My Special Education Philosophy
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My Special Education Philosophy
A child may have a disability, but the disability does not own him or her hence the need to help this child. Each child also needs to feel welcome, accepted, as well as challenged to do the best that he or she can. Everyone also deserves his or her respect and dignity. Philosophy of education itself is a field drawing from the traditional fields of philosophy and the approaches, which try to address regarding humanity, development for the process, nature and ideals of education (Wrights 2002).
Special education generally comes from not teaching in the field but from classes taken, observations and reading, which is continuous. It should help individuals work with individuals with special needs in different settings; helps bring knowledge to people with disabilities. With philosophies, standards should be set to be met, and students will be educated to the fullest. Working strategies should also be appropriate. It usually studies what constitutes upbringing of children and the education, values and norms that are revealed through upbringing practices, the legitimization of education system as an academic discipline, and how it relates to practice and theory, and also maintaining cultural patterns, attaining goals, adapting to external environment, and maintaining internal integration (Wellhousen & Homrich 2009).
The essential responsibility is to balance all of these areas, effectively and efficiently. Educators must also be able to grasp the deeper meaning and value of seemingly common events, translate these into a dramatic sense of purpose and vision, convincingly communicate both meaning and purpose to others, obtain their commitment and sense of partnership, and articulate these qualities into organizational goals, structures, and programs in an ethical manner (Dewey 1933)
Special education to a student will provide extra, individualized assistance, which is beneficial to children with special needs, especially when general education is not taught sufficiently to reach all the children in the learning institution. It should give tentative care to the child and let him see life a possible reality. Ethics (moral philosophy) seeks to address questions on morality such as what the fundamental semantic and epistemic nature of ethics, and on how the values should be determined, how a moral outcome can be achieved in specific situations, how moral agency can be developed and what its nature (Hastings 2003).
Why some philosophies and elements are not suitable for special education
According to me, some elements may not be quite relevant especially for special education students. With axiology as element, it will define life as a characteristic of everything on the earth capable of growth, development and reproduction. It is hence the study of values such as nature, types, and governing criteria of values and value judgments. Ethics is important for special education. This brings about "fair treatment" and "equality" we downsized and cater for mental and physical disabilities. Epistemology is an important element in special education philosophy because it will define whether the information and knowledge passed is exactly adequate. Practically, it translates into issues concerning scientific methodology on how one can develop theories that are better than competing theories. It also forms one of the pillars of the new sciences of cognition developed from the information processing approach to psychology, and from artificial intelligence to develop computer programs that mimic a human's capacity to use knowledge in an intelligent way (Wrights 2002).
The environment and collaboration is quite important. Collaboration should also occur between the special education and general education teachers. The special education classroom and the general education classroom, although are separate, should function together to provide a rich environment of learning, which offers a tremendous amount of support to all students. Special education teachers are important to the school environment. As I say this, I relate to the themes of the education specialist credential by the idea that special education teachers need to focus on collaboration, diversity, literacy, technology, and transition. By relating to these main themes in teaching children with special needs, it will provide the students with a better education and opportunity to be an asset to their own communities. The other important thing to focus on is literacy, which is an extremely powerful, and I view it as a lifelong learning process and an excellent teacher and resource to my future students. Generally, it should be internationally well-established school or field with departments and programs across the globe (Janes 2007).
Implementation of my own special educational philosophy
Special education should take many facets to achieve success for a child. One of the best ways is by differentiation instruction. This can be as simple as direct teaching, to creating supplementary materials to allow a child to have repetitive practice and/or a task analysis of breaking any complex task into much simpler parts. All teachers should do all they possibly can to help a child so as to feel prosperous and worth. Basic accommodation is necessary and should be extended to even reading out tests for them.
Also learning devices should be introduced to students such as a slant board or a wheelchair. Assistive technology, such as reading and writing software, can also be used for a child to be successful. This would be a welcome implementation in a self-contained classroom. The teacher also should find some way to have the students flourish and feel confident in though with their abilities. I will therefore like to eliminate any form of stigma of special education by teaching children, both with abilities and disabilities, by educating them about their classmates’ disabilities, on how the future is still bright for them. In addition, every child deserves respect, regardless of its disability (Wellhousen & Homrich 2009).
I will not allow any form of disrespect and I would like also to foster a welcoming community in my classroom, this is because all have a right to education. I believe that every child has unique attributes and characteristics, and every child has a right to an education. Finally, I will ask for help where I may not be able to solve. The main hope is to open every door I possibly can for every incapable child in my special education class (Wrights 2002).
The availability and use of technology in the special education class
Technology equipment may not be quite available especially if funds are a problem. Therefore, it can be good that one solicits funds and may be look for sponsors to avail these devices; they may not be available and at the same time may be very expensive. Modern learning devices can be introduced to students such as a slant board or a wheelchair. Assistive technology, such as reading and writing software, can also be used for a child to be successful. This would be a welcome implementation in a self-contained classroom. Some other devices that can be used include handheld pen scanners and iris pens. We can also have augmentation communication devices and speech to Text, and vice-versa, technology machines (Wrights 2002).
Augmentative alternative communication, AAC, is a method of communication used by individuals with severe speech and language disabilities; those who have Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and suffering from a stroke. AAC hence is for those children who are unable to speak yet are cognitively able or when speech is extremely difficult to comprehend and may use gestures, communications boards, pictures, symbols, drawings or a combination of all of these. We can also have assistive switches, which are brought closer to the children. We can also have computers, which can access an extensive search database for those people looking for information on assistive products for people with disabilities, hence help in improving the learning environment for such people (McKenzie 2003).
Mission as a Special Educator
My mission as a special educator is to provide the best to all those having disabilities as much as I can. Also open every door I possibly can for every incapable child in the society since ‘Education should be a lifelong adventure’ (Hastings 2003).
Comparison between these philosophies and those from Interviewees
My findings are generally in harmony with those of the interviewees. This is because the main aim is to bring the best to the unfortunate child. The difference is that the classes should be smaller so that I can be able to give the best and to my maximum to the learners. In addition, there was the issue involving the state and be able to make assessments which was raised by the interviewees. This is not welcome to me because the state may not do much, but only provide the basic requirements for such institutions (Hastings 2003).
Another recommendation is that all the educators should work as if it were a calling; otherwise, someone without the passion may not do the work as expected. The state assessments and mandates is what make education fail. The alignments and core curriculum content standards are made by a bunch of politicians that do not know the first thing about teaching or education and especially for the incapacitated. Teachers and educational professionals should therefore have more say on the legal school system in order to create a successful institution. Throughout life, I think everyone has a certain calling and hence I agree that one should have this calling and passion to help. They should be loving and above all caring. Otherwise, everything else with my philosophies is similar to that of the interviewees (Janes 2007).
The special educator will need all the necessary assistance so that together the lives of children with disabilities can be achieved. Some devices can also be introduced to make learning for such people easier. The educator should teach through demonstrating, through explanation, applying and practicing skills through active involvement in real life experiences, and evaluating achievement through self-assessment as well as accountability to others. It should also become the goal for everyone to help all those with disabilities because everyone can achieve something in life despite the disabilities.
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Hastings, R, (2003): Student teachers' attitudes toward the inclusion of children with special needs. Educational Psychology Journal
Jaynes, R. (2007): The Fallacy of Full Inclusion amongst Developmentally Disabled Students. BYU-Idaho Undergraduate Journal of Education
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