Critical Issues In Special Education
Edited by Barbara Bateman, John W. Lloyd, Melody Tankersley
Routledge – 2014 – 512 pages
Critical Issues in Special Education is aimed at any course in the undergraduate or graduate special education curriculum that is wholly or partly devoted to a critical examination of current issues in special education. The book organizes fourteen issues into six parts. Each part begins with an introduction that provides historical, legal, and theoretical background information and organizing themes for the issues that follow. Each issue is then presented from two divergent viewpoints, each written in advocate language to be as compelling as possible. The book’s objective, in addition to informing the readers about the issues, is to develop critical thinking skills in the context of special education. Key features include the following.
Dialectic Format – Each of the fourteen issue chapters presents two convincingly argued, alternative positions on a particular issue. This dialectic format encourages readers to weigh the arguments, seek additional information, and come up with a synthesized position of their own. This, of course, is the essence of critical thinking.
Organizing Framework – The sections have been arranged according to a 6 Ws scheme (why, who, where, how, when, and what) that is the essence of most investigative reporting and provides a coherent, easy to manage framework for readers.
Pedagogy – Each of the book’s six parts begins with a brief introduction that provides background information for the issues that follow and each paired discussion ends with questions that provoke a critical analysis of the contrasting positions just presented.
Expertise – All issue chapters are written by leading researchers who are highly regarded experts regarding the issue at hand.
Ch 1. Introduction Section II. Who? Chs 2 & 3. Who should receive special education services and how should educators
identify which students are to receive special education services?
Chs 4 & 5. Should students from different races and ethnic backgrounds be identified
for special education proportional to their representation in the general
population? Chs 6 & 7. Who should teach special education students? Section III. Where? Chs 8 & 9. Should all students be included in general education? Where is the least
restrictive environment? Chs 10 & 11. Should schools be responsible for placement of students in private
educational settings? Section IV. What? Chs 12 & 13. What is special education? Should special education instruction differ from
general education instruction? Chs 14 & 15. What should the focus of special education instruction be--addressing
underlying process issues, strengthening academic skills, providing
Chs 16 & 17. What instructional approaches should be employed by special educators?
Section V. How? Chs 18 & 19. How should we evaluate whether special education works? Chs 20 & 21. How should evidence-based practices be determined? Chs 22 & 23. How should we pay for special education? Section VI. When? Chs 24 & 25. When should students be identified and receive services? Chs 26 & 27. When does special education end? Section VII. Why? Chs 28 & 29. Why should schools provide special education, or should they?
Ch 30. Whither Special Education: Where has special education been? Where is it now? What might the future hold for special education?