Special Education: An Excavation of Ideals




Backer, Anjuli T.

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This research considers how the transformation of perceptions about disabilities and people with disabilities have affected the fulfillment of IDEA’s intended purpose for special education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was developed in response to students with exceptional needs. The foundation of special education programs was built on IDEA’s intention to provide education to enhance the dignity, independence, and self-reliant nature of students with disabilities. This study chronicles the evolutions of perceptions about people with disabilities, examining how these perceptions can influence the way we educate students with disabilities. It acknowledges that professional educators cannot escape exposure to these perceptions, and this can influence them to engage in practices that inadvertently perpetuate the stigmas and labels faced by students with disabilities. The focal point of the conclusion reached focuses on the significance of high expectations and their role in the advancement of competent, independent, able-minded students with special education needs. If practices that enable dependence and shirk accountability are not discontinued, the ideals special education makes great efforts to uphold will remain buried.



special education, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), high expectations, Honors College


Backer, A. T. (2021). Special education: An excavation of ideals (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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