Problems with Self-Contained Classrooms for Disabled Students

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In public schools across the United States, students with special needs are placed in self-contained and resource classrooms in an attempt to facilitate effective teaching and learning practices. However, for some students, the physical placement of self-contained classrooms in and of itself is cause for concern and can impede the learning process (Jones & Hensley, 2012). When students feel isolated or stigmatized by their school environment, their confidence and self-determination levels can be negatively impacted, thereby, diminishing academic progress. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has established procedures for the placement of students with disabilities within a school setting. Members of the child study …show more content…

Students in resource rooms had greater access to the general education school environment through both their physical location and social opportunities. According to Jones and Hensley (2012), “students in resource rooms spent approximately 65% of their school day with typically developing peers in general education classes or activities” (p. 39). Conversely, self-contained students spent virtually their entire day isolated from the general student body at large (Jones & Hensley, 2012). In this study, self-determination was identified as feelings of autonomy, self-regulation, psychological perspectives, empowerment, and self-realization (Jones & Hensley, 2012). The area most impacted for self-contained students was psychological empowerment. Teachers in the research study stated that the self-contained students were more dependent on the classroom staff for learning support (Jones & Hensley, 2012). These students were more likely to seek assistance on simple assignments that they could have easily completed on their own. While it is important for teacher-student relationships to be positive, an overdependence on teachers can hinder the learning process and negatively impact the confidence level of the student (Jones & Hensley, 2012). However, students in resource classrooms displayed higher levels

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