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Special Education Should Include Advanced Learning Needs

Melanie S. Meyer 1 (Johns Hopkins University, USA)
Jonathan A. Plucker 2 (Johns Hopkins University, USA)

Revitalizing Special Education

ISBN: 978-1-80117-495-4, eISBN: 978-1-80117-494-7

Publication date: 26 September 2022


Some students with documented learning needs (e.g., learning disabilities, physical challenges) receive strong support through the legislation, funding, and accountability systems associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973). However, in the absence of supportive federal policy, other students with documented learning needs (e.g., high cognitive ability) experience varying levels of support due to differences in state and local policies, funding, and accountability requirements. These differences are due in large part to misconceptions about students with advanced learning needs (e.g., that they can meet grade-level standards without intervention) and equity concerns (e.g., students with the greatest perceived needs should be served first). Special education has a long history of alleviating educational mismatches by preparing students for challenging learning opportunities, providing classroom support structures, and monitoring educational placements through a system of regular evaluation and adjustment. Students served in gifted and talented education can benefit from these same asset-based, sociocultural approaches. However, efforts to support students with advanced learning needs are more likely to be consistently and successfully applied if they are backed by changes to existing policies, funding, and accountability systems.



Meyer, M.S. and Plucker, J.A. (2022), "Special Education Should Include Advanced Learning Needs", Kauffman, J.M. (Ed.) Revitalizing Special Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 169-187.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Melanie S. Meyer and Jonathan A. Plucker. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited