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It is the type of education that addresses the unique needs of students with special needs. Students have individual differences as well as different needs. Special education is integrated into education syllabus and is monitored systematically through well-established teaching procedures, materials and equipment and other designed methods that are intended to equip the students with special needs acquire higher levels of self sufficiency in a controlled environment as opposed to learning in normal schools and under typical classroom conditions. In the recent past efforts have been stepped up towards the best approaches of ensuring that students with special needs in the such as like the disabled students are well-taken care of both physically and psychologically. It calls for training of teachers who meet the standards to handle this special group of students. Governments, the community, parents, guardians and other stakeholders have all worked together to achieve this noble course. Previously all students, both the normal and those who have special conditions were taught together, in the same classroom setting. It was not a desirable measure due to the obvious reason that a teacher would be overwhelmed and would not be able to give special attention to this group of students. It is against this backdrop that special schools were founded. Over the years, improvements have been made to further divide the schools into various categories. It is due to the fact that different levels of disabilities exist hence the need to provide frameworks and guidelines that will address these issues.
Beverly Rainforth; York-Barr, Jennifer (1997). Collaborative Teams for Students With Severe Disabilities: Integrating Therapy and Educational Services. Brookes Publishing Company.
This new edition offers proposals that will help to turn the professional dissimilarities in training and way of thinking into learning resources rather than obstacles towards realization of special education needs. It is the revised version that offers comprehensive guidelines on assessment, special education curriculum growth, and training of the learners with special needs those with severe disabilities. The book elaborates how therapy can be incorporated into the special education system as a field on its own. The author tries to simplify the notion that special education cannot be integrated into school curricula.
Gaylord-Ross, Robert (1989). Integration strategies for students with handicaps. Baltimore: P.H. Brookes.
In this book, the author focuses on teaching techniques that integrate strategies in teaching, describing students with special needs, materials, settings, evaluation, procedures, designs, as well as pragmatic methods to successfully integrate students with special needs into schools, community and work environments. The special feature about the book is that it includes relevant examples, questions, and case studies in each chapter, teaching strategies by use of education models, incorporating tools for pre-school learning through occupational training, particular coverage of various disabilities, explores the contentious education initiative, the role of technology in enhancing special education and the valuable input of parent of the disabled learner.
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Smith P (October 2007). Have we made any progress? Including students with intellectual disabilities in regular education classrooms. In O'Brien, John. Intellectually Disabled learners 45 (5): 297–309.
This book interrogates the extent to which mentally retarded students and include in class participation in the United States. Inclusion of all students in class discussion is an internationally accepted practice. However, mentally weak students have not been adequately represented in class participations. It also includes students with other disabilities. In the recent surveys carried in the US and other countries across the globe, only 11% of the disabled students are included in active class participation and other activities. The book addresses inclusion of research studies, advocacy, and policies to ensure that more disabled students are included in active participation both in class and at work.
James Q. Affleck; Sally Madge, Abby Adams, Sheila Lowenbraun (1988-01). Integrated classroom versus resource model: academic viability and effectiveness. Exceptional Children: 2. Retrieved 2010-05-29.
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To determine effectiveness and viability of special education system, integrated classrooms were compared available resource models. Performances of students with special needs were compared with those of students who learned in special resource centers that were specially designed to take care of students with disabilities and other handicaps. Integrated model of classroom was found to be cheaper than use of resource centers. The same levels of grasp of math, reading and language competencies were achieved in both categories of students. It shows that under optimum and ideal learning conditions students, both normal and with special needs can achieve same competencies in various curriculum and non-curriculum activities.
Gregg, Noe%u0308l. Adolescents and Adults with Learning Disabilities and Adhd: Assessment and Accommodation. New York: Guilford Publications, 2009.
Most of special needs studies focus on children under age of 12 years of age. They are mostly students suffering from learning disabilities as well as attention-deficit disorder commonly known as ADHD. The focus on elementary school-age leaners only should shift to post-adolescent and older students. Studies indicate that adults for example have been overlooked. This book authoritatively assists clinicians and educators to steer though the numerous policies, laws and scientific researches that offer diagnostic and intercession decision making that will help deal with special needs for adolescents and adults. A leading researcher, Greg offers distinct guidelines on conducting and documenting assessments based on evidence and deriving relevant teaching methods from the assessments.
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David (25 September 2007). Assessment for disabled students: an international comparison (Report). UK: Ofqual's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, Regulation & Standards Division.
This research investigated effect of social comparisons on the apparent academic capabilities of special education learners from grade 8 to grade 11. Self-Perception Profile of Adolescents (SPPA) was carried out two times on 22 special learners and on another 22 normal students. This study was to enable assess self-perception of the special students learners about themselves in terms of academic competence, physical appearance, work competence, sex appeal and behavior. Special education students were asked if they compared themselves to fellow special learners of if they compared themselves to the normal learners. No one among them admitted to making social reference in evaluating their self worth and perception about themselves. The perception of special student learners about academic competence was higher among special education leaners as compared to normal students than as compared among themselves. The implication of the case study carried out is that adolescent special education leaners should be treated with sensitivity. Interaction between the two groups should be encouraged so as to boost confidence and self-esteem of adolescent special learners.
Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. UK: Department for Education and Skills. November 2001.
