ERIC Number: ED311643
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Categorical Certification in Special Ed: Does It Really Make a Difference? Policy Issues.
McLaughlin, Margaret J.; Stettner-Eaton, Barbara
This study examined the literature and state policies concerning noncategorical certification of special education teachers. First, the issues are identified and include services organized around the categorical conditions defined in Federal law, the tendency of categorical certification to adversely affect teacher supply and limit administrative flexibility, and the tendency of too broad certification to result in teachers poorly qualified to teach the range of categories. Research on differentiating characteristics of mild handicapping conditions generally shows only slight differences between the mentally retarded, learning disabled, and mildly emotionally disturbed. Research on instructional methods consistently fails to indicate that different approaches to instruction are needed for different categories of mildly handicapped students. States have tended to move toward more noncategorical certification raising some concerns about adequate training. Teachers may be trained categorically and then broadly certified and placed. Since certification standards can serve as a major control for quality, states are encouraged to (1) develop certification policies that reflect the two dimensions of functional level and age; (2) provide teacher training that parallels certification policies; and (3) place special education students in classrooms according to the same two dimensions of functional level and age. (DB)
Descriptors: Classification, Delivery Systems, Educational Policy, Emotional Disturbances, Instructional Effectiveness, Learning Disabilities, Mild Disabilities, Mild Mental Retardation, Noncategorical Education, State Standards, Student Characteristics, Teacher Certification, Teacher Education, Teaching Methods
Appalachia Educational Laboratory, Inc., P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 ($4.50 prepaid).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.