ERIC Number: ED279139
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: 0
Current and Emerging Forces Impacting Special Education.
Yates, James R.
Using the methodology of force field analysis, the paper develops possible futures for special education based on current trends. Demographic forces impacting special education include age changes, ethnicity changes, the needs of emerging language minorities, specific change in the youth population, environmental factors and the incidence of dropouts. The demographic forces suggest an expansion of groups eligible for special education services of whom many will be less secure financially and increasingly likely to be from minority groups and/or non-English speaking homes. Economic and financial forces suggest the development of a two-tiered society in which issues of competency assessment, job competition, and emphasis on college preparatory programs will affect special education. Forces of professionalism are reflected in a developing shortage of specifically trained teachers, decreased access to higher education, development of alternative certification programs, and possible integration of special education with general education. Forces of technology include gene therapy, the microcomputer, computer concepts such as parallel processing and artificial intelligence, and communication technologies. Special educators need to be part of the technology decision making groups, utilizing the computer's special attributes to improve research, assess students more continuously, and improve teaching skills. Forces of societal values suggest continuing and more rapid value shifts with such trends as the movement toward educational vouchers and increased questioning of formalized education having clear implications for special education. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: The Future of Special Education: Proceedings of the Council for Exceptional Children Symposium (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, May 1986); see ED 276 245.