Shaping Special Education

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Running head: Shaping Special Education

From Past to Present: Shaping Special Education
Laura Terpstra
Grand Canyon University: SPE 523
May 30, 2012

From Past to Present: Shaping Special Education
Fundamental Concepts and Philosophies
The history of American special education has taken a long, ever-evolving journey to get to the place it is today. Marilyn Friend (2008) discusses how in the early twentieth century students were still not accepted into public schools. Students who had physical or mental disabilities were placed into separate classes, made up entirely of students with disabilities. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century students with a wide range of disabilities were enrolled in special education classes.

Over the past century, various court cases have defined how special education has changed. In 1954, the Brown v. Board of Education, gave way to questions about whether or not separating special education students from the general education population was appropriate or not. Some people believed that taking students out of the classroom gave them a label for their disability and therefore was discriminatory towards students, rather than helpful in providing services they needed to make them successful. (Friend, 2008, p.47) Not only did educators become advocators for children’s with disabilities, so did parents. The Mills v. Board of Education (1972) sparked the determination of providing special education services for students. In response to various lawsuits against the Board of Education legislation created mandates to ensure the rights for students with disabilities. Structure of Special Education

Parents continued to push for the rights of children, as well as congress. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 were laws that provided funding to states to assist them in creating and improving programs and services for children with disabilities. The Education...
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