Zooming in Special Education: Do we Need to Change?

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Zooming is an action of constantly making small changes by trying new things, whether they are successful or not, with the intention of  improving over time which eventually leads to the evolution of a product or service.

I want to make sure the notes I am learning to play today eventually lead me to the song in the end. The question is, how do I know that I am learning the right notes? The right practice is most important, not just practice itself. Let me hear the sound of the notes or what they look like on the sheet of music even if I don’t know how to read them.  You wouldn’t deprive me of listening to the song if I didn’t understand the music. The same is true in special education, you can ask, I want to hear about the outcomes even if I have not experienced them. I want to know what my child should be practicing now, and is it the right practice.

What changes have been made in special education in the past 20 years to improve successful outcomes for our students? What advancements in how we educate our children have been most celebrated?  I am speaking about instructional practices, methodology and curriculum. What we refer to as best practices. Inclusion and integration are very important opportunities, but those are rights. I am asking, is what we are doing giving our students the best chance of being successful adults to experience life, work and live as independently as possible? How do we know what we are doing is leading to success? Is what we are testing today have a direct correlation of improving our children’s lives when they graduate and beyond? Is this part of the song?

To the parents of children who graduated 5, 10, 15 years ago let me ask a question. What would school look like for your child if you could do it all over again; what would you do differently, what would be the most salient skills you would want them to learn that you didn’t know back then, but you now know today?

For parents with children in special education today, has anyone told you about the outcomes? Have you heard about what students are doing who have graduated? Has anyone communicated to you what other adults are doing for work, social/recreation, housing? We all have the same goals and that is to help our students be successful, happy and productive, we need to be thinking about changing what we do if the notes we are learning have nothing to do with the song.

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2 thoughts on “Zooming in Special Education: Do we Need to Change?

    Veronica said:
    March 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

    More inclusion and a big focus on learning to read!

    Patty said:
    March 4, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Absolutely more inclusion!

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