Evolutions In Special Education Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Teaching Type: Essay Paper: #62898900 Related Topics: Evolution, Deaf Culture, Special Education, Exceptional Children
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Evolution of Special Education: Pre-1950s to Present

Special Education Evolutions

Special reduction has made tremendous evolutions since its inception. To effectively understand the current state of special education in public education, it is necessary to consider the full trajectory and how the perspectives on special education have developed over the years. The first special education programs were target at "at risk" children who primarily resided in urban slums and ghettos after a public education was made compulsory in the United States. They taught manual skills such as carpentry or metal work while other programs focused on teaching moral lessons to minorities. Later, special education began to focus more on children with disabilities. Although there were students that had physical and mental disabilities in the nineteenth century, making specific provisions for the inherent challenges that these students faced did not became a common educational priority until the 1940s. Since this time, the understanding of the needs of children with physical and mental disabilities has gone through rapid evolutions as the effectiveness of special education has improved relative to these needs. This analysis will look at the state of special education before the 1950s to the present to point out some of the achievements that this field of education has made.

Special Education Evolutions

The early development of special education can be traced back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The focus of special education was not so much on education however; instead it considered more of an effort to make social provisions for "defective" children as they were perceived at the time. There was an effort to remove these students from the emerging public schooling systems so that so-called "normal" children could focus on their studies. There was also the notion present that disabled children could best be helped by the emerging specialist class that could better accommodate their specific weaknesses better than the traditional classroom.

"The development of special education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was linked to a number of complex factors, not least of which was the emergent and sometimes competing professionalism of teachers and doctors and psychologists and a growth of official interest in the

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It was less for egalitarian or liberal values, and more for an opportunity to impose a level of social control. However, the social control that was instituted was focused on teaching common values that included self-discipline and tolerance for other ethnic groups. Since the U.S. population was so heavily diversified by ethnic background as well as religious beliefs and other differences, these groups need to learn to live together in relative harmony and teaching children to value tolerance was an effective means to spread these specific value throughout the population.

It was in this environment the first special education programs that specialized in certain disabilities appeared in the educational system. The first specialized programs were targeted at specific disabilities, such as blindness or deafness, and were generally private institutions. These programs were relatively rare and difficult for parents to both afford as well as find access to. It wasn't until the civil rights movement in the U.S. that originated in the mid-twentieth century and demand that children with disabilities be provided a free and "appropriate" education (Aron & Loprest, 2012). Furthermore, there were also provisions cited that called on the students to be taught in the "least restrictive" setting.

The mid-twentieth century led to a period in which there were major evolutions in the quality and outcomes of special education programs. Researchers note that the three biggest changes to special education include (Lloyd & Llloyd, 2015):

1. Deinstitutionalization

2. Provisions of legal protections for individuals with disabilities

3. And an emphasis on evidence-based practices.

Before this revolution in special education, students would be institutionalized in dorm rooms and separated from the rest of the students. Through a series of reforms that…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Armstrong, F. (2002). The historical development of special education: humanitarian rationality or 'wild profusion of entangled events'? History of Education, 437-456.

Aron, L., & Loprest, P. (2012). Disability and the Education System. Future of Children, 97-122.

Lloyd, J., & Llloyd, P. (2015). Reinforcing Success: What Special Educaiton Could Learn From Its Earlier Accomplishments. Remdial and Special Education, 77-82.

Seave, P. (2011). Evidence-Based Practices Reduce Juvenile Recidivism: Can State Government Effectively Promote Implementation Among Probation Departments? American Journal of Community Psychology, 138-140.


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