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Teaching and Teacher Education 24 (2008) 901914 www.elsevier.com/locate/tate

An alternative model of special education teacher education socialization


Kathryn Young
Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley, USA Received 14 September 2006; received in revised form 20 July 2007; accepted 14 August 2007

Abstract The process of organizational socialization sheds light on the difculty of a university program to effectively socialize its special education teacher candidates into believing and acting on theories of inclusion for students with disabilities in public schools. In general, people are socialized by prior experiences, then the university, then the workplace. In this case, the workplace socialization exists prior to participation in the university setting and in conjunction with it potentially complicating traditional university socialization. This study explores how prospective special education teachers in a moderate/severe special education teacher credential program adopt, adapt, and redene the concept of inclusion. An analysis of their use of the term inclusion in semi-structured interviews draws attention to the degree to which they have or have not been socialized into believing and acting on inclusion at their schools. r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Teacher education; Special education; Socialization; Teacher preparation; Inclusion

1. Introduction The history of special education in the United States is plagued with the longstanding problem of an inadequate supply of special educators. This problem has intensied in the current high-accountability atmosphere associated with public schooling. Schools are required to hire highly qualied teachers, but high turnover and difcult recruitment create a quandaryhow to quickly provide quality instruction to cohorts of teacher credential candidates. To add to the problem, school districts must hire unqualied people to ll open positions every year. The new hires must enroll in special

education teacher credential programs while teaching full time.1 Hiring unqualied teachers creates a unique set of socialization problems for universities who accept these credential candidates. Socialization, for the purpose of this paper, is dened as the process by which people selectively acquire the values and
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E-mail address: kathryn.s.young@gmail.com

The USA has struggled with an adequate supply of special educators since the inception of special education (Winzer, 1993). More recently, laws in the nation and in California have changed from hiring unqualied people and expecting them to get certied in the undened future to hiring people who must be concurrently enrolled in a teacher education program. New special education teachers who are not qualied now have 5 years to nish a credential in order to maintain employment. This has been further mandated in the federal No Child Left Behind law passed in 2001 (Public Law PL 107110).

0742-051X/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2007.08.003

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attitudes, the interests, skills and knowledgein short the culturecurrent in groups to which they are or seek to become a member (Merton, Reader, & Kendall, 1957). University programs seek to socialize new credential candidates into the norms and values of the program. Dening elements of socialization include shared professional values, a specic technical language and a shared vocabulary and preference for particular pedagogic practices. Credential programs also socialize candidates for the role of teachera role that has specic expectations and relationships with others in an educational setting. Traditional credential programs expect difculty in helping credential candidates learn to teach differently from how they were taught. Programs also expect candidates to struggle with norms and values learned at the university when they enter the reality of teaching in schools. What happens though, when programs are forced to contend with credential candidates who come to them with prior knowledge and workplace knowledge already in place? Do university teacher education programs have any hope of socializing credential candidates into the role of teacher in the way programs anticipate? This paper is an attempt to sort out a variation of teacher socialization, one that reworks the chronology of socializing forces. Traditionally, special education credential programs in the USA relied on students who enter teacher education with their own experiences as students, but programs did not have to contend with their experiences as teachers as well. Credential programs could at least try to socialize candidates to the values, skill and knowledge about what it means to be a teacher before people actually became teachers. In this paper, I will explore the outcomes of California Universitys2 attempt to socialize their moderate/severe3 special education credential candidates into a particular stance on teaching special educationthat of inclusion4while the candidates already hold full-time teaching positions.
This is a pseudonym for a Northern California university. The disability category Moderate/Severe indicates the type of disabilities experienced by students that a teacher is qualied to teach. Moderate to Severe disabilities include: autism, cognitive impairment, deaf-blindness, emotional disturbance, and multiple disabilities (CTC, 2007). 4 ythe provision of services to students with disabilities, including those with severe impairments, in the neighborhood school, in ageappropriate general education classes, with the necessary support services and supplementary aids (for the child and the teacher) both
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Prior Beliefs

University Socialization

Workplace Socialization

Fig. 1. Traditional workplace socialization.

Prior Beliefs

University Socialization

Workplace Socialization

Fig. 2. Alternative workplace socialization.

2. Conceptual framework This paper proposes an alternative model of special education teacher education socialization. The credential candidates in this study not only have preexisting beliefs developed from their own schooling experiences as students, but also have beliefs that have been further claried, supported, and challenged through experiences as teachers prior to entering a teacher education program. Those beliefs continue to be claried, supported and challenged during the program, which complicates existing theories on organizational socialization (as shown in Fig. 1). In order to theorize about the possibilities of an alternative path to workplace socialization, we must understand (1) workplace socialization, (2) teacher education in the context of socialization into teaching and (3) the particularities of special education socialization. Literature on workplace socialization in these different contexts will help explain how the mechanisms used to socialize do not always lead to the intended outcomes of socialization. In this case, a cohort of fulltime teachers, who are also credential candidates in a program that focuses on inclusion, undergo identical socialization processes (like coursework and classroom observations) but leave the program with full, selective or rejected socialization about inclusive education. This is due, in large part, to simultaneous and ongoing socialization by the workplace and the university, meaning that they do not experience a linear socialization process (as shown in Fig. 2).

