Stanley L. Swartz, Ph.D.
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Karen Pratt
Reply with quote  #211 
[QUOTE=Dr. Swartz]

3. If you could change the way we provide services to children with disabilities, what would you recommend?

   If I could change the way services were provided for children with disabilities, I would recommend that the powers to be consider the inclusion model. I believe students would be served well with two teachers in the general education classroom, working together to serve a diverse population of children. Students would learn what's expected of them, to be able to participate in the real world. The sooner they learn, the greater chance of success they will have
   For the system we serve today, I would like to have more than one para professional in the classroom because there is such a wide range of ability levels to address. Also, in my opinion, it would be beneficial for every special education teacher to be required to complete a training in positive behavior reinforcement. Personally, I’ve noticed a huge change in the attitudes of the students I assist, solely because I reinforce good behavior all day long. I would also recommend that districts hire more counselors and psychologists to relieve the enormous caseloads that these individuals experience. As a result, the students would have more of an opportunity to talk with a professional that could provide the perspective they are seeking. Furthermore, it would speed up the process of  implementing specific services that the students need that requires the recommendation of a counselor or psychologist. 


Catherine McPeck
Reply with quote  #212 

                I believe that to better serve students with disabilities we must reassess the entire way we educate students. Over the years education has gone through many changes. It is my personal belief that the current education system is not the best form of education. Often we talk about students teaching to students’ strengths and looking at each student as an individual, however, the current format of the education system does not allow for students to truly be taught to their individual strengths. In order to better serve students with disabilities, I think we need to better serve all students we educate.

                When teaching to a test, the way the current education system is set up, it is hard to focus on what is best for each individual child. In reorganizing the education system to better teach students, teachers need to be able to teach towards the individual strengths of a child. While this does not mean doing away with all standards, it does mean assessing students in different ways. Some students will never achieve the desired scores on a standardized test. They simply do not have the skills to show their true ability on a paper and pencil test. By assessing all students based on their abilities, we are more likely to truly see the skills of the individual student. Once the education system begins focusing on the individual child, we will be better able to serve children with disabilities. Once we stop expecting all students to learn and perform in the exact same way, we will be better able to educate all students, especially those with disabilities.

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