Rethinking Professional Issues in Special Education

Rethinking Professional Issues in Special Education

Rethinking Professional Issues in Special Education

Rethinking Professional Issues in Special Education

Synopsis

Special educators are facing new challenges at the beginning of the 21st century as public education is being reformed by a vision focusing on measurable student outcomes. The future course of the field will be shaped by the policy and programmatic responses to several issues, including demographic changes in student populations, a lack of certified special education teachers, criticism in the public media for the rising costs of services, and debates about the preferred philosophy of service delivery for students with disabilities. Additional chapters discuss university-school collaboration, charter schools, disability studies, school violence, disproportionality in placement, male African-American teachers, and ethics.

Excerpt

The modern field of special education began around the middle of the twentieth century. Since that time there have been significant gains in special education services and quantum leaps in public policies supporting educational and related services for children with disabilities. These include, for example, dramatic changes in educational service delivery philosophy, a valued voice for families, extensive development of special education teacher education programs, doctoral programs to prepare teacher educators, the development of a knowledge base of evidence-based practices, and a law mandating appropriate educational services for all children in the least restrictive environment. At the same time, the professional issues for special educators have never been greater. For example, full funding for special education services continues to be challenged by some political leaders and members of the public media who charge inadequate benefits to justify the escalating costs of services. The philosophy of special education services continues to be debated, special educators are swamped with paperwork, and definitions and labels

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