Volume:3, Issue: 1

Mar. 1, 2011

In This Issue
A Letter to the Readers
Tsyrlina-Spady, Tatyana [about]
I am very happy to present our March, 2011 issue which focuses on some of the challenges and achievements that both Russian and American educators face in the important but always difficult field of special education. It’s hard to say why, but this topic has been the “hottest” yet for our young journal – in terms of attracting a large number of responses and interesting papers of both a theoretical and practical nature. For that reason, this issue will provide you with descriptions of diverse approaches to the education of children and young adults with special needs. You will find articles about limited abilities students who are “included” in regular schools and classes together with their healthy peers as well as articles about unique institutions specifically designed for them.
The Educational Abilitation Component as a Subject of Educational Research
Igor P. Chepuryshkin [about]
The concept of an “abilitational component” in education all the more frequently has become a subject for pedagogical research. This category of education entails such concepts as “rehabilitation,” “educational space” and “abilitation” or “adaptation by means of alternatives.” In a literal translation from Latin, “rehabilitation” means “restoration or renewal.” In France and French speaking countries it is used to convey the understanding of “re-adaptation,” which means a restoration of the patient’s level of adaptability for change or alteration. The concept of rehabilitation is also used in the juridical, medical, and psychological fields. The juridical aspect of rehabilitation allows for restoration of the good name and legal rights of a person through the power of the acknowledgment of former guilt. Medical rehabilitation is essentially similar to medical treatment. The difference lies in the fact that the basic treatment produces a medical-biological restoration of the organism, but the essential goal of medical rehabilitation is the medical-social restoration of certain fundamental activities.
Konstantin Dmitryevich Ushinsky (1823-1870)
Boguslavsky, Mikhail V. [about]
Born on February 19, 1823 in Tula, south of Moscow, to an impoverished noble family, the early instruction of this future pedagogue was managed by his mother, Lyubov Stepanovna Ushinsky, who very attentively concerned herself with the inquisitiveness of her child, supporting and developing his curious mind. He eventually accumulated so much knowledge under his mother’s schooling that he was accepted into the third class of a gymnasium which in our time would be equivalent to grade 5 or 6. After finishing gymnasium studies, the talented youth entered Moscow University where he revealed not only an enviable talent for quick perception and critical evaluation of knowledge but also a skill for sharing his knowledge with others.
The Moscow Center for Curative Pedagogics: Primary Aspects of the Concept and Activities
Anna L. Bitova [about], Roman P. Dimenshtein [about], Olga A. Gerasimenko [about]
The Moscow Center for Curative Pedagogics opened its doors during the perestroika era in Russia and has increased its services and influence to the present time. The “New Russia” allowed the teams of specialists and parents of The Center to create something unique in the nation for children with disabilities. With clearly defined principles and well thought out methods of operation, The Center has had a broad impact on special education services in Russia.
Examining the Social Construct of Disabilities in Society: An Historical Perspective and Discourse on Current Implications
Rick Eigenbrood [about]
The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between societal attitudes and policies about people with disabilities and how they impact the ability of people with disabilities to participate fully in society. The author presents a short historic overview and a full model of integration with support services.
Early Intervention Services for Very Young Children: Elements of Part C
Janice Myck-Wayne [about]
Over the past 25 years, the United States of America has incorporated early intervention services for young children birth to three years of age into mandated special education programs. This article discusses three key elements of the mandated regulations that highlight the importance of family-centered services incorporated into Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The three elements include the Individual Family Service Plan, Service Coordination and eligibility requirements.
Preparing Children with Learning Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorders for School
Tatyana A. Bondar [about], Roman P. Dimenshtein [about], Ima Y. Zakharova [about], Olga V. Karanevskay [about], Irina S. Konstantinova [about], Maria A. Positselskaya [about], Maria V. Yaremchuk [about]
Entering school is an emotional time for all children and parents, but for children with learning disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders and their parents, it is an especially difficult and crucial time. The authors have laid out a systematic approach for helping parents, children, and teachers prepare for school entrance and success while coping with the learning disabilities presented.
Our Journey in Special Education: Insights, Lessons, Progress
Cioffi, Katherine [about], Kathleen White [about], Jeffrey Kole [about]
