Special Education Practice and Research Essay

Special Education Practice and Research Essay

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Special education is an ethically and politically complex area of professional education (Paul, French, & Cranston-Gingras, 2001). Critics have claimed that special education does not benefit student with disabilities and should be renounced for ethical reasons (Gartner & Lipsky, 1989). Others assert that special education is unethical because it stigmatizes and segregates minority students and violates the rights of children (Grossman, 1998; Granger & Granger, 1986). On the other hand, proponents of special education point to the effectiveness of intensive interventions in the area of reading (Wanzek & Vaughn, 2007), as well as literature reviews which have found special education services contribute more to the academic achievement of students with learning disabilities and emotional disorders than general education classrooms (citations from Fuchs). Although the overrepresentation (and underrepresentation) of certain minority populations is an ongoing concern for the field of special education, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have long supported special education initiatives as long as the identification and labeling of students is “based on need, not race” (Dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, 2005). The debates over the effectiveness and identification of students with disabilities highlight a couple of the ways in ethical issues underlie special education. Yet, this is only the tip of the ethical iceberg. Issues of ethics are also pervasive in special education assessment, instruction, curriculum, service delivery, funding, and research.
Due to the thorny ethical and political issues for special education practitioners, policy makers and researchers, it is critical that special...


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... Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas Publisher, Ltd.
Granger, L., & Granger, B. (1986). The magic feather: the truth about" special education". New York, NY: Dutton Publishing.
Lipsky, D. K. E., & Gartner, A. E. (1989). Beyond separate education: Quality education for all. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.
National Association of Special Education Teachers (2012). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from: https://www.naset.org/2444.0.html
Paul, J. L., French, P., & Cranston-Gingras, A. (2002). Ethics and special education. Rethinking professional issues in special education, 301-330.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) (2009). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Wanzek, J., & Vaughn, S. (2007). Research-based implications from extensive early reading interventions. School Psychology Review, 36(4).


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