(footnote continued) to assure the childs successacademic, behavioral and social and to prepare the child to participate as a full and contributing member of society (Lipsky & Gartner, 1996).

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2.1. Workplaces socialize for skills and knowledge Workplaces socialize people into the ways of a specic organization. Building on research about organizational characteristics of work developed in the 1950s and 1960s (Blau & Duncan, 1967; Blau & Scott, 1962; Gross, 1958; Merton, Reader, & Kendall, 1957), Van Maanen and Schein (1979) laid out a theory of organizational socialization. They dene it as the process by which an individual acquires the social knowledge and skills necessary to assume an organizational role (p. 211). Their theory focuses on structural aspects of the organization that precipitate the need for socialization, usually at boundary passages: entry into or out of the organization and lateral or vertical movement within the organization. Individuals new to the organization will respond to the socialization in one of three ways: they will accept the organizational rules at face value; they will innovate and change the knowledge to make it more efcient for themselves; or they will reject it and redene the values of the organization to suit their personal needs. Like other organizations, schools socialize new teachers to the ways and values of the school. The culture of a school encompasses norms and values and routines shared by the school personnel that lead to specic ways of working (Nias, 1989). New teachers are socialized into a workplace where teachers expect students to be sorted and divided by a variety of categoriesincluding age, ability, race, and gender. Norms and values within a school are inuenced by broader institutional and societal norms and values about children, education, disability, and many other ideas (Levine-Rasky, 1998). Moves to disrupt these categories have been resisted throughout the American educational history.5 The school socialization process helps maintain these categories. New teachers are also socialized into the occupation of being a teacher in a particular school with a particular way of thinking about children. Novices often acquire the characteristics of teaching by becoming like their veteran colleagues who often hold a conservative view of student difference (Menter, 1989; Waller, 1932). Another explanation emerges from Lorties (1975) work on teacher socialization; he documents
For a more detailed look at schools as sorters of children and resistance to change the system, see Bowles & Gintis, 1976; Lacey, 1977; Lortie, 1975; Tyack, 1974; Waller, 1932; Winzer, 1993)
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that new teachers bring a long history of experience to their credential programs (see also Clandinin, 1986; Goodson, 1992; Knowles, 1992). Their experience comes from having spent 12 years in classrooms watching their teachers, gaining an apprenticeship of observation. Kagan (1992) undertook a systematic literature review of learningto-teach literature and found across 27 empirical studies information pertaining to the role of preexisting beliefs. Each study documented the stability and inexibility of prior beliefs and documented the important role played by these beliefs to lter the content of coursework. Individual teachers also have an impact on their own socialization as they interact with their workplaces, the university, professors and each other. Lacey (1977), in The Socialization of Teachers, observed three successive years of a 1-year education program in the United Kingdom. His ndings indicate that new teachers use social strategies to comply, adjust or redene the given situations.6 Instead of empty vessels accepting the programs values without question, Lacey shows how these teachers take the concepts they are socialized into and transform them in some way. Zeichner and Tabachnick (1985) extend Laceys work by following new teachers through credential programs into schools and document how new teachers redene their workplaces. They found that workplace culture is an important variable that determines, in part, how new teachers will reinterpret the socialization process from their university program. Day (1999) demonstrates how new teachers struggle to match their personal visions of classrooms with powerful socializing forces of school culture. Olsen (2002) researched the experiences of student teachers at four different universities. He found that the teachers, whom he followed for 2 years, were more likely to incorporate something learned in their credential program if it already t with their personal understanding of teaching. FeimanNemser (2001) indicates that new teachers must combine their past understandings and experiences with their own experiences in teacher education to develop in this eld.
6 Social strategies likely to be adopted are strategic redenition, strategic compliance or internalized adjustment. (These last two strategies map onto Beckers, (1961) situational adjustment. Strategic compliance (p. 72) individual complies with authoritys denition of the situation and the constraints of the situation but retains private constraints about them. Internalized adjustment (p. 72) individual complies with constraints.)

