Mini-Lecture—Preparing SPED Students for Life in the 21st Century
Special Education has been undergoing school reform in the same way that general education has over the last few years. While some of the issues are different, many of the main ones are similar, such as: how can we implement “all children can learn” and “all children will perform on grade level” policies fairly, how can schools be held accountable for the achievement of its students when so many other variables also affect student learning, and how can we implement assessment programs that adequately and fairly assess all students without discriminating against some subgroups?
Some of our major concerns during SPED reform have included High Stakes Testing, Diverse Student Populations, School Safety, Response to Intervention (RTI) approaches to identification, Authentic Access to General Education Curriculum for SPED students, etc. Students with learning disabilities are a part of the population that has been affected by recent school reform efforts.
One very positive reform affecting service delivery for SPED students, especially in the general education inclusion setting, involves legislative efforts to integrate the use of methods for this population of students that are based upon scientific research. Both No Child Left Behind (2001) and IDEA (2004) Special Education legislation require schools/teachers to use research based methods and interventions where possible. You cannot use them if you do not know what they are or how to apply them.
Review the following Internet resources in preparation for responding to Critical Issue #4.
Wrightslaw. (2010). Research Based Instruction. Available at http://www.wrightslaw.com/nclb/rbi.htm (Links to an external site.)
Thurlow, M.L., Quenemoen, R.F., & Lazarus, S.S. (n.d.). Education Students: Recommendations for the Race to the Top Consortia and States.
http://www.cehd.umn.edu/NCEO/onlinepubs/Martha_Thurlow-Meeting_the_Needs_of_Special_Education_Students.pdf (Links to an external site.)
Research Spotlight on Best Practices in Education
http://www.nea.org/tools/17073.htm (Links to an external site.) (multiple resources)
Emphasis on Research-Based Resources and Practices
http://www.specialconnections.ku.edu/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/specconn/main.php?cat=auxil§ion=research (Links to an external site.)
10 Ways to Build Instructional Materials For 21st Century Skills – Information Overload Part 3
The IRIS Center. (2016). Evidence-Based Practice Summaries. Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. Available at http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/ebp_summaries/ (Links to an external site.)
The IRIS Center. (2016). Evidence-Based Practices (Part 1): Identifying and Selecting a Practice or Program Available at http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/ebp_01/ (Links to an external site.)
The IRIS Center. (2016). Evidence-Based Practices (Part 2): Implementing a Practice or Program with Fidelity. Available at http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/ebp_02/ (Links to an external site.)
The IRIS Center. (2016). Evidence-Based Practices (Part 3): Evaluating Learner Outcomes and Fidelity. Available at http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/ebp_03/ (Links to an external site.)
What Works Clearinghouse. Available at https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/ (Links to an external site.)
See also: RESEARCH VALIDATED TEACHING PRACTICES rtf.docxPreview the documentView in a new window
Teacher.Parent Resources.docxPreview the documentView in a new window
Respond in writing to the following Critical Issue # 4 and submit your response to the designated Assignment link in the Assignments section of the course menu. Please respond with a minimum of 4 pages, double spaced.
Critical Issue # 4: You have been hired as a consultant by the area of Special Education at a local university to collaborate with the SPED faculty and advise them on the best way to integrate the use of best practices into their teaching methods courses for general education and special education teaching majors.
You know that you, as a consultant, and they (as higher education faculty) have a difficult task ahead. You know that general education and special education teachers are already nearly overwhelmed with the responsibilities of meeting new curriculum requirements, high stakes testing criteria, SPED paperwork, IEPs, and monitoring of student outcomes—which is expected to be positive (or else).
Still, you know that applications of researched based instruction to prepare SPED students to be successful in the 21st century is critical. So…how do you propose to carry out your consulting duties? Come up with a set of recommendations or a plan for helping ensure that the School of Education faculty integrates research based best practices into their methods classes.
As you prepare your consultative report, consider the following:
Does research based best practices for SPED students differ from what is currently focused on by teachers of these students?
Whose major responsibility will it be to teach the best practices (general educator or special educator)?
What are the most critical best practice skills to be taught, in your opinion? Why?
Pick one skill set and give specific and practical advice about how the teacher education programs at the university can support/promote its teacher education candidates to teach the best practices to students with disabilities when they exit their programs.
What resources have you found on the Internet that might be helpful with this process?