Special Education as it Pertains to Social Justice

Special Education as it Pertains to Social Justice



Special education as it pertains to social justice

How can an understanding of special education law facilitate equitable systems for diverse student populations?

Understanding special education law is critical to maintaining and sustaining an equitable school environment in which students with diverse racial, class, disability, and gender needs among others can co-exist harmoniously. Firstly, understanding special education law facilitates the creation and implementation of an education program that is not only able to identify but also satisfy the different individual needs of students with special education. In this regard, principals, members of staff, parents, and other stakeholders are able to attend to the unique needs of children with disabilities as well as other minority students thus increasing their level of motivation and consequently their overall education achievements.

Secondly, an understanding of special education law is essential in improving the structure of schools as part of implementing equitable education programs. Understanding special education law in this case educates students, teachers, parents, and other members of the communities of the rights of minorities and children with special needs. Further, it increases their understanding of the consequences of violating such rights and privileges, thus increasing the focus on promoting and ensuring that the observance of the laws contained in these special education laws. Improved school structures include better administrative and learning policies thus promoting unity (Lyman, & Villani, 2002).

Further, understanding such law is critical in preventing violations of the rights of the minority groups and students with disabilities, thus enhancing the ability of a school to raise the level of student achievement while at the same time enhancing the school culture.

How can school leaders use social justice theory to develop an inclusive school community supportive of students with disabilities?

There are varieties of social justice mechanisms that school leaders from different backgrounds can adopt with a view to developing inclusive school communities that support students with disabilities. However, the most critical part of it is to ensure that the school leaders have an in-depth understanding of the different unique needs of their student population thus facilitating the attainment of the above-mentioned objective.

School leaders in this regard can use social justice to re-center and enhance staff capacity in order to accommodate the different needs of the student population. Enhancing staff capacity includes solving issues pertaining staff development, race and other forms of discrimination, staff empowerment among other challenging issues. Staff empowerment enables members of staff to determine ways of running their schools, while at the same designing mechanisms to fight different forms of discrimination and injustices (Larson, & Murtadha, 2002). Staff empowerment includes the ability to implement additional educational programs for students with unique special needs such as extra-tuition services and the elimination of English as a Second Language program.

Secondly, school leaders can also use social justice theory to strengthen different school cultures and communities as part of developing inclusive school communities supportive of students with disabilities. It includes encouraging the development of unique student staff relationships to facilitate an understanding the diverse needs of students with disabilities. Strengthening the school culture and community relationships encourages the community to change any negative attitudes perpetuated by traditional systems and focus their efforts on assisting students with disabilities fit into the normal education systems while at the same time encouraging equity and individual growth (Lyman, & Villani, 2002).

How can school leaders reflect and integrate literature, best practices, and practical applications to enhance educational opportunities for students with disabilities and diverse learners?

School leaders have a variety of practices and practical applications to draw from with a view to enhancing educational opportunities available to students with disabilities and other diverse learners. In this regard, school leaders could use the unique practical experiences of their fellow members of staff or even other school leaders to design educational policies for their students (Larson, & Murtadha, 2002). The inclusion of these experiences includes consulting and liaising with members of staff and students within a particular school system to determine the best way to run an equitable education system.

School leaders could also conduct research in different fields of education with a view to determining the best education and operation policies available for adoption. Research in this case increases the number of options available to the school heads concerning the methods of implementing and equitable system of education. Research provides the school heads with possible scenarios and methods of tackling potential challenges that they may encounter in the course of operation.

The school heads could also draw operational policies from existing laws governing special education, thus ensuring that they correctly balance the rights and needs of the different students within their institutions. The above measures ensure that all educational policies are in line with the law and that they promote equity and a sense of responsibility among staff for the different needs of the students within a diverse school system (MacKinnon, 2000).

In conclusion, the role of social justice theory in promoting balanced and equitable systems of education is highly essential in ensuring that schools incorporate the unique needs of their students. Further, social justice theory is critical in encouraging school heads to participate in the formulation and implementation of education policies that balance the needs of diverse student populations. As a result, members of staff and the surrounding community should participate in school activities to aid in the creation and sustenance of an equitable school system and community.


Larson, C., & Murtadha, K. (2002). Leadership for social justice. In J. Murphy (Ed.), The educational leadership challenge: Redefining leadership for the 21st century (pp. 134-161). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lyman, L. L., & Villani, C. J. (2002). The complexity of poverty: A missing component of educational leadership programs. The Journal of School Leadership, 12, 246-280.

MacKinnon, D. (2000). Equity, leadership, and schooling. Exceptionality Education Canada, 10(1-2), 5-21.