We present and explain several reasons that special education as a field has not been served well by the lessons of our history, but has the extraordinary opportunity, if not responsibility, to learn from history and use these lessons to guide practice. Our premises include (a) special educators may be less aware of their past than professionals in other disciplines, and thus less likely to build on this past; (b) given the relatively short history of the field as we know it today, we have access to many leaders who shaped policy and practice in special education; and (c) special education faces crossroads in many respects, and these have the potential to drastically re-shape or re-define special education. As such, we believe that contextualizing our present and future direction in an understanding of our past is critical now more than ever.
Cook, B., Landrum, T. and Tankersley, M. (2014), "Special Education Past, Present, and Future: Foundational Concepts and Introduction to the Volume", Special Education Past, Present, and Future: Perspectives from the Field (Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0735-004X20140000027013Download as .RIS
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