The Different Approaches to Special Needs Education

One of the major goals of the United Nations is to make education available to everyone all over the world. This would include those who have special needs. Approaches to special needs treatment and education differ globally depending on local contexts, values of the society, and beliefs that revolve around disabilities. 

According to the Education Encyclopedia-StateUniversity website, there are three major philosophies that govern how nations will identify and educate their students with special needs. It is safe to say that the medical approach in both diagnosis and treatment is the most popular of these methods. A child is usually tested to find physical and/or psychological impairments, and the results are analyzed to determine what instructional approach works best for the child to develop and learn. 

The environmental model works well to determine the level of disability to a certain extent. One’s level of disability is determined based on the interactions between a person and the environment. A good hypothetical scenario to use to understand this model is imagining that everyone but oneself is able to fly. It certainly feels unfair watching one’s friend fly to work while taking the stairs, but the flightless person is not disabled. It is when someone builds something with only people who can fly in mind, like constructing open shafts in buildings instead of stairs and elevators. With only empty shafts as an option to get somewhere, the flightless person is disabled by the surrounding environment. It is up to one’s community to make accommodations to make sure that those who need special attention can live their life just as any other person. 

The last is the inclusive model. This model endorses that children with special needs should have the right to education alongside those without special needs. This model takes aspects of the environmental model and says that, just because certain children need different attention, this does not mean that they should be separated from their nondisabled peers. Inclusion may be the best option to give special needs the education they deserve without isolating them

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