ERIC Number: ED238193
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Mar-26
Reference Count: N/A
A Convergence of Two Cultures in the Implementation of P.L. 94-142.
Haas, Toni J.
The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) demanded basic changes in the practices, purposes, and institutional structures of schools to accommodate handicapped students, but did not adequately address the differences between general and special educators in expectations, training, or assumptions about the functions of schooling and the role of the teacher. This study describes the nature of both the general and special education work force, beginning with reasons that educators enter the field, followed by the way in which their respective training predicts and informs their work with children in schools. General educators' work is predicated on an "industrial production" model, emphasizing strict time schedules, classroom autonomy, and crowd control. Success is measured by group norms, and the objective is to do the best for the most. Special educators, by contrast, are trained on a medical model with a focus on attention to personal needs; they measure success by individual progress relative to each student's starting point, and they depend on the support and cooperation of physicians, therapists, psychologists, and paraprofessionals. Accordingly, PL 94-142 has encountered resistance from general educators on account of perceived threats to classroom autonomy, freedom of choice, and employment security, coupled with inadequate funding and new demands on their time for implementation of the law. (TE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education for All Handicapped Children Act