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Structures embedded in the context of teaching and personal agency help explain differential socialization outcomes of credential candidates. Some are more inuenced by their workplaces while others fall back on their personal experiences to guide them in their development as new teachers. When skills and knowledge learned at California University are consistent with factors found in the structures of teaching and personal experience, we would expect more complete socialization. For those credential candidates whose workplaces and personal experiences differ from university socialization, we would expect modication or rejection of that socialization. 2.2. Weak socialization in teacher education Researchers have also studied work place socialization in the context of teacher education. Teacher education is the main formal context where credential candidates are socialized into teaching and becoming a teacher. Johnston and Wetherill (2002) identify three types of program-based socialization: into the disciplinesuch as science, mathematics, or special education; into the profession of teaching; and into the specic schools in which new teachers will work. They state that socialization into the discipline might be weak because of the routinized nature of taking classes and (implicitly) not valuing the knowledge learned at the university. Zeichner and Gore (1990) explain that teachers are socialized into the profession through their prior experiences and beliefs, the nature and philosophy of their teacher education program, and the culture of the school at which they teach. Zeichner and Gore contend that the default conditions of socialization are apprenticeship and school culture, not pre-service teacher education. In the case of California University, the default conditions, as expressed by Zeichner and Gore, might trump any effects of teacher education because those stronger socialization forces outside of the program exist concurrently with internal programmatic attempts to socialize to inclusion perhaps creating a washout effect of the universitys processesleading to outcomes that do not support the idea of inclusion as the university had hoped. 2.3. Stronger socialization in special education? Special education teacher education socialization might be different than Lortie, Lacey and Zeichner

purport for general education teachers. The role of the programs socialization may be greater than in general education settings because students did not learn about special education through experiencing it. The university program may be a place where teacher education has more power to socialize its new recruits. Inclusion as a program philosophy may be a case in point of how teachers can learn new concepts in a credential program and incorporate those into their schools. Pugach (1992), in a review of teacher socialization literature, argues that special education has stronger socialization processes than general education teacher education programs. It has a strong foundation grounded in laws and regulations that are backed by legal authority rather than a foundation in a disciplinary focus. This means that special education has a strong technical language that might lead to outcomes of increased socialization to the eld. Pugach explains that pre-service special educators have an absence of an apprenticeship because they did not spend 12 years in special education classrooms or, in most cases, 12 years learning about inclusion. She theorizes that a lack of prior apprenticeship might allow special education credential programs to focus on new pedagogy rather than spending time dispelling old beliefs. Pugachs theory applies to preservice special education credential candidates. Given that the teachers in this study come to their credential program already having experiences as teachersalready having had time to adopt, adapt, or reject beliefs about special education and students receiving special education serviceswill their teaching experience offset the programmatic processes? If their workplace experiences are congruent with what the university is teaching, will they embrace California Universitys philosophy of inclusion? This review of socialization in the general workplace to that of special education teacher education has shown the factors required to socialize people into organizations. Organizations try to socialize individuals to acquire the values and attitudes, the interests, skills and knowledge desired by the organization. California University provides course work, professional expertise, classroom observations and student teaching requirements to create knowledge about and attitudes towards inclusion. Credential candidates adapt, adopt, or reject the socialization process of California University based on mediating factors like their own schooling experiences and their current workplace experience. Based on these mediating factors, credential candidates will be completed or

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Processes of socialization at California University Course work Observations Student teaching

Mediating factors: Prior experience Workplace experience

Outcomes of socialization at California University Complete socialization Selective socialization Rejected socialization

Fig. 3. Relationship of mediating factors to socialization processes and outcomes.

selectively socialized by the university, or may reject it outright (as shown in Fig. 3). In the special case of special teacher education at California University, credential candidates constantly renegotiate socialization from the university because the processes and outcomes are continuous and simultaneous for this group of teachers. The ndings from examining this alternate form of socialization will be discussed later in the paper. 3. Methods This paper indicates ndings from part of a larger study of four pre-service special education teacher preparation programs investigating attitudes of preservice special education teachers toward disability. In particular, this paper will explore the outcomes of California Universitys attempt to socialize moderate/severe credential candidates to the skills, knowledge and attitudes about including students receiving special education services into general education classrooms. This university program was chosen over the other three programs for several reasons: all credential candidates were in their last semester of a 2-year credential program and all credential candidates had already completed the majority of coursework offered by their program. Second, this program has an explicit focus on one core conceptthat of inclusionas the dominant philosophy of their program. Other programs in this study had several themes, or no coherent theme, that informed the coursework and provided less clear or non-existent examples of institutional socialization. Third, this program was the only one where all credential candidates were also teachers. In each of the other programs, some people were traditional student teachers while others were already in classrooms. Though the sample size is small, this program provides a version of the critical case of case study, which is often used in theory building (Yin, 2003, p. 40). The theoretical work of this paper

