Friday, April 21, 2006

Pullout Special Education

I have been observing since January the effect of special education pullout classes on the students who attend them.  It is interesting to me how this effects the rest of their time in the classroom, as I am a sub and get them when they are not in their special classes. I do NOT dispute that the classes are important and they ARE effective, in that the statistics about skill achievements seem to be improving.

What is of concern to me, is how much of their time those students waste in the regular classroom. Yesterday, I heard from two of those students, "I don't do your social studies" and, at the same time, "I don't have anything to do". This is not the first time I have heard similar comments. This is evidently a chronic occurrence, since, even though one of those students wanted to participate, he didn't know what the assignment was, so he couldn't - even in a adapted manner. And, the suggestion to "read a book" has no appeal to a student who has difficulty reading in the first place.

So, in some ways similarly to gifted kids, the kids who need extra services are spinning their wheels much of the time. I know it is logistically nearly impossible to arrange it so that, in a classroom of 27 students, each child is at his/her correct challenge level all of the time, but, again, it seems like there should be some better arrangement of children, teachers, and time.


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