Special education is a major topic in the United States and around the world. Countries want to give all of their students the best education possible, yet certain problems arise concerning the educational needs of students with learning disabilities. Some educators prefer that students with disabilities should be put into a special education program so that they can have more individual attention, and learn at a comfortable rate. However, other educators believe that they should be taken out of special education programs and integrated into regular classes because most special education programs suffer from a low rate of success. The level of learning is lowered and therefore does not give these students the appropriate education that they need.
Many students with learning disabilities do not finish high school, which is a major problem. That is why many educators have the idea of integrating students with disabilities into normal classes. This way, these students would receive the same education as everyone else. They also have fellow students available to help them and provide them with more significant goals that they can aspire to achieve. If the majority of their classmates in special education classes quit school before finishing their programs, these students may think it acceptable to drop out, and would end up working a mediocre job, if any at all. They do not understand that they may have excellent potential, but that in order to achieve this potential they must stay in school and have role models to help shape their potential, even if that means looking up to fellow students.
However, both the segregation and the integration of students are controversial answers to a difficult problem. Segregation of students by any criteria is often looked down upon because people do not believe that these students are receiving the same level of education. This may be true. Students in special education programs are given different material than that provided to the majority, and they learn at a slower pace with their different teaching modules. However, much depends on the capacity of the student. If a student with a severe disability is in a regular class, he or she may not be able to learn efficiently, and as a result have his or her confidence dashed. If he or she is in a special education program, even though there may be less material, there is more of a chance that he or she will learn and understand the material being presented.
Those disabled students who do graduate from high school have multiple opportunities to help them get to college. There are various loans and scholarships for students with learning disabilities, so that they have an equal opportunity to receive a college education as their less challenged peers. Students with disabilities need to work dutifully in college and have a full understanding of the changed nature of their situation. They need know what helps them learn because they will no longer have a special education program to assist them after graduation from high school. A great feature to look for in colleges is whether more time is allotted to students with disabilities for test-taking. Another positive point for these students to look for in a particular college is a tutoring center. With a college education, students with disabilities can enjoy even better-paying jobs than the average individual.
Teachers must be specially qualified to teach students with disabilities. These teachers must go to school specifically in order to become a qualified special education teacher. They must be licensed and can receive specific degrees (bachelors, masters, and doctorates) in special education. Normally, the final year of studies includes a practical examination, where the student uses his or her knowledge of special education in the classroom while being supervised by a professional teacher.
There are a variety of education jobs that can be obtained by someone who has studied special education. These include positions in high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, community agencies, universities, health centers, local government positions, and research centers (specifically dedicated to education). Students who study special education do not necessarily have to teach. There are other options. Other special education jobs include being a group leader and manager. You could arrange activities, create special education programs, or advise schools and government organizations regarding recommendations and policies to be implemented in special needs school programs, among other potential jobs.
Special education jobs can range in the amount of money that a professional is paid. Normally, special education jobs are not considered high-paying, yet the experience of the job itself is rewarding. Nevertheless, the more education you have (such as a masters or doctorate degree), the more money you will receive. If teaching, you will also only work 9 to 10 months out of the year. Many people try to receive a special education job in a non-governmental organization because the pay rate is normally much higher than that of a teacher. Governmental positions are ideal because even though they pay less than NGO special education positions, they receive great benefits and retirement package plans.