General Education and Exceptional Education
Special education teachers have been contributing, greatly, to educating general education students as well as special education students for many years. Especially in recent times, many are co-teaching in classrooms with general education teachers–teaching core subjects themselves.
Research states that the field of special education has exerted a major influence on general education, especially in the explicitness of teaching reading in the primary grades and in the secondary grades through interventions. Prominent special education researchers are authoring many of the major commercially published core reading programs that general education students are learning to read in school.
Furthermore, special education policy makers and others were very involved in introducing Responsiveness to Intervention (RTI)1 and Reading First2, which is directed at prevention of reading difficulties in general education. Because of the inclusion of students with learning disabilities into main stream classes, research states that general education students are benefiting, greatly, from the strategies taught to exceptional education students (i.e., explicit instruction, chunking of material for better comprehension and much more) to access the curriculum. Therefore, be assured that general education students do benefit from instructional strategies taught by exceptional education educators.