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ERIC Number: EJ850784
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1053-4512
Defining Special Educator' Tools: The Building Blocks of Effective Collaboration
Sayeski, Kristin L.
Intervention in School and Clinic, v45 n1 p38-44 2009
The role of the special educator has changed. Similar to general educators, special educators are more accountable, more specialized, and more collaborative. To be effective in this new role, special educators need to recommit to the founding principles of the discipline and embrace the tools that allow them to meet the needs of students with disabilities. This requires defining the principles and practices of the field and then determining how those principles can be translated into collaborative partnerships with general educators. Current legislation (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 2004; No Child Left Behind Act, 2001) holds special educators accountable for content knowledge understanding. Special educators not only must understand the material needed to be taught but must possess additional core areas of knowledge and be expert in the content knowledge of special education. This knowledge includes (a) the characteristics of students with disabilities, (b) instructional design and modification, (c) a variety of instructional strategies, and (d) core legal processes associated with special education. Special educators who are firm in their knowledge of these domains are better able to determine the specific roles required of them as collaborative teachers. This article is divided into four sections. In the first section, the relationship between knowledge of characteristics of disabilities and effective instructional practices is presented. The second section focuses on how special educators can use their knowledge of special education law to implement instructionally sound individualized education programs (IEPs). The third section addresses strategies for creating meaningful accommodations and modifications for students with IEPs who are served in general education settings. The fourth section pulls each of these domains together and outlines a plan for developing collaborative partnerships. (Contains 4 figures.)
SAGE Publications and Hammill Institute on Disabilities. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001