explains these processes and outcomes for teachers who are both credential candidates and full time teachers in a program with a unied mission California University was the only program that t these parameters, and thus provides an excellent example for theoretical exploration. The pre-service teachers discussed in this paper are all a part of a moderate/severe special education teacher credential program in Northern California. There are nine people in the program; I interviewed seven of them in the fall of 2004. The two remaining people chose not to be interviewed. All nine are currently teaching on emergency credentials. These teachers are not newcomers to the classroom. Each of these teachers come to the program having taught children with moderate/severe disabilities from 6 months to more than 2 years and all of them have been teaching or working as paraprofessionals in classrooms for at least 3 years.7 They enter the program as fully functioning teachers and having ideas of how well inclusion works in their schools. Their ages range from 24 to 60. Five are Caucasian American, one person is Asian American and the other person refused to state race. Six women and one man participated in the interviews. Four of the teachers indicated that they were inclusion teachers, one is an itinerant teacher,8 one is a special day class teacher,9 and one teacher works in a county class at a public school site.10
Classroom teaching aides. Itinerant means that she travels from school to school with several students on her case load at each school. 9 Special day class (SDC) means that she has students in her class all day long. Students in a special day setting spend more than 60% of their time with the same teacher, separate from other peers at their grade level. 10 County classes are a separate setting, usually separate campuses from general schooling. In this case, the teachers classroom resides on the property of a public school, but he works for the county, not the district. The public school does not have to share resources with county schools. In this case, the teacher does interact with other teachers and students at the school.
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Though all of these teachers are nishing the program at the same time, they bring unique backgrounds and work experiences with them as they attend classes, complete credential requirements and continue to teach. Each candidate was interviewed at a time and place of their choosing, using a semi-structured interview protocol. The interview protocol, created though an iterative process of consulting literature and credential candidates in a pilot study, consisted of questions designed to elicit conversation about what credential students learned and hoped to learn in their credential programs, about their childhood experiences with people with disabilities, and about who they teach now or will teach in the near future. I did not ask people about inclusion, and instead pursued a line of questioning about inclusion only if raised by participants (see the Appendix for a copy of the interview protocol). Each interview lasted 4590 min, was digitally audio-taped and transcribed. After the interview data had been collected and transcribed, I used a grounded theory approach, letting themes in the text rise to the surface (Strauss, 1987). I created a coding glossary based on socialization literature and codes that emerged emically from the data for each theme in order to differentiate among the themes (MacQueen, McLellan, Kay, & Milstein, 1998). Using NUDIST, a qualitative software program, I coded the documents using the glossary and shared the codes and glossary with colleagues to check for reliability. The reliability rate was .85 across three interviews. I applied a horizontal analysis (crosscase analysis) to the data (Miles & Huberman, 1994) using constant comparative analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) to look for common patterns as well as differences across data sources. This process was undertaken iteratively and adjustments in the coding process were made. Though differences appeared, using this method an overwhelming adherence to shared use of the term inclusion emerged, as well as other factors related to professional socialization. It was only upon further analysis that inclusion split into several codes indicating degrees of adherence to inclusion. The recurrent theme of inclusion will be discussed in Section 3.1. 3.1. The case of inclusion California Universitys moderate/severe special education credential program takes roughly 2 years

to complete, and provides new teachers with a preliminary credential to teach special education in California.11 The program promotes inclusion, an inuence that affects coursework and practicum experiences. Each semester, credential candidates participate in student teaching practica. During the rst year, candidates are placed in their own classroom (if they are inclusion teachers) or travel to an inclusion site once a week for their placement.12 During the second year, credential candidates are required to increase the amount of time their students with disabilities spend included with other students at the school. If a student only spends 5 h a week with general education students at the start of the school year, she then must spend 7 h a week the following month, and more time the month after that. It is up to the credential candidate to negotiate access into general education settings for each student with whom she works. Candidates use strategies like teaching disability awareness classes at their schools, approaching teachers oneon-one, and asking the principal to provide help encouraging other teachers to let students with disabilities into their class. The majority of instruction at California University provides examples of students with disabilities in inclusive settings leaving candidates who work in other settings to adapt the examples to their own work experiences. Credential candidates become well versed in the university expectations and must adhere to these expectations to obtain their credentials. California Universitys commitment to the values and practices associated with inclusion are evidenced in their programs expectations and in interviews I conducted with credential candidates. In interviews I sought to nd out what message credential candidates felt they were receiving from the faculty. I asked each candidate, If I was a prospective student at California University, and asked you about the program, what would you tell me? Though the candidates spoke about their program and their professors, the only topic that everyone mentioned was inclusion, and many spoke about it at length. In a content analysis of the interview data, inclusion was discussed an average of 18 times per interview. California University
As of the 20052006 school year, all credential programs may only recommend preliminary credentials. This means new teachers must participate in an induction process in their rst years of teaching to obtain a clear credential. 12 An inclusion site is an inclusion classroom at their school or at another school.
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wants to transmit knowledge and skills about inclusion to their students. The university wants to inculcate values and interest about inclusion too. In short, they want to socialize the credential candidates about inclusion. The use of the word inclusion in this study denotes two concepts: a philosophy and a placement preference. The philosophy is the commitment and the placement is in the school and classroom he or she would otherwise attend. Inclusion proponents, like the professors in the moderate/severe special education program at California University, often advance the idea that inclusion is more than a placement option; they posit that true inclusion indicates that all children are equal members of the classroom, satisfying one goal of public education, that of preparing students for participation in a democracy (Barton & Tomlinson, 1984; Gartner & Lipsky, 2002; Slee, 2001). Teacher talk of inclusion in this paper uses both philosophy and placement almost interchangeably. In fact the term has become so reied that no explanation is given as to the meaning of inclusion in these interviews. The degree of ambiguity will become analytically important in understanding different levels of socialization experienced by credential candidates. The candidates are aware of the processes (like coursework and eld placements) used to socialize them into believing in and acting for inclusion, but they have not necessarily adopted inclusion as the program would have expected. The message is lteredselected, modied, and/or rejectedby the student teachers. The students in the program learn about inclusion in theory but adapt or change the notion of inclusion to conform to their prior beliefs and their current work settings. The outcomes are not what the university would have expected. The analysis in this paper will consist of examples of outcomes typied by selective socialization, complete socialization and rejected socialization about inclusion by the credential teachers. 4. Findings This section will highlight the different themes induced from commentary about inclusion within the interviews. This program uses the shared norms of vocabulary as one way to socialize the credential candidates about inclusion. The common parlance of inclusion demonstrates the degree of shared language used by teacher candidates; however, the candidates orient to the notion of inclusion in a variety of ways.

