand identify the areas that require improvement. Through this,communication will be improved thus enhancing effectiveness inmeeting the learning needs of these students. Moreover, this makes itpossible for general teachers and special education educators toagree on common goals and work collaboratively towards achievingthose aims by brainstorming ideas and solutions to challenges.

Toachieve corporation between general education team and specialeducation team, it is important for these groups to develop theattributes of effective communication. The attributes of effectivecommunication enhances achievement of positive academic outcomesamong special education students. The attributes of effectivecommunication include conflict management, team building, frequentcommunication and interpersonal skills. Constant communication isvery crucial in meeting the learning needs of students with speciallearning needs.

Schoolsare recommended to adopt the use of technology to improvecommunication. The recent developments of technology have provedimportant in enhancing effective communication through the use oftechnological programs to meet the needs of special children.Examples of technological programs used in special education learninginclude joint calendars, IPAD and Hang Outs which assist teachers toeffectively monitor their students and provide prompt on-goingprogress of the student. Monitoring through use of technology alsoprovides convenience in that the school administration will not needto hold joint preparation curriculum meetings to communicate thespecial needs for students with learning difficulties.

MajorStrengths and Weaknesses

Themajor strength of the study is that, the study was completed withinthe set time and it followed all the rules of a research paper. Themajor weakness of the study is that, the study only focused on asmall group of study which provided inadequate evidence on the topicor research. A wider scope of study can provide more information onthe topic which would be useful in different schools with specialeducation students.


Thestudy was important because it would help address the communicationimpairment that has become rampant currently in the educationprocess. This study has identified factors that hinder effectivecommunication between general education teams and special educationteachers and recommended solutions to the problem. Despite thelimited research, hopefully the research has provided an analysisthat would be effective in enhancing improved communication betweengeneral education team and special education team thus meet thelearning needs of special education students.


Csikszentmihalyi,M., &amp Larson, R. (2014). Validity and reliability of theexperience-sampling method. In Flowand the foundations of positive psychology(pp. 35-54). Springer Netherlands.

Crosland,K., &amp Dunlap, G. (2012). Effective strategies for the inclusionof children with autism in general education classrooms. BehaviorModification,36(3),251-269.

Dunn,B., Constable, S., Martins, T., &amp Cammuso, K. (2016). Educatingchildren with autism: Collaboration between parents, teachers, andmedical specialists. TheBrown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter,32(7),1-6.

Salvia,J., Ysseldyke, J., &amp Witmer, S. (2012). Assessment:In special and inclusive education.Cengage Learning.

Talbott,E., Mayrowetz, D., Maggin, D. M., &amp Tozer, S. E. (2016). ADistributed Model of Special Education Leadership for IndividualizedEducation Program Teams. Journalof Special Education Leadership,29(1).