Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Special Education, Contemporary Issues
Several issues are currently in the forefront of special education. First, some minority groups continue to be disproportionately represented among those in special education. As demographics in the United States become increasingly diverse, professionals continue to be challenged with identifying students who truly need special education services and supports. Second, the question of where to educate students with identified disabilities remains a central problem. Current practices range from educating students in separate settings to believing that every individual, even those with the most severe disabilities, should participate in educational and living environments that are as close to normal as possible. This leads to a third issue: As more students with disabilities are included in general education classrooms, the role of the special education professional continues to change. Shifting responsibilities of special education professionals entail consultation, collaboration, and facilitation of student learning. Thus, the challenge of preparing all teachers to share ...