For example, several participants speak of inclusion as a constraint while others speak of it like a political or religious cause. Though socialized about one way of speaking about where students with disabilities should be taughtthat of inclusive settingsthe participants in this study question the legitimacy of that claim. They lter claims made about inclusion through lens of prior experiences and their current workplaces. This ltering about inclusion shows varying degrees of socialization, in part due to inherent weak socialization of teacher education programs, but also due to participants own schooling and current teaching assignments. A quick perusal of the data would give the impression of a strong message about inclusion, both as a normative value that all children should learn together, and as a preference for placing children with disabilities in the same environment as other students. This perception comes from the advocacy of inclusion in coursework and in practicum experiences. However, credential candidates are also socialized by their workplace and through prior experiences. They were mostly educated in schools that did not include students with disabilities in the mainstream classrooms and all work at schools that do not include all students in the general education classroom all of the time. A credential candidate might be assigned as an inclusion teacher, but all the schools that candidates teach at also have pull-out programs and separate classes for other disabled children at the same school. This is important in understanding how two inclusion teachers can have very different beliefs about inclusion as evidenced in Section 4.1. Credential candidates take university teachings about inclusion and lter those ideas through their own daily teaching experiencewhat they take away from the process is a tension between their own schooling experiences without children with disabilities in their classes, their daily teaching where they may be a part of an inclusion program or not, and the university message that inclusion is not one of several choices about where and how to educate children with disabilities, but the only way and place to teach children with disabilities. This tension results in three different, and sometimes overlapping, socialization outcomes for credential candidatescomplete socialization, selective socialization, or rejection of California Universitys socialization about inclusion.13

Lacey (1977, p. 132) calls this the intersection of biography and situation.

