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
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.