The Education For All Handicapped Children Act Essay

The Education For All Handicapped Children Act Essay

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One of the most hotly discussed and debated topics in the United States educational system throughout the past few decades has been the education of students with special needs, namely how, if any, inclusion in the regular education classrooms is appropriate. Since the mid-1970s, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act) has been revised, amended, and edited in an effort to provide said students with the best possible environment for education as possible. One implementation that resulted from this piece of legislation is the idea of placing students in what is known as the Least Restrictive Environment, which, in short, is the placement of students with special needs in the classroom with regular education students. To facilitate this inclusion, one tactic that has been adopted by many, if not most, schools is the practice of co-teaching.
To truly understand what co-teaching is, as well as its significance, it is important to first understand what inclusion is. In this context, inclusion can be defined simply as a classroom in which there are a wide range of students with varying learning needs and competencies. This means that a classroom is not saturated, so to speak, with only regular education students. One classroom might have a mixture of regular education students, special education students, and even English language learners. It is this diverse mixture of students in a single classroom that warrants the need for a set of co-teachers to appropriately and adequately educate the students.
In a classroom that implements the use of co-teachers, the typical rule of thumb is to have one teacher who is certified in the content or subject, and the second...


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...tself, to benefit all of the students equally. Having such a diverse classroom can make it difficult to find a way to help one group of students without neglecting another group. This, however, would be an issue regardless of whether or not the class was inclusive or not, because no two students are exactly alike. Everybody learns at their own pace and in their own way, so adaptation is always required to some degree, even if the class isn’t inclusive.
In summary, I believe that an inclusive, co-taught classroom is one that I would enjoy being a part of. There may be obstacles that will have to be overcome, but, if I have learned anything from my interviews this semester, it is that greater trials oftentimes result in greater intrinsic rewards. Even though it comes with its difficulties, the benefits of co-teaching far outweigh the hurdles associated with the job.

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The Education For All Handicapped Children Act Essay

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