Special Education Research Paper

This sample Special Education Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Special education is intended for students who are exceptional—significantly different from the average. The difference may be either desirable or undesirable. Just how different from average and in what ways a student must be different to merit special education are perpetual controversies. Furthermore, a difference alone does not entitle a student to special education under current law: the difference must interfere to a significant extent with his or her education. Just what constitutes significant interference with education is a matter of judgment and therefore another perpetual issue. In spite of controversies, special education is now an integral part of public education about which every teacher should know (Kauffman & Hallahan, 2005; Huefner, 2006). Most students receiving special education have disabilities. They are far below average in one or more of the following abilities, with related special education categories included in italics: thinking (cognition; mental retardation), academic learning (learning not consistent with intellectual ability; specific learning disability), recognizing and controlling emotions or behavior (emotional disturbance), using speech in communication (communication disorder), hearing (deafness or impaired hearing), seeing (blindness or impaired vision), moving or maintaining physical well-being (physical disability or other health impairment). Special education categories also include autism (or autism spectrum disorders), traumatic brain injury, and severe or multiple disabilities (e.g., deaf-blindness). These students have been or can be predicted to be unsuccessful in the general education curriculum with instruction by a regular classroom teacher (Kauffman & Hallahan, 2005). Special education is also appropriate for students whose abilities are significantly above average—those with special gifts or talents. Gifted education receives comparatively little attention and has not been mandated by federal law as of 2007. It has been left to state and local education authorities (Hallahan, Kauffman, & Pullen, 2009). A variety of words may be used to describe exceptionality, including emotional or behavioral disorder (rather than emotional disturbance), autism or Asperger syndrome (instead of autism spectrum disorder), challenge (rather than disorder or disability), or a more general term, such as developmental disability. The variety and change in labels makes special education difficult to study, but the key points are that students with disabilities have problems that significantly impede their school progress and gifted/ talented students learn extraordinarily fast. History Special education was offered in mid-19th-century institutions for blind, deaf, and mentally retarded persons. By about the mid-20th century, special education for blind, deaf, physically disabled, mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, communication-impaired, and gifted students was common in American public schools. Most special education in that era was provided in special classes and special schools. In the later decades of the 20th century, special education categories of specific learning disability, autism, and traumatic […]

Early Childhood Education: The Developmentally Appropriate Practice Research Paper

This sample Early Childhood Education: The Developmentally Appropriate Practice Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. How should 5-year-olds spend their day? Should taxpayers fund preschool play time? Should 4-year-olds be expected to name the letters of the alphabet? Should they be expected to count to 10 or 20? These questions reflect debates about the purposes and goals of early childhood education. The most influential organization addressing these concerns is the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a professional association representing over 100,000 early childhood professionals. NAEYC’s efforts have shaped how people think about the education of young children both in the United States and abroad (Raines & Johnston, 2003). The organization has influenced policy and practice by publishing position statements and research briefs designed to influence policy and legislation, by developing a gold-standard accreditation system for private and public child care centers and schools, and by providing professional development and literature for the early childhood community. In 1987 NAEYC published its seminal position statement, NAEYC Position Statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children From Birth Through Age 8 (Bredekamp, 1987). The statement was designed to guide administrators of early childhood centers seeking NAEYC accreditation and to clarify the concept of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP); but it did much more. According to Raines and Johnston (2003), the 1987 position statement: Irrevocably changed the thinking and discourse about practices in early childhood programs. Since its recent entry into the professional education lexicon, the term developmentally appropriate practices and the concept it represents have been adopted and used extensively by educators, policy makers, and businesses. Both the concept and the term have affected early childhood program practices; national, state, and local policies for curriculum and assessment; marketing of commercial early childhood materials and programs; and standards for early childhood educator preparation. (p. 85) In 1997 the statement was revised and expanded, and it is currently undergoing a second revision. NAEYC’s advocacy has focused national attention on the need for quality early childhood education. Still, DAP is controversial. According to NAEYC, developmentally appropriate practice is an approach to early childhood education that employs “empirically based principles of child development and learning” (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997, p. 9). Such a proposition seems inarguable. How can anyone dispute that the education of young children should be based on scientifically derived knowledge? But the matter is not so simple. The universal acceptance of DAP has faced significant challenges (Dickinson, 2002). DAP casts early childhood education as a dichotomy in which practice is either developmentally appropriate or inappropriate. Many in the early childhood field object to this dichotomized way of thinking about educating children. DAP is also plagued by definitional, empirical, […]

Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Programs Research Paper

This sample Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Programs Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. With this brief reminiscence, Caroline Pratt (1867-1954) begins her life story. She was 81 at the time and was revered then as she is now as one of the preeminent figures in early childhood education. Pratt’s life’s work was to shape a place for children and a way of working with them that would enable both the joy of discovery and ability to make sense of the world that were hers as a child while also preparing young children to “take their places” in the world as adults. The educational dilemmas that she confronted then— purpose, curriculum, and method—are the very dilemmas that confront educators today. In the area of early childhood education, that is, education focused on children between the ages of birth and 8 years (as defined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children [NAEYC]), these issues are particularly acute because an increasing number of young children both here and around the world—30.3% of all children under 3 (United States Census Bureau, 2003) and nearly 50% of all 3- and 4-year-olds (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2000)—are participating in some form of care and education provided by individuals other than their parents. Hence, the issue of how as a society we choose to shape the environments in which our youngest members learn and grow assumes critical importance. This research-paper focuses on the curriculum and practice of early childhood—a contested territory. Throughout the 20th century, discussions of early childhood have been driven by debates between those who hold that work with young children before school age should be seen as child care and those who see it as education. Furthermore, there have been deep divisions among educators, policy makers, and the general public about whether educational services—kindergarten, preschool, 4-year-old programs, child care—should be provided universally to all young children. Various discussions of curriculum, of how children learn, of race and class, and of practice and professional preparation figure in these debates. And throughout is the question of the mode and extent of government involvement. Curriculum Traditional use of the term curriculum in education as a course of instruction suggests its Latin derivation, “a race, a race course, and a racing chariot.” Jackson (1992) notes, “At the heart of the word’s educational usage . . . lies the idea of an organizational structure imposed by authorities for the purpose of bringing order to the conduct of schooling” (p. 5). This understanding of curriculum is quite different from how it is used in early childhood. First, there are no states in the United States, and only a few countries in the world, where there […]

Wellness K-12 Research Paper

This sample Wellness K-12 Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. The goal of creating and maintaining wellness among adults has gained popularity recently; however this popularity has come at a time when physical education is disappearing from our schools and obesity, even in toddlers, is on the rise—two factors that do not indicate improvements, nor a focus, on the well-being of American citizens. Here I examine methods for creating a culture of wellness in schools and life. The first section defines wellness and its related components—internal and external sources. The second section examines the history of wellness and youth, with attention to changes in health beliefs over the past 50 years. The third section discusses why physical wellness is a critical priority in the 21st century, followed by an examination of modern physical education curricula. The last two sections present a model for reviving physical education through progressive wellness education design and discuss policy implications for successful long-term implementation. What Is Wellness? To be well is not the same as being healthy. The latter implies that one is free of disease and infirmity and has the ability to respond to the changing environment on both a cellular and social level. Health is generally based on physiological variables, such as blood pressure, muscular strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning, all of which work together to keep the body in balance. Maintaining a high level of health is important, but it is just one component of being well. Although the term wellness exists on a continuum from a state of disease to optimal living, it is generally understood as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence. It involves self-responsibility, the desire to maintain balance, and the ability to resource energy required for appropriate tasks. Wellness is not a place where one arrives but rather a constantly evolving state of positive well-being. Ultimately, to be well implies functioning at a level oriented toward maximizing the potential of which an individual is capable—a state often associated with life satisfaction. Although conceptions of wellness vary, the differences are slight. Wellness can be best understood as a multidimensional model that includes both internal and external sources of influence. Internal sources are connected to the individual and include social, emotional, intellectual, psychological, physical, and spiritual dimensions. External sources are connected to the environment and include things like government, family, school, career, culture, as well air and water. Internal sources can be understood as a circular and interactive model (often called the wellness wheel), in which no dimension is of greater importance than another. Thus, the internal dimensions share properties of being independent and interdependent in nature; that is, movement in […]

