Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Questions

From the moment they enter kindergarten, America’s children are placed on two distinct tracts in school districts across the country: general education or special education. Tests are taken and procedures are performed to determine the track of each and every child. The track of general education is what every typical classroom is though of, including one teacher and a classroom of students awaiting instructions on the alphabet and addition. The special education classroom, however, is not so typical. Many children with mild to sever learning disabilities are placed on the special education track with the purpose of giving them undivided and specialized attention, often one on one or in small groups.

It is this separation that is causing a rift from high schools to elementary schools. When children identified with special needs are pulled into divided classrooms, they are differentiated from their peers leaving everyone, not only the children with special needs, feeling uncomfortable. So, the questions arise: Should children with special needs be mainstreamed into classrooms or be put into special needs classes? And what are the pros and cons of each setting?