From Deficit to Divergence: Integrating Theory to Inform the Selection of Interventions in Special Education

DOI: 10.4236/ce.2014.57060   PDF   HTML   XML   2,979 Downloads   4,217 Views   Citations


Special education provides service and access to students and families who have varied life experiences that manifest as variations in development, learning, and behavior. The contention of this paper supports the notion of refocusing our efforts on developmental and learning theories that take into consideration human variance and individual difference to inform intervention selection in special education. The author briefly discusses the current practice of Special Education in the United States and presents definitions of divergence versus deficit to build the argument that focusing inadequacy of student performance as opposed to variation in student performance can lead to inaccurate identification of appropriate strategies for students with exceptionalities. A definition of deficit model in conjunction with cultural and social implications, with regard to students identified as having emotional and behavior disabilities will be discussed. Emotional intelligence and moral development are introduced as theoretical models that can inform selection and classroom use of preventative mental health curriculum and interventions designed to improve student capacity in emotion-based utility, perspective taking, and decision making.

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Banks, T. (2014) From Deficit to Divergence: Integrating Theory to Inform the Selection of Interventions in Special Education. Creative Education, 5, 510-518. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.57060.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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