Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mainstreaming Special Ed. Students

A column in Ed Week Teacher here by a former special education teacher, argues that good teachers work through the strengths of their students, esp. their children with special needs.  

Good suggestions, but I don’t think they fit in with the way sped. students are being mainstreamed.  The model my school—and most schools I know about—used was to make accommodations for sped. kids so they could “access the curriculum.”

The question then becomes this:  Is it better for a student with a reading disability to listen to a class book on tape, or have a tutor walk him through it—or to give him a book he can enjoyably read on this own?  

I’m a big believer that all children, and especially children with special needs, should be given work that they can largely complete on their own.  That’s how real learning happens.  And while I think the author of this column is going in that direction, I wish he were clearer.

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