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Researching and Applying Learning in Special Education

Tuesday, December 08, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Providing individualized education plans (IEPs) for students requires testing, attention to specific needs, and the creation of teaching strategies that have been scientifically proven to be effective. Special education teachers need to have the tools to perform such analysis and determine what programs and interventions might be most effective. To aid them in their work, advanced degree programs can help teachers refine their research and testing skills in order to effectively offer evidence-based practices in special education.

Special education teachers have experience with implementing special education teaching strategies, but may not always have the background or coursework to perform testing themselves. Studying special education in an advanced setting, such as a master's degree program, can help teachers learn how to recognize evidence-based and scientifically researched programs. This benefits not only individual students, but the entire school, as some programs can be implemented in lower grades for all students, not just for those who depend on IEPs.

It is not always feasible for a special education teacher to run large-scale research with their own students, but there are many other alternatives when looking for evidence-based practices in special education. Special education teachers can use their training and continuing education to determine what programs have been scientifically researched and created based on those results. Those programs, in turn, may be better able to help students academically.

For those special education teachers who wish to work more extensively in testing and research, an online master's degree in special education program may help them hone their skills. Those teachers then are able to use their research results to create evidence-based practices in special education for different age groups and subject areas. Further research and feedback from schools that implement their programs can help teachers refine their programs and target further research and testing so that special education teaching strategies can continue to help students.

Testing and research are important in helping special education teachers provide the best education to their students. While teachers may not always have the tools they need, there are advanced programs and courses that can help them. Choosing programs that use evidence-based practices in special education can be a useful way to give students the best tools for their education, and to help ensure the success of students on an individual level, and for the whole school.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online M.Ed. in Special Education program.


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