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Beth SkudzienskiPhilosophy of EducationDr.


Special education is a field that covers a multitude of abilities anddisabilities,from

intellectual disabilities, to emotional or behavior difficulties, to students who aregifted or
talented. As a special education teacher, I have the privilege of helping studentswith unique
abilities, struggles, and achievement levels to reach their fullest academic potential. The
goals, methods and purpose behind the goals and methods of a specialeducation teacher
are critical as they drive student expectation, instruction as well asexpected student
outcomes. It is important to remember that no two students are the sameand that each
student has individual academic ability and achievement levels as well asindividual
strengths and needs.The special educator must remember that no two students are the
same and thuseach student has individual needs. The special education teacher must
differentiateclassroom instruction to fit the individual learning needs of their students. It is
imperativefor the special educator to understand the needs their students have will
changethroughout the course of the academic school year, and that those needs can
varydepending on the subject matter and day of the week. The special education teacher
mustmake it their goal to remain in step with the continuing and changing needs of
their students.While it can be said there are normative characteristics of students with
specificdisabilities as well as potential achievement levels of those students,
special educationteachers should not let those characteristics or supposed achievement
levels limit whatthey teach or how they instruct their students. The special education
teacher should pushtheir students to the furthest individual academic level possible, based
on individualability and achievement levels. As a special educator, it is important to have
individuallearning goal in place for students and help students reach those goals.As a special
education teacher, I believe it is important for me to help studentsattain individual learning
goals. The knowledge I want each student to attain will vary based on their grade
level, ability and achievement level, as well as the goals set forth ineach students
Individualized Education Plan (IEP). As a special educator, I believe it isimportant to help
students receiving special education services to attain as many of thegeneral education
curriculum goals as possible; however, those goals must also bematched with the students
achievement and ability level. While there are depths to somecurricular subjects that
students with profound disabilities may not attain, I believe it is possible for all students,
regardless of disability to have knowledge of every core subject(reading, math, social
studies, english, and science) taught in the general educationcurriculum. As a special
educator, it is my goal to have students attain the highest level of academic understanding
possible so that they may function independently in society asmuch as they are able. It is
also important that students are taught dispositions thatcoincide with the curriculum being
discussed.As a special education teacher, I believe dispositions should be taught in
theacademic setting to students. Dispositions such as diversity and accepting those who
may be different from themselves are important for all students to be
taught. Other dispositions that will aid the student after life in the classroom are:
cooperation, a passionfor life-long learning, care and compassion for others, respect for the
thoughts andfeelings of others, life skills and appropriate social behavior. Special education
teachersshould teach these dispositions to students in an age and ability-appropriate
manner.The methods of instruction used in the special education classroom will
varydepending on the students in the classroom and the subject being taught; however,
thereare a few principles for instruction I believe are important for all learning
situations,specifically in the field of special education. The Direct Instruction method has
hadtremendous positive influence on the learning of students with and without disabilities.

Beth SkudzienskiPhilosophy of EducationDr. Zack

The steps to Direct Instruction created by Madeline Hunter are: teaching the new skill
tostudents, modeling the new skill for students, checking for student understanding,
guided practice, feedback and independent practice. It is my belief the steps
to effectiveinstruction created by Sharon Ware, professor and doctorate student at the
University of Connecticut should be used along with the steps of Direct Instruction. Professor
Warestates that effective instruction should instruct students in the big idea of the
lesson,instruction should be conspicuous and scaffolded, and students should be provided
withmultiple opportunities for practice with immediate feedback. It is my firm belief
thatinstruction should also be hands-on with as many concrete objects and manipulatives
as possible. This gives students a concrete representation of the new task or skill that
mayotherwise be an abstract concept. These principles along with individualized
instruction based on student needs are the keys to effective instruction for students.I firmly
believe the principles of Direct Instruction, Effective Instruction, andindividualized instruction
allow students with various learning styles, ability andachievement levels to be successful
learners. Well-known educational theorists such asPiaget, Maslow, and Vygotsky also
advocated for instruction based on the needs of theindividual learner. Piaget also believed in
the importance of hands-on learning. If themethods of Direct and Effective instruction are
followed and instruction is individualizedand compassionate towards students enrolled in
special education, I believe there is nolimit to what the students will be able to accomplish
or achieve.