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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Graduate School Separation Anxiety

For many of us, it is the close of the semester and we have hashed out all of our likes and dislikes for the field. Some of us have cried, some have revealed our insecurities, while others continue to struggle within themselves. The operative word here is WE. We have had each other for support, brainstorming and the like.

But what do we do when we get out there in the big bad world when WE becomes I? It is easy to say, attend conferences or call a colleague, but in the real world when life just gets in the way, how will we keep our selves in check? How will we know that we REALLY are doing the right thing working OUTSIDE THE BOX (which is in direct opposition to most practitioners)?

This blog was created by Christen Sylvester

The Impact of Globalization on Education

The flattening or globalization of the world has significant implications for education. For one, we have already begun to use workflow software in-place of humans in many industries. In fact, on-line learning has become increasingly more popular. Students can easily opt for home schooling, thus on-line curriculums, lesson plans, teaching resources and media are readily available and easily accessible by most people today. Another important implication comes from outsourcing. Friedman (author of The World is Flat) writes about the ever increasing option for manufacturers to find unskilled, cheap labor outside of the U.S. Those who are unskilled in the U.S. will have greater difficulty finding jobs in the U.S. as a result of this trend. As a result, the importance of education in this country can not be emphasized enough. In order for Americans to survive in this country, they will need to learn a skill and continue to become educated. Further, globalization has increased competition and has raised the bar for creativity and ingenuity.

It appears that American children of today will be facing greater competition for jobs in the future. So what happens to our special needs children in this growing global economy? Special education has not proven to restore cognitive functioning and academic achievement; in fact quite the opposite appears to happen to children in special education. These students grow increasingly further behind their average age peers and often drop out of high school all together. Jobs that were once available in this country for uneducated and unskilled Americans appear to be disappearing across the seas at an alarming rate. What is not being outsourced is being taken over by technology. Interestingly, Friedman in his book mentions that some McDonalds in the United States have outsourced the drive thru position to overseas!

What are we doing to ensure the futures of our special needs children? In your opinion, has the special education curriculum taken into consideration globalization and the impact it will have on its students? In your experience, have you seen special needs children improve academically or do they appear to fall further behind? How do you think this will affect their ability to secure employment? If you had the power to change special education, what would you change and why?

This blog was created by Rosa DeAngelis