The authors are educators with over thirty years experience in the field of special education. Here they share their insights, achievements, and innovations which made their school one of the best in reaching out for every ‘special” child and making a difference in his/her life.
Kovcheg: an unusual school for unusual children
Natalya V. Borisova [about]
Natalya Borisova’s article provides the reader with a fascinating description of the possibilities available for every child in a school that is truly child centered. Parents, teachers, specialists, medical educators working together provide a unique opportunity for each child in The Kovcheg School. The school itself appears to be acting as a compass guiding the City of Moscow’s introduction of children with special needs into the schools of their community. Formerly isolated in special institutions, children with learning disabilities are now able to join society.
Helping Students with Disabilities Transition from High School
Diane Salmirs [about]
Self-determination is a key concept in transition; however, many students with disabilities are completing high school and entering adult life without being able to make their own choices or determine the course of their lives. Since transition is now a critical component and mandated by law, teaching students with disabilities how to be self-determined is now of paramount importance.
From Seclusion to Integration: One High School’s Journey
Howell, Erica [about], Pierson, Melinda R. [about]
This article focuses on one high school’s journey to include high school students with mild/moderate disabilities in all general education classes. Professional development, student and teacher schedules, and modification of course content will be addressed which will hopefully lead to successful inclusion experiences for all students.
Special Education: Least Restrictive Environment and Free and Appropriate Public Education
Jon Holmen [about]
The author, a school district administrator and a doctoral student, is describing challenges which teachers and administrators face in the field of special education. The article clarifies some common used but still ambiguous terms, such as placement and location. Written in the form of a dialogue with the readers, this paper raises a number of important issues and provokes a discussion.
"Exclusively, in the interests of..."
Kitsul, Natalya S. [about]
Natalya Kitsul introduces the reader to The Rehabilitation Center for Children and Young Adults with Limited Abilities of Kurchatov, Russia, and to the parents’ organization, “Assistance.” She outlines the development of The Center, its functions, and problems and invites the reader to read the following three articles written by her colleagues about their experiences working with young people with limited abilities.
Neighborhood Schooling for Young Adults with Limited Abilities
Maslova, Zhanna V. [about]
The concept of training limited abilities students in tasks that will help them make their way in the world while also developing their self-esteem and confidence is explored. In Russia, this model provides an option until the government takes the necessary steps to create a more sophisticated approach to the education and vocational training of persons with limited abilities of a psycho-neurological nature.
Adaptive Touring in Rehabilitation and Integration
Victor I. Pikalov [about]
Adaptive touring contributes to a healthy life style for limited abilities young adults. The contact with nature, physical activity, teamwork, and specific skill development which touring provides enables the individual student to make tremendous strides in self-esteem and self-reliance growth. Participation in the Special Olympics competitions helps team members to set goals, systematically develop preparatory skills, and provide rewarding recognition for achievement.
Socio-cultural Rehabilitation and People with Limited Abilities
Margarita S. Tokmyanina [about]
Socio-cultural rehabilitation of young people with limited abilities should focus on a variety of areas that can provide necessary developmental skills that will be very useful in life. These areas include living in a society that has folk, religious, family, and national traditions. Preparation for the future can be facilitated with the help of knowledgeable educators and family members through such activities as role playing, drama, games, drawing, movement development classes, music, and religious education. All of these activities combined with field trips and pilgrimages can support the limited abilities students’ preparation for a successful and happy life in their society in Russia.
Teaching Collaboration Through Person-Centered Planning
Nat Hansuvadha [about], Hilda A. Sramek [about]
This paper is an examination of teachers’ responses regarding the implementation of a person-centered planning tool for individuals with disabilities. Thirty-seven special education teachers in a graduate course on collaboration, with emphasis on applied models and actual practice with families, responded to a survey on the strengths and challenges of this process, and the likelihood of its future implementation. Results show that teachers’ perceptions were positive because they had the opportunity to interact with and learn more about their students and their families.

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