The Benefits, Pitfalls, And Challenges Of Special Needs Students Accessing The General Curriculum Introduction It could be said that teachers have a unique ability in developing the endowments of children who are apparently normal in physical and psychological growth…
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It is common knowledge that the society in general is more concerned with academic competence of normal students. But one factor that cannot be ignored by society is that there is a group of young people (male or female) who might need a certain amount of special attendance so that the teaching profession can attain a special status that stands apart from formal teaching procedures. This paper attempts to review such a stand which takes into consideration legal, moral, and social aspects with regard to children challenged with any form of disability and attempts to bind or conform a general curriculum which such children could be exposed to. The practical implementation of the needs of special needs students: The 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) made it clear that each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) should clearly describe how the learner’s “disability affects the child’s involvement with and progress in the general curriculum” and what “services, program modifications, and supports necessary for the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum” (Wehmeyer, Agran & Lattin, 2001, p. 327). These guidelines have prompted educators to reconsider how the educational programs of special needs students are designed and carried out. ...
efforts should be undertaken to ensure that no misapplication or overemphasis of any component of standards-based reform must occur in the teaching learning process. The authors argue that special needs students are just like others and these learners achieve challenging standards only when there is higher expectation is demanded from them. However, there is also the danger of setting high standards and narrowing the curriculum to core content areas resulting in higher dropout rate among such special needs learners who already have difficulty and subsequent previous experiences of failure. The rationale to offer special needs students access to the general curriculum seeks “to ensure that all students have access to a challenging curriculum, to ensure that all students are held to high expectations, and to ensure that students with disabilities are not left out of the accountability system being established for schools” (Wehmeyer, Agran & Lattin, 2001, p. 330). It can be noticed that parental and teacher expectations are low for students with special needs. Therefore, it is essential that special needs children are offered such educational programs that challenge them and that everyone, including the teachers and parents, holds high expectations for their achievement. The question whether special education curriculum or the general curriculum is best suitable for special needs learners is worth analyzing. It is true that a general curriculum makes neither distinction nor marginalization among the learners. While general curriculum offers equal educational opportunities for everyone, its competency to offer Individualized Education Programs for the special needs children is quite debatable. Therefore, it is imperative that the general curriculum is “adapted,
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