Big Picture Comments - 2016 Early Childhood Inclusion Institute

Special education outcome data over time indicate that labeling and self-contained
programming negatively impact the learner in terms of: achievement, self-esteem, school
graduation/dropout, "true" friendship development, name calling, generalization of skills,
employment and/with benefits, college readiness/attendance, etc.
As a nation, we have not valued diversity. As a result, we have sadly had to legislate it to
protect individuals. E.g. NCLB, IDEA, etc.
The traditional system of labeling and placement is often adult driven and not
necessarily student driven - this can be mystifying to families and others because it is
cast to be in the best interest of the student.
The social construction of disability and the segregation of individuals is what must be
Goal should be to not need special education services, and when they do, work to
Implications for early childhood staff: identification must be rigorous and accurate,
placements must include non-disabled peers and research-based curriculum by the
teachers most trained, related services should align to the goals and support the
instruction while being delivered in the student's natural environments to maximize
transfer of skills.
Kurt A. Schneider, Ph.D.
Director of Student Services
Stoughton Area School District
Stoughton, WI 53589
608-877-5041 (office)
608-877-5038 (fax)
As of July1, 2012
Asssistant Supt. of Teaching and Learning
Hinsdale 181 Public Schools
Hinsdale, Il