The Search for Role Clarity: Challenges and Implications for Special Education Teacher Preparation

May. 10, 2016

Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, Volume 39, No.2 ,May 2016

Today’s special educators need to collaborate with general educators in tiered systems of support while providing specialized instruction for students with the most intensive needs, yet teacher education and professional development opportunities may not always adequately prepare them for these changing roles. The recent re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) creates a new policy context with the potential to bring about additional changes in PK-12 settings and teacher preparation.

In recognition of the need to more clearly articulate and align the demands of PK-12 schooling with the teacher education enterprise, this paper concludes with a set of policy recommendations intended to promote clarification of special educators’ roles and inform the future of university-based teacher preparation programs (TPPs) engaged in fostering their development at the preservice and in-service levels.

Updated: Jan. 31, 2017