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Chapter 11 Increasing professionalism through teacher preparation

Current Issues and Trends in Special Education: Research, Technology, and Teacher Preparation

ISBN: 978-1-84950-954-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-955-8

Publication date: 23 April 2010


Despite serious debates regarding different methods for preparing special education teachers (e.g., alternative routes, distance education, and programs with traditional student teaching), most supporters of teacher education agree on the importance of professional teaching standards as an underlying framework for defining professionalism in teacher preparation programs. For example, in a national survey of special education alternative route teacher preparation programs, Rosenberg, Boyer, Sindelar, and Misra (2007) found that the majority of respondents indicated their programs were designed around professional teaching standards, particularly standards developed by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The CEC, the leading professional organization for special educators, disseminates professional standards for beginning and advanced special educators that have been approved by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) (Council for Exceptional Children, 2004). Specific areas addressed by the CEC professional standards include (1) foundations of special education, (2) development and characteristics of learners, (3) individual learning differences, (4) instructional strategies, (5) learning environments and social interactions, (6) communication, (7) instructional planning, (8) assessment, (9) professional and ethical practice, and (10) collaboration. These standards include the core knowledge and skills essential for effective special educators and serve as guiding principles for professional programs and state licensing departments. They ensure that special educators are well prepared to enter the practice of teaching. Teacher preparation programs should be the vehicle through which professional standards are taught, understood, and translated into practice.


Drame, E. (2010), "Chapter 11 Increasing professionalism through teacher preparation", Obiakor, F.E., Bakken, J.P. and Rotatori, n.F. (Ed.) Current Issues and Trends in Special Education: Research, Technology, and Teacher Preparation (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 20), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 177-185.



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