Friday, March 30, 2012


Today's notes for sociology (Sorry, I have missed the last three slides):


Special education students

Which children can attend regular classrooms, and which should be separated for part of all of their education?

In order to be classified as disabled a child must have a health condition or impairment that limits the ability of the child to perform a major life activity for an extended period of time.

The era of the special education students began with the 1975 passage by Congress of Education for All Handicapped Children Act. It stated that all children with disabilities must be educated at the least restrictive environment possible.

More recently (the rule: The Individuals with disabilities education act) has been added requiring school districts to educate all disabled children between the ages of 3 and 21. With this rule the state try to consider each child’s special needs and then designing programs suited to them.

Research results show that integration of as many special education students as possible can have positive results, students have models from whom to learn social skills and competencies, and other students learn about disabilities.

However, there is a lack of evidence from methodologically strong studies that mainstreamed students learn more, and where evidence does exist, the balance is only marginally positive.

The main criterion for eligibility for special education services school has been proof of intrinsic deficit. There are two problems with this.

-          First, defining and identifying  high-incidence disabilities and ambiguous and subjective processes.
-          Second, the focus on disability has become so intertwined with the historical devaluing of minorities in the US that these two now deeply influence the special education placement process. (Harry and Klinger 2007)

Gifted students

Societies need to develop and use the talents of their most valued members but this presents dilemmas in democracies: To single out some  students for special treatment or training is to give advantages to some and create an elite intelligentsia, yet if ability is considered regardless of other factors such as family position we are developing and using need resources.

Controversy continues when schools consider which students to place in gifted programs. But who is gifted is defined by each program that singles out children for special treatment.

Although there is a lack of agreement on one strategy, many feel that individualised instruction combined with some joint classroom activities with other students may best serve both groups. Separating students from their peers does occur when students are tracked. ;ost useful to gifted and other students are programs that support a variety of learning styles and use students in the teaching process.

The U.S. educational system is built on the premise that all students should be educated regardless of race, ethnic group, sex, ability or other characteristics.

Effective schools should benefit all students, including minority students, by attending to the following issues:

-          Clear-cut goals and objectives.

-          Adequate funding and appropriate use of funds.

-          Quality academic programs.

-          Valid assessment programs and effective monitoring of progress.

-          Parent, family and community involvement.

-          Teacher and staff development.

-          High expectations for students

-          Comprehensive support services.

-          Adequate school facilities.

-          Productive school climate and culture

-          Multicultural structure and sensibility

Some researchers about this topic recommend:

-        -   
-       -    
-      -     
-        -   
-         - Providing support services such as day care for students parents.
-          -Reducing class sizes.
-          -


The socialisation process begins the day we are orn and ends the day we day.

Girls and boys have different socialisation experiences from birth by the time they enter nursery school, most children already have a good idea of their gender identityfrom parents, TV and other socialisation agents.

The socialisation function continues to take place in school where students spend more than six hours a day. Teachers and schools become important sources of information on sex-appropriate behaviour, children learn by observing and imitating adult roles of teachers and administrators.

Children’s toys play a major role in sex socialisation as well. “oys toys” – toy trucks, chimestry sets, doctor kits, telescopes, microscopes, building blocks and Legos – encourage manipulation of the environment and are generally more career-oriented and more expensive than “girls toys” (Richmond-Abbott, 1992).

Parents are generally very conscious of buying sex appropriate toys to their children.

Video games, hip-hop songs and books are sources of messages about sex roles.

Differences in behaviours begin early, when children as young as 3 and a half start to influence their peers. Girls tend to be ignored by boys and teachers and may stop trying to get attention.

Even speech patterns differ, with boys using speech for egoistic purposes and girls for social bonding.
Both Grace Paley (1984) and Barrie Thorne (1993) observed that gender organises many of the activities of both girls and boys. She notices girls have some advantages. The range of their acceptable behaviour was wider than for boys, but boys could not do girls activities.

Martin’s research (1998) provides good evidence that much of gendered nature of girl and boy play is socially constructed. She notes for example, how girl’s clothing is generally less comfortable and more restricts movement than boys’ clothing.

(According to Sadker an Sadker 1994), girls and boys learn hidden sexist lessons. For instance, boys are called on more, asked to solve the problems, disciplined more, and have more interaction with teachers. The accumulated messages may lead girls to experience other problems and disorders including eating problems, harassment, pregnancy and dropping out, and low self-esteem.
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