ERIC Number: ED406095
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
A Unified Educational System for the Twenty-First Century: Preservice Preparation of Teachers To Meet the Educational Needs of All Students.
Federal law requiring the least restrictive environment (LRE) for disabled students has resulted in the mainstreaming of disabled students and more recently, in the practice of inclusion. Although LRE has increased the number of disabled students in the general education classroom, the dual system of general and special education continues to exist. The Regular Education Initiative calls for regular and special education professionals to work together to assess the educational needs of students with learning problems and to cooperatively develop educational strategies for meeting those needs. Although a research review indicates that teachers support inclusion and express a willingness to teach disabled students in regular classroom settings, little has been done to prepare teachers for implementing a unified educational system. This paper suggests that teacher education programs should provide intensive training and experience to develop the necessary skills for regular and special education teachers to be effective collaborators in planning, teaching, and evaluating instruction. Priority should be given to developing and implementing noncategorical programs that merge the training of general, special, and related services personnel (speech language pathologists, physical therapists, psychologists) so that they share common course work and practicum experiences. In addition, inservice for local school personnel, community members, and students must focus on developing and practicing collaborative planning, teaching, and evaluation skills with the goal of effective education for all children. This paper also reports on a survey of 49 colleges and universities that indicates that preservice teacher education programs are not addressing the need for a unified educational system. (LP)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Legislation, Educational Needs, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Inclusive Schools, Interdisciplinary Approach, Mainstreaming, Preservice Teacher Education, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Special Education, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Collaboration
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Promoting Progress in Times of Change: Rural Communities Leading the Way; see RC 020 986.