Special Education Has Come a Long Way; But There is Still a Ways to Go Essay example

Special Education Has Come a Long Way; But There is Still a Ways to Go Essay example

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Some people may think that special education has been established since the beginning of public education. Others may consider a time when special education did not exist and students with disabilities were not able to attend school. The truth is, there was a time when this happened; these students were not allowed to be educated in the general education classroom alongside their peers. People with disabilities were treated differently, and some were forced into institutions because teachers and staff found them to be disturbances to their peers. Luckily, special education has come a long way since public education began. People, especially parents, advocated for their children, and today many laws are in place to ensure that all children have the right to be educated regardless of their disability. These special education laws began with landmark Supreme Court decisions.
Following the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, with the Supreme Court deciding that separate but equal facilities were acceptable, students with disabilities were rejected from public education. For example, in Massachusetts in 1893, a child with disabilities was removed from school because “he was so weak in mind as to not derive any marked benefit from instruction and further, that he is troublesome to other children…” (as cited in Watson v. City of Cambridge, 1893). Twenty years later, there was not much improvement. In 1919, a student with normal intelligence, but had an orthopedic impairment was also excluded because of the following:
his physical condition and ailment produces a depressing and nauseating effect upon the teachers and school children; . . . he takes up an undue proportion of the teacher’s time and attention, distracts attention of other pupils, a...


... middle of paper ...


...hat children with disabilities have equal opportunities in education, work, and in the community. Without the establishment of these laws, children with disabilities would have faced a lifetime of exclusion. Special education surely has progressed significantly in the past 50 years, there is still more work ahead, such as debunking the myths about people with disabilities and changing how we view disabilities.












Works Cited

Billingsley, B. S., Brownell, M. T., Israel, M., & Kamman, M. L. (2013). A survival guide for
new special educators. Somerset, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Friend, M. (2014). Special Education: Contemporary Perspectives for School Professionals (4th
ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Mastropieri, M. A., & Scruggs, T. E. (2006). The inclusion classroom: Strategies for
effective instruction (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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