Arts K-12 Research Paper

This sample Arts K-12 Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. The 19th and 20th centuries saw policy makers and practitioners give scant attention to K-12 arts education (Boyer, 1983; Efland, 1990). Horace Mann failed to add art to Massachusetts’ curriculum (Efland, 1990), and the Committee of Fifteen’s recommendation of 60 minutes of drawing per week for elementary schools in 1895 barely surpassed the absence of arts in the Committee of Ten’s proposal for secondary schools in 1893 (Tanner & Tanner, 1990). Boyer’s (1983) study of American secondary education a century later found the arts “shamefully neglected” and “rarely required” (p. 98). Unfortunately, art curricula have apparently regressed since the 2001 passage of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB); a Center on Education Policy report (2006) concludes that this legislation has led to a 22% reduction of instructional time for art and music. In this research-paper we present our definition of art curriculum and argue that art education should receive greater emphasis and balance during the 21st century. We provide a brief review of the history and major conceptualizations of arts education during the 19th and 20th centuries. We then provide rationale for including arts in K-12 schooling and discuss art standards and art assessment. Finally, drawing from our experiences as K-12 practitioners, we propose a realistic perspective for creating K-12 art education programs. Definitions Curriculum has been variously defined (Jackson, 1992), leading to conceptions that are narrow (“a fixed course of study”), broader (“all organized experiences that occur under the direction of a school”), and broader still (“all experiences, planned and unplanned, under the direction of a school”). Theorists have expanded these definitions to include such facets as the hidden curriculum, the written curriculum, and the learned curriculum. Because different definitions lead to different topics, we define the arts curriculum as “the planned course of K-12 student learning outcomes (e.g., knowledge, conceptual understanding, and critical thinking skills) in visual art, dance, music, and theater.” For this research-paper, we focus on the visual arts, expanding beyond planned student learning outcomes to explain how visual arts curriculum might be more strategically derived, vibrantly presented, and learned. Historical Perspective The late 19th century and the 20th century saw art education moving toward wider acceptance as part of the K-12 curriculum. Progress was slow and unstable, however, especially during times of financial or perceived educational crisis. Early advocates such as Lowell Mason, Horace Mann, and von Rydingsvard were influential in moving the arts forward (Efland, 1990; Wolf, 1992). Mann sought to create schools where all students beyond the privileged could study drawing, music, and natural objects. Mason produced songbooks and popular articles related to music, and von Rydingsvard sold mass-produced art reproductions […]

Social Studies and Education Research Paper

This sample Social Studies and Education Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. Social studies education encompasses a diverse formal curriculum in addition to a powerful set of school-based learning experiences. The formal curriculum is composed of content taken predominately from the social sciences and certain humanities. But content from many other subjects can be a legitimate part of social studies as it might either serve as a tool supporting social thinking and learning (e.g., using mathematical concepts to illuminate housing prices) or become a target of social studies instruction (e.g., examining issues related to stem cells to better understand the nature of public policy debates). The subjects that most educators group under the label of social sciences are geography, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, and psychology. The humanities featured in social studies are history, philosophy, religion, and aspects of art history and literature. History, geography, economics, and political science, typically called the core four, usually get the lion’s share of time and attention in the social studies curriculum at all levels of education. Research and writing by scholars in these disciplines provides the content that is taught to students at all grade levels. The formal curriculum is the purposefully taught social studies lessons that students encounter in schools. National, state, and local curriculum guides often specify the learning goals students are expected to achieve from this officially endorsed, prescribed social studies instruction. Textbooks and other instructional resources are used to help students learn the formal curriculum. This curriculum is open to public review and it is often tested to provide evidence of students’ learning. The intellectual foundation of the formal curriculum comes almost exclusively from the social sciences and the humanities. Beyond the formal social studies curriculum is an informal, hidden, or natural curriculum. For example, elementary schools typically recognize popular holidays with a variety of decorations, events, and programs that help to set a seasonal tone and rhythm to the school year. In addition to this typical set of seasonal events, all schools also foster a civic culture through such things as their code of conduct, their various administrative interactions with students and their parents, and the provision of extracurricular activities and clubs. These phenomena arguably join with the formal social studies curriculum as agents of intentional sociocultural learning that are designed to prepare young people for their future roles as engaged, active citizens within our representative democracy. General Historical Overview of Development in the United States In the early colonial days of our nation, social studies as a distinct school subject did not exist. Before the establishment of public education, only the wealthy would have their children tutored or attend private schools to learn reading, writing, arithmetic, and […]