About the Project
In 2001, the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), published The Model Standards for Licensing General and Special Education Teachers of Students with Disabilities: A Resource for State Dialogue. These standards outline what general and special education teachers should know and be able to do in order to meet the general classroom needs of students with disabilities. This project, funded through a grant from the Metlife Foundation, uses these standards to further articulate the information and activities that general classroom educators need to address the needs of students with disabilities in the regular classroom and the connects general classroom teachers with many of the excellent resources available for classroom teachers from governmental and non-profit resources.
The core group of experts who worked on the this project were recruited to ensure representation of elementary, middle, and high schools as well as higher education. The five experts assisting with the development of the modules were:
David Paradise, the Project Leader, taught at middle school students in Virginia prior to becoming a senior project associate with the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium.
Dr. Linda Blanton is a professor at Florida International University. She is highly-regarded as an author and consultant on special education issues. Dr. Blanton has written and directed numerous federal grants, published articles/research on a variety of topics in special education. Dr. Blanton was a member of the group who drafted the Model Standards for Licensing General and Special Education Teachers of Students with Disabilities: A Resource for State Dialogue (2001).
Michele Cheyne is a former high school science teacher who currently a clinical faculty member and Director of Professional Development at the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Cheyne was member of the group who drafted the Model Standards for Licensing General and Special Education Teachers of Students with Disabilities: A Resource for State Dialogue (2001).
Donna McNear is a special educator for blind and visually-impaired students in Cambridge, Minnesota. A veteran special educator, Mrs. McNear recently received a Distinguished Service Award from the Council for Exceptional Children for her exemplary leadership, her commitment to the field, and for her work as an advocate for persons with visual impairments. Mrs. McNear was member of the group who drafted the Model Standards for Licensing General and Special Education Teachers of Students with Disabilities: A Resource for State Dialogue (2001).
Irv Richardson is former elementary school teacher and principal who was Maine’s Teacher of the Year in 1987. Mr. Richardson has written several books and articles. He also authored two online courses for WeBed. Mr. Richardson has served as a consultant to the Center for Improving Teacher Quality since 2000.
Why should general education teachers know about teaching students with disabilities?
It is the responsibility of classroom teachers to meet the needs of all of the student in their classroom. Consider the following:
- 2004-2005 Metlife Survey revealed that 22% of teachers reported "not too prepared/not at all prepared to deal with children of varying abilities"
- 2006 INTASC survey found states rating the need for "professional development" around teaching students with disabilities 4.37 on a scale of 1-5.
- 75% of all students with disabilities spend 40% of their day in the general classroom
- 96% of general education teachers teach students with disabilities or have done so in the past.
- General educators have an average of 3.5 special education students assigned to their classes
Using the Site
To put practicing general educators in touch the professional development resources, educators' questions about classroom practices relating to students with disabilities have been divided into seven essential questions for classroom educators:
- How do Federal, State and Local Policies affect my role as a teacher and my responsibilities to students?
- How do my students' backgrounds and levels of development impact their learning?
- How can I be sure that all my students will succeed in the curriculum I'm teaching
- What instructional methods will help make sure that all of my students learn?
- What are effective ways to assess what my students have learned?
- How do I manage my classroom and students to be sure that learning is optimized?
- What are some ways to collaborate with others to benefit my students?
Each large question has been divided into sub-questions. Each sub-question has been answered with a four-part answer. An icon represents each of the following parts of the answer:
- Factual Information
- Classroom activities
- Collaborating with Others
- Additional Information and Resources
To begin exploring the site, click on Essential Questions.