Course is First To Tackle Teaching Math in Inclusive Classrooms

November 2, 2011 Purnell Cropper

Mathematics and Special Education come together in a new class that will help those teaching math in inclusive classrooms—with widespread ability levels among their students. Differentiation in the Mathematics Classroom (ED534), offered in the spring, will help teachers discover useful skills for teaching in inclusive mathematics classrooms.

"It is rare that educators integrate state-of-the-art mathematics education and current recommendations in special education. Arcadia is doing this, just as it pioneered other areas of inclusive education," says Dr. Peter Appelbaum, Professor of Education and Coordinator of Mathematics Education and Curriculum Studies programs. It's been more than seven years since Congress reauthorized the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2004 to ensure special education and related services to children throughout the nation. In 2005, a Settlement Agreement in the Gaskin v. Pennsylvania class action case added another layer of complexity to how schools in Pennsylvania were expected to serve students with special needs.

"The class will help teachers find ways to to get beyond the conflicts between professional recommendations from mathematics educators and special educators and create practical classroom applications to meet the needs of all students," says Appelbaum.

To register for the class, sign up for ED 534: Special Topics in the Spring 2012 semester. For more information, contact Adjunct Professor Samantha Lite at SLite@arcadia.edu. Lite is a high school math teacher at Jenkintown High School, having taught previously at Central High School in Philadelphia. She is a recent graduate of Arcadia's graduate program in Mathematics Education, having also obtained an additional certification in Special Education and pursued an extensive action research project on differentiated instruction in mathematics for her culminating project.

Read more about Arcadia's pioneering role in "Rethinking Education."

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