Special Education in the 21st Century
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A cassette in an iPhone world. These are just a few of the analogies that have been used to describe our education system as it struggles to address the needs of an ever-changing world. But what is often left out of the conversation is the reality facing students in special education. We know that the vast majority of our students with disabilities are capable of doing the same level of work as their peers without disabilities.
Using technology in the classroom in collaborative ways helps build teamwork practices that will aid students in the workplace. It prepares students to manage projects, think critically and problem solve, all of which will help in real life scenarios. Technology is changing the way we live and work.
Therefore, as we prepare students for their future, it is important to integrate technology into the learning process. Your email address will not be published.
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High Stakes Testing in the 21st Century: Implications for Students in Special Education
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Share on Google Plus Share. Share on Pinterest Share. Share on LinkedIn Share. In light of this trend, general and special educators alike must ask which of these skills are most lacking and most needed for the future success of our students with disabilities.
Self-determination is an empowered state in which individuals take charge of their lives, make choices in their self-interest and freely pursue their goals. Similarly, navigating what types of accommodations you need in the workplace and approaching your supervisor on in the job site to request these supports takes a great deal of self-determination. Knowing that students with disabilities will face these and countless similar scenarios throughout their lives, it is our responsibility in K education to effectively prepare them. The key is to not simply assume this will happen without dedicated attention but to instead take a more explicit route through three channels.
Teaching Students with Special Needs in the 21st Century Classroom
If self-advocacy skills and self-determination are to get the attention they deserve from educators, parents, and students, we must make them explicit within the student IEP. IEP goals targeting these 21st Century skills are essential for students to build a foundation for being change agents in their own lives and must be more than expressing needs and wants. For example, an IEP goal might read:. Recently, our high school team reflected on comments many of our students with IEPs were making.
Students created presentations about themselves, their interests, their strengths, and areas they wanted to improve for the year ahead. Students then shared these presentations at the start of their IEP meetings. For many, this was the first time students in high school had ever attended or spoken at their own IEP meeting. Lastly, we need to connect in-school and out-of-school experiences more cohesively to ensure more practical opportunities to practice these skills.