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4.1. Almost complete socialization Alice came to teaching from the business world.14 She spent years as a computer programmer than as a consultant. She left her job for personal reasons and slowly worked her way into the eld of education. She worked as a paraprofessional with an inclusion teacher. The person she worked for encouraged her to go get a teaching credential and assured her she would be a good teacher. Alice entered California University after securing herself a job as a middle-school inclusion teacher. She found the philosophy of the program to align with what she had learned as a paraprofessional. Alices interview is peppered with many statements about inclusion and her philosophical support of it. For example, she said, Theres really no other choice but to be an inclusion teacher, I mean yes, there are other optionsy (line 40), but for Alice there is not; she changes the conversation to another topic at this point in the interview. She only wants to be an inclusion teacher. She admits: My bias is very clear. Yeah, thats how I feel, very strongly about it (line 52). She also divulged that her philosophical alignment with the university program is part of a larger social agenda she espouses, its just that I dont like the idea of segregated anything (line 54). She later continues, I just think anybody should be in inclusion, soy I will stand by that (line 163). Alices personal views align closely with the programmatic ones and she is willingly socialized into accepting inclusion as a placement option to educate students and as the dogma of the program and for herself. At rst she seems like the perfect example of complete socialization; she shares the professional values of inclusion, knows the language and espouses inclusionary practices. Alice might agree wholeheartedly with California University about including all students in general education classrooms, but her valuing of inclusion extends only to the students in her immediate control. Students who were in other classes or treated differently in school were not a voiced concern. Alice said: thats not uncommon to see, special day class with an inclusion program. Um, seems to work ne here, I mean theyre doing their thing, we do our thing (line 159).
Selective information about participants has been changed in order to protect their identities.
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She sees children in the next classroom who spend more than 60% of their school day away from their peers but does not question that practice. Though Alice believes in inclusion ideologically, she enacts her beliefs of inclusion only for the students with whom she works. This may be due to institutional constraints she must contend with, the strong force of workplace socialization that makes differential treatment of students acceptable, other forms of socialization not brought out in the interview or a combination of forces. Alice is the only credential candidate in this study who comes close to complete socialization by California University. It is very difcult to be completely socialized to a new way of believing when there are so many internal and external factors inuencing socialization about inclusion as a place and as a philosophy. 4.2. Selective socialization Though Alice aligns herself closely with the universitys mission, other teachers felt the push of inclusion as an unrealistic demand on their daily teaching practice. The other teachers struggle more with the reality of including all students in a general education setting most or all of the time. This section will illustrate the teachers struggles with a lack of connection between university teachings and that of their workplace, parental concerns, and the reality of teaching students with signicant disabilities. These factors inhibit complete socialization about inclusion. Loni is an inclusion teacher in a district who is having trouble educating any of their students. She laughs aloud and says: theyre having trouble with the regular students so I can kind of understand why they dont have a(Laughs) a special ed program too much. But this is more than just a passing point; her district is undergoing a great institutional change superseding her struggles as an inclusion teacher. Loni says: I dont feel like my program is fully supported by Lawndale15 and its kind of making me burned out by it. For Loni, teaching about inclusion is one of many worries at her school, not the only one. Institutional
School districts names and identifying information have been changed to protect anonymity.
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pressures that make her feel burned out outweigh her concern about inclusion, even though she is the inclusion teacher. Sarah, a special day class teacher at an elementary school, spoke most strongly about the disconnect between theory and practice.16 She understands what the university is asking of her, but also understands that the reality of implementing inclusion at her school is a different story. Sarah has had experiences in a variety of settings from a summer day camp to a residential treatment center for children with emotional difculties. She feels that these diverse activities have given her lots of strategies that work with all kinds of students. Now she works in a segregated setting with problematic paraprofessionals and a lack of support from the administrators at her school. Sarahs discourse reveals the dichotomous nature of what she experiences on a day-to-day basis. She says that the idea of inclusion is ideologically sound but not necessarily tied to the realities and the constraints that the school has (line 157). She acknowledges the universitys push for inclusion, while at the same time juxtaposes that with her day-to-day teaching experiences: they (the professors) are looking at a macro level theyre looking at systems change; what can be lost sight of when you look at a macro level (is) just the microthe little places where it doesnt work (line 194). Sarah indicates that she teaches at one of those little places and things are not easy for her. Perhaps the most poignant quote from Sarah refers to the language used at her university versus that used at her school site: At California University I talk about the individual who experiences autism and the individual who provides support and assistance to the individual who experiences autism. At Fernleaf Unied, I have a class for students with severe handicap and I have four aides to the handicapped(line 262). The difference between people rst language and the use of handicap indicates the gulf between
16 The word strongly is used to indicate the emotion felt by Sarah in the interview. She broke down into tears during the interview as she struggled through explaining the universitys expectations and her inability to push her school to embrace inclusion too.

language socialization at the school and at the university and helps explain Sarahs frustration with inclusion. Sarah would like to have her students included in general education classrooms but has many organizational barriers that keep her from completing her goals. Sarahs frustration with two competing organizations forces her to break down in the interview and cry. Sarah is not the only one who indicates a disconnect between the university mission and the practicalities of every-day teaching. Other credential candidates experience conict between what the university wants and the realities of their daily teaching experiences. Jan, a teacher who works with children at several different schools each week, talks about a balance between inclusion for the sake of social relationships and needing time with students to work on life skills that she feels cannot take place in the general education classroom. Rodney would like his students to be more included in the general education setting but the placement of a county class on district property hinders inclusion. Other teachers do not have to include his students because his students are not technically part of the district. Therefore, only some teachers at Rodneys school are willing to include some students for discrete times of the day. Rodney also spoke about parental choice rather than his own belief or that of his workplace as reasons to include disabled children with their general education peers or not. When asked why some of his students spend more time in general education than others, he says, because the parents pushed for their children to be more included. Sarah had parents who wanted her to make their children normal and thus include them in general education. Loni worked with parents who did not care where their child was educated but struggled with how to teach their daughter how to communicate. In this case, following parental preferences is a major factor in the education and placement of students with disabilities, regardless of what California University teaches. The last case of selective socialization has to do with the students themselves. Several of the teachers spoke about the degree of students disabilities as a factor in embracing inclusion as a setting for some children. Sarah, Loni, Jan, Rodney and Terry felt there needed to be time to teach functional skills to children with severe impairments. The general education classroom does not have time set aside to teach students how to brush their teeth, wash their

