What's so special about special education?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by waterfall, May 4, 2014.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    May 4, 2014

    My team is running a PD on this next week. We're pretty much finished, but I think it's an interesting question. I'm curious to see what others would say.
     
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  3. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    May 4, 2014

    Nowadays, for kids with mild/moderate disabilities, nothing.

    They are expected to meet grade level standards and take standardized tests like everyone else. Therefore, they need to be in an environment that supports learning those standards. A few years ago, I would have said that they get "specialized supports" like read aloud, extended time, or scaffolded instruction. Now, with a huge push towards differentiated instruction for all students, it's not any different from what a typical learner gets in the classroom.

    Maybe that's just me and my limited experience (wrapping up my 3rd year as an intervention specialist).
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I would agree with this for "full inclusion" schools where kids don't get any specialized services. Is that what your school does? We still provide resource classes, although I see that going away in the future.
     
  5. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Yes, I'm a full inclusion school....with the exception of severe disabilities (MH) who participate in alternative assessment.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    The idea of full inclusion frustrates me. It's fine for kids with minor disabilities that are working at or near grade level, but if full inclusion is used with kids with more severe disabilities, who are working 2+ years below grade level, then all you're doing is wasting their time sitting in a classroom, participating in lessons they have no real chance to comprehend.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    And it's even worse because I suspect part of the reason inclusion is being pushed to such a high degree is to ultimately replace special ed teachers with special ed IAs.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    gr3teacher, agreed on all counts. All of the schools I did practicum/student teaching in were "full inclusion" with the exception of students with very severe disabilities. All mild/moderate students were in gen ed. 100% of the time. I hated it as a teacher and didn't think it was good for the students either.
     
  9. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I agree. I have several kids that were in resource room or fully in gen ed before coming to me this year. The stories I heard were things like they sat and stared for a year or they cried every day because they were so lost. All of my students have made remarkable progress this year because they're finally in a setting where the standards for them are high, but realistic and attainable. If a students is 2 or more years below grade level, how much can you really differentiate in one lesson to meet his needs? He obviously should not be doing anything resembling the work of the on grade level student.

    Yes, or one SPED teacher to "consult" with the gen ed teachers rather than enough SPED teachers to truly meet the needs of the students.
     
  10. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    May 4, 2014

    The Individualized Education Plan lays it all out. It is a legal document with detailed information about what the child will receive as part of their educational program. That's what makes special ed so special.
     
  11. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    "what makes special ed so special?"

    The teachers.
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    The schools that I've worked in have been full inclusion as well with some pull out. At the first school I worked at as an aide, there were co-teachers in Math and ELA and aides in SS and Science. The school where I taught we had one teacher (me) and two aides to go into the 4 core subject areas. We would end up pulling students out to work on assignments. In both of these schools, there was resource for those kiddos that just were not on level with grade level peers. The district I'm in now is strictly full inclusion. There are kids at a huge disservice because they do not belong in a regular ed classroom, no matter how many modifications you make to the standards.
     
  13. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    May 8, 2014

    If you work in a district with mostly constructivist gen ed teaching, it is direct instruction that sets special ed apart.
     
  14. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    May 9, 2014

    I have asked these questions over and over and never got a good response: Does full inclusion override the general law of least restrictive environment? Does common core override the general law of least restrictive environment? Does not having highly qualified staff in the area of instruction override the general law of least restrictive environment? Does the test the child is taking override the general law of least restrictive environment?

    Every time I ask it, my director looks at me like I am being ridiculous. WE know the answer. We just aren't supposed to say it.:whistle:
     

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