Students With Special Needs, Teacher Preparation for Diversity

Preparing all teachers to work with students who have special needs has been part of the teacher education curriculum since the inception of modern special education in the schools in the United States in 1975, when the first federal legislation in support of inclusive education, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Pub. L. 94–142), was enacted. In 1990, it was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Today this aspect of preservice teacher preparation is generally viewed as part of the overall commitment to preparing teachers for diversity. However, how teacher preparation for students who have special needs is situated in relationship to diversity in terms of race, class, language, and culture continues to be a challenge for how teacher eduction programs ...

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