Alison Claire Burnette
Exam – Take Home Question
Special Education (SPE) is a discipline that has certainly made a lot of strides in recent
years. I believe that this discipline continues to make significant achievements, yet it still
struggles with several problems. Personally, I believe that SPE must deal with problems
rapidly increasing numbers
of students being served,
and/or identification procedures,
understanding, and (finally) the
underrepresentation of minorities in the subset of
gifted and talented education
I believe it’s safe to say that no parents WANT their children to be in Special Education.
Our society has evolved into one in which only the very best can succeed, so that is what
parents want. Moreover, in my experience parents (and grandparents for that matter) love
to brag about how well their child is doing. But, it’s really hard to brag about a child in
Special Education. The discipline, as a whole, has attained a negative connotation within
society. While certain accomplishments have been made to correct this negativity,
problems still remain. For example, children in Special Education continue to be
separated from the school. In my high school, Special Education classrooms (though not
in the basement) were in a closed off wing of the school. Though I’m three years
removed from my high school experience, I can recall very few memories of seeing any
Special Education student. I understand that students must be placed in their Least
Restrictive Environment (LRE); however, I personally subscribe to inclusion practices.
Without inclusion, general education students will not learn anything about Special
Education (SPE). General education students will always assume that SPE students have
nothing in common with them, and begin to look down on them as if they are not real
people. I don’t know if improvement would come with more inclusion, but any
significant increase in awareness on ability would help decrease the negativity around
Special Education. Then, the rest of society can begin to view the full potential of
children in SPE – they will realize that they, too, contribute to our society. Another issue
with the negative connotation comes with labeling – no one wants to be labeled as
anything negative in society.
Over the past few decades, the discipline of Special Education has grown a great deal.