What is special education?
Special education refers to a particular manner of education targeted at children with special needs, those with disabilities or those who are mentally not capable enough to be at par with ‘normal’ children of their age. Since their ability to grasp concepts and subjects is limited and restrictive, it is essential to provide them with special aids to help them learn faster. They also need a well trained faculty who is conversant with the techniques to train such special children.
Mode of education
Special education can be provided by means of separate classes held in normal schools, or in special schools solely designed and constructed for children with special needs. These could range from psychological, mental, physical and cognitive disorders. Outreach services are another method of providing this form of education, whereby, children are provided education with regards to speech and language, autism etc. These may be provided on a visiting basis to their schools, to mainstream schools, at their homes etc. These special education classes can be also provided to students in the comfort of their own homes. This enables teachers to cater to children who have complex problems and are not well equipped to handle more mainstream courses of education.
What you get from a Special Education degree
A special education degree equips a person to effectively teach children with varied levels of mental weaknesses ranging from mild forms to more complex mental and physical retardation. By getting a special education degree, one can become a special education teacher. Also, the degree has various levels, ranging from the basic bachelor’s to advanced graduation too.
Through a special education degree one can obtain positions of leadership in educational institutions aimed at special children. One can also supervise special education programs. It can even help existing teachers teaching in a standard classroom to switch from traditional institutions to ones aimed at special children. There is generally a lot of demand for special education teachers who can teach children with special needs.
Curriculum of a Master’s in Special Education
Gaining a Master’s degree in special education can help in a big way to enter into the field of special education. The duration of the course ranges from 1 to 3 years and includes several things in the curriculum such as creating appropriate syllabus and coursework for special children, analyzing individual needs of a special child, analyzing and understanding behavioral patterns in a child, mediums of instruction, guidelines on teaching highly talented students or geniuses who may have exceptional IQ and yet suffer from mental imbalances, teaching the theoretical, conceptual aspects of a subject to a special child, assessing students etc.
The Master’s degree also includes thesis work while also conducting a lot of field work in specialized areas of such as disorders related to behavior, hearing disorders, mental retardation, visual impairment etc.
How to become a special education teacher?
To become a special education teacher you need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in special education combined with relevant experience of teaching to special children. In some cases you may also need to have a Master’s degree to be a special education teacher.
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