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History of Special Education

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History of Special Education Cherri Eurich
Grand Canyon University: SPE-526
11/7/12

Abstract
Understanding the history of special education is necessary to grasp its value today. After the 1970’s it was decided there was a growing need for reform when it came to educating children with disabilities. Over the years there have been many pieces of legislation introduced to aid in improving our nation’s special education program. Perhaps one of the most important, being the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

As early as 1970, people began to recognize the need for educational legislation on behalf of students with disabilities. Before that time schools were allowed to discriminate and segregate as well as deny education to certain students. Since Brown vs. the Board of Education educational legislation has been vital to developing the best special education programs.
What is Special Education? Special education is designed to give opportunities and teaching to students with disabilities that affect their life and learning (Heward, 2009). Special education provides a curriculum that is specialized and individually intensive. The lessons are intensive and goal directed for each student. Special education teachers work in conjunction with general education teachers to provide adequate lessons. In many instances, special curriculum, along with unique materials is used to aid in educating the students (Heward, 2009). Instruction takes place in the general classroom as well as other designated special education classrooms. Special Education can be described in terms of instruction and or intervention. Special education also is comprised of intervention at three levels which include the following: preventive, remedial, and compensatory Heward, 2009). Preventive intervention is constructed to help...

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