The journal gives insight into the needs of special education learners in primary or elementary school level. It gives the essential guidelines on the use of Special Education Needs (SEN) conduct code to teachers. They are the standard codes that govern teachers and facilitators on how they ought to conduct themselves when dealing these special students. Their needs are sensitive and should be met with utmost understanding and patience.
Simpson, Richard L.; Sonja R. de Boer (2009). Successful inclusion for students with autism: creating a complete, effective ASD inclusion program. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. pp. 38–42.
Including students with autism in special needs program allows teachers both in general and special schools and also the administrators of those schools all the relevant information they require to initiate and maintain an effective program that integrates learners with autism broad-range disorders. The book gives an elaborate guideline on how to create a productive program that includes key and sensitive areas such as the role of the teacher and other dispensations, current assessments and evaluation of the leaner’s progress at school. The author offers particular advice on how to design a comprehensive and inclusive program that takes into account legal placement of guidelines, valuable teaching tips on how to manage behavior and boost communication and social skills. The book emphasizes on the need for parents, the community, guardians, and other stakeholders to work together to make special education a success.
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UNESCO. (1995). Review of the present situation in special education. Web accessed 5th Monday, 2013.
The report conducted by UNESCO offers an outline on a new perception as concerns special education needs. The report was presented by UNESCO’s director general. One of its key recommendations was to develop a national platform for addressing special needs education challenges and how the challenges can be overcome. It provides a frame for action that considers changes that ought to be made in special education.
Disability Standards for Education 2005. Barton, ACT: Attorney-General's Dept., Dept. of Education, Science and Training, 2006. Internet resource.
The main reason for the disability standards was to emphasize on the commitments of education and special education teachers as outlined in the Discrimination Act of 1992. In other words, act recognizes that rights of disabled people in respect to training and education.
Understanding Special Education
The main special needs include challenges of learning, communication, behavioral and emotional disorders, physical incapability, and disorders in development. It is recommended that students with these use technology, well-predesigned teaching areas that are adapted to take care of special needs of the disabled. Intellectual giftedness may also benefit from special education teaching techniques or diverse education programs. Special education aims to assist students with mental disabilities, disorders, and physical disabilities (Beverly 123). These disabilities hamper their learning since they are likely to be slow in class and to lack proper attention in class. In that regard special education was designed to meet needs of the e students in class. Special education has made special strides. In fact, it has helped to reduce the stigma with which the disabled in the society were treated before the advent of special education and special schools and syllabus coverage. In developed countries, education regulators are making sure that only those with genuine special education needs are absorbed into these special needs schools. The rest are left in the general schools. It is because less deserving cases can be dealt with in the normal schools. If every little problem could be treated as special needs, then the schools would actually be congested, and the facilities would be insufficient. Special education requires heavy capital to maintain. It is because the cost of setting up such one center is so high in terms of employing teachers and buying facilities; investing in technology that would make teaching and aiding of disabled students or students with special needs easier (Gaylord 36). The recent past has seen governments step up efforts to ensure that these people in need of special needs are not just confined to junior pre elementary and elementary schools. Today, the schools consist of special facilities for adolescents and the elderly in the society (Gregg 47). General education does not receive additional assistance from the government while special schools do. It is due to high costs of running special schools.
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Identifying Students with Special Needs
Medical history of students and learners should be used to help identify them as learners deserving special attention. They are then moved to recommended special schools where they are evaluated and assessed in terms of the seriousness of their conditions. Their competencies are studied through use structured programs that assist the facilitators to determine their concentration levels in class and whether they may require specialized technological special equipment to aid their learning. These students may have been diagnosed with genetic medical conditions that have made them mentally retarded. The damage could be in their brains; they could be having development disorders, visual impairment or problems of hearing. The identification of these problems is not so obvious but nonetheless, if the students exhibit any forms of difficulty, they cannot be concentrating in class. Two methods have been advanced in the recent past to help identify these types of students (David 29). The methods are the intervention model and the discrepancy model.in the discrepancy model the teacher may notice that performance of a learner is noticeably below average, at least compared to average performance of the other students. The response to intervention models advocate for earlier intervention of learners with special needs. In the former model, leaners receive additional educational support that concentrates only on their specific needs, their specific learning difficulty (SLD). However, the students are expected to at least demonstrate normal intelligence and their performance should be below their expected IQ capacities. Although, the discrepancy model has dominated most schools for several years, it has witnessed heavy criticisms. Such criticism and one that was backed with research indicates that SLDs cannot be evaluated on the basis of their class performance. In essence, IQ cannot be used to predict effective of treatment of such cases. It is due to the fact that low education performers with low IQ levels will also benefit from this treatment just as much as their counterparts with high or normal intelligence.
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Response to intervention makes use of identifying children who have difficulties in the first or second year of school. This category of students with difficulties then receives additional support from like participating in the remedial classes. The kind of response these students show could then be determined if they really have disabilities worth further interventions. This method, actually, helps to reduce the number of learners that could be enlisted as in need of special intervention. Sternberg (1999) argued that early intervention approach greatly reduces number of learners meeting diagnostic criteria that qualifies them as having learning activities. He was able to propose that that preoccupation of facilitators of students with learning difficulties was training them and providing accommodation for them. According to him, people have various strengths and weaknesses; they do have other talents too sports and music. Some of the emphasis should also include nurturing their skills.
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