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clothes or ride a bus. Many of these teachers feel that those things need to be taught to their students because they believe the students would not learn it elsewhere. They also have concerns about increasing academic standardization like scripted curricula in general-education classrooms, making the environment non-conducive to students with alternative learning needs. Institutional mismatch, parental concerns, and differential priorities of teaching students with signicant disabilities in schools that are not modied to accept these students impact credential candidates socialization. Selective socialization takes into account credential candidates own schooling and current experiences as teachers as lters for what is possible with students who have disabilities in their workplaces. Most of the candidates in this study, and I would posit in general, will fall into this category unless teacher education programs implement more effective socialization processes. 4.3. Rejected socialization This last teacher, Terry, says she has learned a lot about inclusion and how to talk to parents and teachers about inclusion, but rejects the idea herself. Terry has been assigned as an inclusion teacher but has not adopted the identity of one at a high school, where 20% of the students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). She has been a teacher at the school for the past 2 years. Prior to teaching she was a paraprofessional in special education for the past 5 years in a variety of settings. She worked one-onone with a student with autism and has several paraprofessional experiences in special day classes. Her rst job with students with disabilities was as a home health care aide during college. On some days she worked at home and on other days she took the child to school. Terry enjoyed being in school with the girl and decided teaching might be for her. Additionally, Terry has a brother with a learning disability who went to school in special day classes. When asked about how her brother liked the separate settings, she said: He didnt actually start leaning until he was in an enclosed special day class with a teacher who knew what he needed to teach, you know, to be able to learn. Though Terry herself is assigned as an inclusion teacher, she has misgivings about the position. Her

job is to support students with moderate/severe disabilities in a general education high school classroom. She would like to pull students out of the general education setting more often. She is not sure that all of their needs are provided for in that setting. She worries that the social aspect of students learning to interact with each other overtakes the other skills she wants her students to have. Inclusion, for Terry, is a setting that does not meet the needs of all students with disabilities, not an ideological imperative for all students. Being an inclusion teacher is an occupational assignment, not a philosophical decision. In this case, it is clear that Terrys own schooling experiences, or more precisely, those of her brother, provide a much stronger socializing force than either her job or her university experience. Terry saw separate settings as benecial for her brother and thinks they would be benecial for her students as well. Terry has received the same university education as her peers but has a very different lter. Terry claried her views on inclusion long before entering her credential program and rejects California Universitys socialization. She teaches students in an inclusive setting, but has not embraced the identity of an inclusion teacher or been effectively socialized by the university into the philosophy of inclusion. 5. Limitations Interpretive traditions of teacher socialization acknowledge the role of structure and agency in the process of socialization. New teachers make sense of knowledge learned at the university program, their prior knowledge and things learned at their school sites. This study agrees with other teacher socialization ndings and highlights specic examples of teachers ltering university teaching about inclusion. It offers a starting point for understanding programs with an explicit philosophy and the limitations of a single program to change school placement for children with moderate to severe disabilities. It is also a starting point to understanding the process of socialization where credential candidates teach and learn to teach simultaneously. The study design, however, is limited due to a self-selection process of interviewees. The sample is biased towards people who were willing to talk about their experiences and beliefs. The remaining two individuals who chose not to be interviewed may have views that differ greatly from the people interviewed. Threats to reliability were

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addressed by including discussion with colleagues on the themes appearing in the project and reviewing material with a study group (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Additionally, the original audio tapes have been preserved in case of confusion or for future queries. 6. Discussion The teachers in this study are all currently teaching. The traditional process of teacher education socialization loses theoretical footing in this case, where there is simultaneous and continuous socialization from the university and from the schools these teachers teach at every day. Through examples from their past and current teaching experiences, teachers in this study lter knowledge, skills, and values learned at the California University into knowledge, skills and values they can apply in their classrooms. The concepts of including students with disabilities in general education classrooms as a placement and as a philosophy are ltered into different outcomes for credential candidates. Alice is an example of almost complete socialization about inclusion, but appears to apply it only to the students she works with. Rodney, Sarah, Loni and Jan make obvious the ltering process since they are all selectively or partially socialized about inclusion in the way the university would have wanted. They evoke the tension between the ideal of inclusion and the reality of implementing it in their schools. Terry, though designated as an inclusion teacher, came into the moderate/severe teacher credential program at California University already comfortable with her own pre-existing beliefs that inclusion is not for everyone. Terry rejects the universitys vision of inclusion since she has personal proof that it did not work for her brother. Alice identies as an inclusion teacherembraces the philosophy and the placement decisions. Terry is assigned an inclusion caseload but does not embrace the philosophical implications of inclusion. The other teachers lie on the continuum of identifying with the practice and/or philosophy of inclusion. The ndings from this study reveal complexity to the traditional notion of workplace and university socialization. This analysis extends the previous work on teacher socialization and its relationship to how teachers are socialized at the university and at the schools where they teach. Workplace socialization

