What teaching program do you feel most benefits special education students?

TeAch-nology.com's Teacher Poll of the Week
What teaching program do you feel most benefits special education students?

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The relatively low number of respondents to this poll question could be reflective of the fact that addressing the needs of special education students is a difficult topic. There are varying opinions on the subject of how to best meet the needs of these students and the results of this poll point to the fact that there is no simple answer. A very small majority of teachers feel that resource based programs provide the most benefit, whereas self-contained programs received the least number of votes.

How we treat disadvantaged members of our society reflects on our society as a whole. The homeless, those living in poverty, or people with drug or alcohol addictions are some of the more prominent groups of society that we try to find a way to help. Government programs are set up to aid in the rehabilitation and retraining of those less fortunate. Another group of people whose needs have come to the forefront are special education students. In generations past, many of these students were institutionalized and forgotten. Now we see the societal benefits of a different approach.

Resource based programs for special education students got the most support from teachers in this poll. There are so many excellent tools available that can aid in teaching students with developmental delays or cognitive impairment. By making these tools available to teachers many of these marginalized students can achieve higher standards of learning than was previously possible.

The debate over inclusion or self-containment as part of the education of special education students is ongoing. Self-containment was the only option years ago and now many believe that inclusion in a classroom with regular education students is more beneficial. This poll shows that the subject is still open for discussion. While inclusion may be popular at the moment a large number of respondents in this poll feel that self-contained education is beneficial. As history has shown, the way we educate these students can change dramatically from one generation to another.

Trying to meet the needs of special education students in a way that is most beneficial is difficult. Balancing their requirements against the needs of regular education students is a juggling act sometimes. The fact that there are so many varying opinions on the subject means we may not have figured it all out yet.