School Connectedness for Students with Disabilities: From Theory to Evidence-based Practice focuses on the importance of school connectedness for students with disabilities, and presents ways in which this sense of connectedness can be fostered. Written from a holistic perspective, it embraces a variety of approaches, strategies and interventions rooted in evidence-based theory and practice, and examines them not only in regard to the student with a disability, but also school leaders, teachers, families and community members.
The book describes and defines the concept of school connectedness, provides the reader with a theoretical framework from which to examine connectedness and explores connectedness from the lens of each of its components. It discusses the importance of assessing school connectedness in order to make data-based intervention decisions, as well as unpacking the components of student engagement, school climate, bonding and attachment. Several school-wide and leadership approaches that foster school connectedness are presented, as are ways to involve families. All of these are discussed through the lens of disability, in order to acknowledge the characteristics of disability that affect student levels of school connectedness.
School connectedness has become a priority for many schools and educators internationally. Research demonstrates the importance of connectedness as a protective factor, and its impact on the health behaviour, social, emotional and academic outcomes of young people. Grounded in theory and relevant to practice, this is essential reading for anyone interested in improving the school connectedness of students with different disabilities across the lifespan.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
About the Authors
2. The School Connectedness Paradigm: A Theoretical Perspective
3. School Climate and its Effects on School Connectedness
4. Assessing Student School Connectedness
5. Characteristics of Students with Disabilities that Impact School Connectedness
6. Student Bonding and Attachment
7. Student Engagement
8. Enlisting Parents as Partners in the School Connectedness Paradigm
9. Strategies to Promote School Connectedness
Therese M. Cumming is an Associate Professor in Special Education in the School of Education at UNSW Sydney. Her publications include an edited book (Sustaining Mobile Learning: Theory, research, and practice, Routledge 2016), a co-authored book (Lifespan Transitions for Individuals with Disabilities: A holistic perspective, Routledge 2016), book chapters, journal articles and international conference papers. She also has many years of experience as a special educator.
Robbie J. Marsh is an Assistant Professor in Special Education at Mercer University. His research interests include: students with emotional and behavioural disorders and autism, access to mental health services and applied behaviour analysis.
Kyle Higgins is a Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational & Clinical Studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Her research interests focus on the use of technology and other evidence-based practices with students with disabilities to foster their inclusion in academic and non-academic settings.
A must read for teachers, administrators, and policy makers who are trying to promote "school connectedness" for students with disabilities. Each chapter provides research-based information on topics related to school connectedness followed by theory to practice guidance for making schools a better place for students with disabilities.
Sarup R. Mathur, PhD, BCBA-D, Professor of Special Education, Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University
At a critical time in education Cumming, Marsh, and Higgins provide us with a new and incredibly valuable resource that focuses on the importance of fostering school connectedness and reminds all of us, teachers, administrators, families, and other champions of students with disabilities, that we can do more to improve our practices and engage these youth.
Heather Griller Clark, Ph.D., Principle Research Specialist, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University