literature posits that socialization is a linear process. New workers (in this case credential candidates) come with their own experiences, beliefs and prior knowledge to the place where they will be socialized into a new organization (in this case a teacher education program at California University). Once they have learned the values, knowledge and skills necessary for the workplace (schools), they go out and work. The work environment then exerts pressure to learn the values, knowledge and skills that are unique to that workplace (individual schools). Many studies have looked at how credential candidates learn to teach. Wideen, Mayer-Smith, and Moon (1998) compiled a review of 93 empirical studies about learning to teach. However, all of the studies followed the pattern of prior belief, to the university and to the school as a workplace. In the special case of moderate/severe credential candidates at California University, the pattern differs. Credential candidates are also full-time teachers. Therefore, the socialization process occurs unlike the literature suggests for most pre-service candidates. These teachers bring their own experiences, beliefs and prior knowledge to California University, but they also bring their years of working in a classroom as paraprofessionals and as full-time teachers. Their beliefs about teaching, about special education, and about inclusion have already been claried, supported, and challenged through experiences as a teacher prior to entrance in the moderate/ severe teacher education program. Their beliefs are further claried, supported, challenged, and sometimes compromised by the current realities of their workplaces in contrast to the wishes of the university program. The program must contend with this group of credential candidates who bring a different perspective from what is learned at the university. The socialization process is different. The teachers in this small study show variable embrace of the values and practices of inclusion as taught by California University. The program has socialized them to the language of inclusion, but the outcomes of that socialization appear as these credential candidates talk about their beliefs, not as people new to teaching, but as people who lter what the university teaches them through their prior and current school contexts. Additionally, as in the cases of Alice and Terry, occupational identity (I am an Inclusion Teacher) and occupational assignment (I teach inclusion) inuence the ltering process. School context in terms of job description and

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student placement limits being able to practice inclusion as California University would like. Experiences in their own schooling, with students with disabilities, and with students parents also inuence the ltering process. California University is trying to make a change in educational culture by teaching and advocating for including all children in the general education classroom, but if this small group of teachers provides any indication of a larger phenomenon, then their efforts at socializing credential candidates are not enough. It is unclear how much the schools at which credential candidates work align with a philosophic belief about inclusion as part of creating a better democracy, but, since all of the schools have other locations like resource rooms and special day classes where children can be educated, it would appear that the schools in this small studyat leastsee inclusion only as a placement decision for educating children with disabilities. Given the institutional context these credential candidates work in, the simultaneous and continuous forces of socialization from California University, their schools, and their occupational requirements, it is no wonder that most of them only achieved selective or partial socialization about inclusion. We can use this small study as a guide post for further inquiry into socialization processes of credential candidates who are simultaneously fulltime teachers. We need stronger indicators of the necessary factors in aligning prior experiences with workplace and university socialization in order to move teacher education to the transformative experience it hopes to be. Appendix A.1. Interview protocol Can you start off by talking about what work you do now? How has your experience working at X helped you think about disability? Background questions. This rst set of questions is to help me understand what your prior and current experiences have been. So why did you want to become a teacher? Age? Sped?

What would you say was your primary motivation or drive? Was there something PULLING you into teaching, or other careers PUSHING you away from it? Do you know other individuals who were special education teachers? How was disability treated at your high school, elementary school? Have you worked with people with disabilities prior to your teacher training program? If yes, for how long? Tell me about an experience you remember. Is there anyone in your family diagnosed with a disability? If yes, what is their relationship to you? What is their disability? TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM What were your perceptions of disability when you started the program? And how did you choose California University? If I was a prospective student at CU, and asked you about the program, what would you tell me? Describe some professors who had the most impact on how you think about disability. Out of your whole program what lessons have been the most important for you? The least important? What else would you have liked to learn about? What was missing from your program? How does your program address disability rights? How does your program address disability culture? Denitions Now Id like to ask you about some words that are really common in special education. What do you think of when I say disability? What do you think of when I say special education? What do you think of when I say special needs? What does the word handicap mean to you? What does the word impairment mean to you?

VIEWS ON DISABILITY Now Id like to ask you about your future plans.

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TEACHING PRACTICE Tell me about the relationship between general ed and special ed teachers. What aspects of teaching do you think will be the easiest? What aspects of teaching do you think will be the hardest? What kind of student do you think you will work best with? What kind of student do you think you will struggle with? What group of children do you hope to work with, are you working with? In your opinion describe where do their disabilities come from. What is disabling about having x? What might be other factors in the classroom, in society, outside of the classroom, which contribute to how those kids feel? What setting is most appropriate for helping these children learn best? What do you see as these childrens futures? What constraints do you see in accomplishing these goals? QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FIELD OF SPECIAL EDUCATION Where do you think the eld of special education is going in the future? Where would you like to see it go? If you wanted to improve public education for students with special needs what major changes would you make? References
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