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Connection Project - Research Paper Example

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SPECIAL EDUCATION ISSUE: QUALIFIED SPECIAL EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR SHORTAGES Special Education Issue: Qualified Special Education Instructor Shortages The state has enacted certain laws with regards to the education of all children in the state, whether or not having disabilities…
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Download file to see previous pages It was expected that after the implementation of these laws, education would become much more accessible to all kinds of children, even more so for children with special needs. However, even after a few decades of having the laws implemented, there were still observed shortages of teachers that specialize in educating handicapped children, as well as the presence of certain inadequacies with regards to the retention of certified teachers for special education, and as a result schools had to resort to either decreasing the services for children due to understaffing, or even allowing under-qualified or unqualified personnel to do these tasks for the benefit of giving these children their education. In order to address the problem, several factors have been identified that were observed to have been causing the shortages of special education teachers, as well as their retention within the educational institutions, and in turn solutions can be formulated so that school administrators such as heads or principals could undertake in order to alleviate, if not remove the issues concerning the insufficiency of teaching staff for children with special needs. It is no secret that special education is a teaching field with greater challenges than regular education, mostly because of the kind of students that are being serviced in this field. Because of the greater diversity of the needs of students in special education in comparison with regular schooling, there is also a need to employ instructors that were trained and educated specifically for each kind of disability that the school decides to serve. However, despite having these kinds of information made available for school administrators, there were still observed shortages of special education teachers, especially the qualified ones (Billingskey & McLeskey, 2004). At present there are five areas in special education identified to have the highest shortages of certified instructors: emotional/behavioral disorder; multi-categorical disability; severe/profound disability; learning disability; and mild/moderate disability (McLeskey, Tyler & Flippin, 2003). Other instructors with fields of specialization that cover other kinds of disabilities such as mental retardation, education for the visually-impaired, and the hearing impaired were also lacking, which not only prevents the education of children with special needs but also the school’s ability to implement IDEA and NCLB properly and efficiently. Several survey results found out that the problems for such shortages were multifactorial in nature. Certain researches regarding the reasons why there were numerous shortages for qualified special education personnel, which were either tied to the schools’ policies, administrators, as well as to the personnel themselves. First of these is how schools categorize their disabled students, especially those which reported to have high numbers of students having disabilities (Greene, 2009). Due to some administrators unable to fully understand how children are selected for special needs education or not, clashes between the special education teachers themselves and the administrators happen, for example some children that have domestic problems and thus struggled in their academics were incorrectly-labeled to be disabled when in fact these children were considerably normal when compared to handicapped children, and eventually such measures prevent the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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