ERIC Number: ED293233
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov-16
Reference Count: N/A
Beyond Special Education.
Gartner, Alan; Lipsky, Dorothy Kerzner
Faults of special education include its medical view of disability, its arbitrary division of students into handicapped and nonhandicapped, and the resultant separation between general and special education. Disabled adults are becoming less tolerant of an educational system that fails to recognize the capabilities of handicapped students. Society's attitudes toward disability are often more disabling than the handicapping condition itself. The labeling of students as handicapped lowers expectations for them and denies them autonomy and decision-making authority. The total educational system must change to ensure that disabled children receive an equal education. Students with mild and moderate handicapping conditions should be integrated into general education programs at the building level. A new framework for education is needed, and it must focus on adapting instruction to individual differences to maximize common goal attainment. Recommended is a merged or unitary system which rejects the bimodal division of handicapped and nonhandicapped and recognizes that individuals vary. Such a system requires: adaptations in society and in education, not solely in the individual; the use of effective educational practices in classrooms and schools; appropriate supports for disabled students and their families; and application of school effectiveness research, cross-cultural research, and adaptive education approaches. (JDD)
Descriptors: Attitudes toward Disabilities, Disabilities, Educational Change, Educational Opportunities, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Expectation, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Individual Differences, Instructional Effectiveness, Labeling (of Persons), Mainstreaming, School Effectiveness, Social Action, Social Attitudes, Special Education, Student Educational Objectives
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Council for Exceptional Children's Topical Conference on the Future of Special Education (Orlando, FL, November 15-17, 1987).