Open Thread: Square Pegs
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
Aside from serving as one of two Assistant Principals in my high school, I am also lucky enough to supervise three departments, one of which is Special Education. I do not manage IEPs, conduct testing, or get involved in the legalities of Special Education. I merely manage the day to day happenings with the Special Education staff, work with the scheduling and budgets, and assist the Director of Special Services and Child Study Team. I wish I had time to do more.
I have worked in three school districts in the last eight years. I am embarrassed to say that the Special Education programs have all been rather disappointing. I've seen watered down curriculum where handouts and worksheets are the standard of classroom practice. I've had conversations with Special Education teachers and heard some sad educational philosophies regarding Special Education students. I've seen and heard some unethical things in the highest offices of public school districts - things that would cost people their careers.
On the flip side, I've met (and currently work with) some of the best people for Special Education students; they are supportive, encouraging, and serve as life coaches and mentors for their students. They desire to be the best teachers they can for their kids. I've also been blessed to have strong school leadership role models in my life who keep me hopeful and guide me through the rough waters of Special Education law, practices, and education.
Since this is my last post for Dr. McLeod, I thought it would be helpful and intriguing for all of us if we left an open thread (a la Beyond School's popular one). Open threads seems to me to be chock full of good advice, insight, and some remarkable stories.
So here it goes...
What practices have you seen in your experiences with Special Education? You can discuss a Special Education program that is worthy of publicity, or a teaching practice that deserves attention. If you are tempted to expose the troubles of Special Education, you may - but I would like this post to be helpful, not critical. So please, with a criticism, offer a potential solution.
It's been an honor to share with all of you. Mike Parent, Guest Blogger
The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?
- History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
- Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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