Special Education Philosophy Paper

Topics: Special education, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Resource room Pages: 7 (2453 words) Published: October 21, 2008
Describe own special educational philosophy in terms of its metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic. My Philosophy of Special Education is that special education is teaching children who have special needs, which can interfere with their learning abilities. I believe special education compared to general education is merely an extension of services in helping all children learn. Learning is a process through which we increase our knowledge as a result of the experiences in our lives. We learn through what we are exposed to and what we try to imitate. It is a process of discovery. The environment in which we live stimulates our brains to make connections of neurons to continually build upon throughout our lives. Imitation is key in learning. I remember a student telling me that he knew someone who had a funny walk and that his nine-year –old son imitated his walk. After that story, I was reminded of when I was little girl trying to imitate my mom’s behavior by trying to shave my legs with a razor, and I ended up cutting myself. I learned very quickly that I should not have tried to shave my legs because of the pain I experienced. However, in the case of the nine-year-old boy, the imitated walk represented a positive experience since the boy obviously looked up to his dad. In A celebration of Neurons, children learn to speak their parent’s native accents without actually having any formal instruction. (Sylwester 1995 ) After reading that passage, I recalled having to go to speech therapy when I was in the first grade because I had problems pronouncing certain words. At the time, I felt dumb and didn’t like going because I thought the other kids would think I was dumb. I was too little to realize that my speech problem was the result of imitating my mom’s German accent. I was unable to recognize the broken English accent and therefore imitated what and how she spoke. Therefore, I learned the wrong pronunciation of many words, which ultimately made it harder for me to learn the proper way to pronounce the words the speech therapist was trying to help me with. To this day, I still have trouble pronouncing certain words. Learning by imitation can have very serious negative results. Unfortunately, many babies are never given a fair chance to learn. I believe that if there were no unwanted babies and no babies that were continually exposed to negative environments, the world would be a much happier place, and “ if beginning tomorrow, we did nothing more than protect our children from destructive experiences closely linked to some of abandonment, we would have an emotionally healthier, brighter generation twenty years from now.” (Cain, G. & Cain, R. 1991, P. 81 ). For example, children who live in areas that are infested with violence and gangs have probably only experienced skills that ate necessary or survival and don’t see the importance in learning. However, one can be sure that their survival skills are well developed because they are essential to the children’s existence. Essentially, Mallow’s (1968) hierarchy of needs is not being met. Learning is also accomplished by discovering things for ourselves. Babies are constantly learning about their environment by discovery. Unfortunately, their discovering minds can get them into trouble, and they may learn thing ”the hard way”. The first time they touch a hot stove, they learn from that experience never to touch a hot burner again. These experiences become a structure of knowledge. As these structures build with maturity, people learn to try to avoid negative stimuli and seek positive stimuli. Some of these structures are continually built upon, while others end because of lack of interest or negative stimuli that is experienced. An example of building a positive structure is a child who is glued to an activity for several hours a day, thoroughly enjoying the activity. Before long, connections for that activity will be built. But, if certain...

References: Sylwester, R. (1995). A Celebration of Neurons: An Educator’s Guide to the Human Brain. Alexander, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Cain, G. & Cain, R. (1991). Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. Menlo Park, California: Addison – Wesley.
Healy, J. (1991). Endangered Minds: Why are don’t think and what we can do about it. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Whitehead, A. (1957). The Aims of Education: Kaleidoscope. Boston: Ryan & Cooper.
Ornstein, A. (1982). Curriculum Contrasts: A Historical Overview: Kaleidoscope. Boston: Ryan & Cooper.
Piaget, (1997). Piaget’s Theory of Intellectual Development Educational Psychology. New Jersey: Eggen & Kauchak.
Maslow, A. (1968). Motivation as a Hierarchy of Needs: The Work of Maslow: Educational Psychology. New Jersey: Eggan & Kauchak.
Wong, H. & Wong, R. (1991). The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher. Sunnyvale, California: Harry K. Wong.
Dewey, J. (1897). My Pedagogic Creed In K. Ryan and J.M. Cooper (Eds), Kaleidoscope (pgs. 324-325). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
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