Fewer students are pursuing doctorate degrees in special education. This creates voids within universities special education departments and students from kindergarten to collegiately suffer from inadequate education. Lack of special education degrees also creates a lack of research, uneducated administration and policy makers. Multi-education has been difficult to implement and with minority shortages, this problem will continually get worse unless a contingency plan is devised to entice minorities to pursue a career in special education. The FIRST program tries to tackle this problem by focusing on two of the least represented minority groups in special education. The Native Americans and Spanish communities are grossly misrepresented and the FIRST program has created a cohort which allows teachers of these ethnicities to earn a doctoral degree while not having to sacrifice like the average doctoral student. This program will allow for more minorities to pursue special education, while researching their effects on academics, linguistics and social outcomes. These teachers will be taught how to be culturally diverse while implementing strategies, and technology in an inclusive setting.
This article discusses three major problems within the education community. The shortage of teachers in special education, the shortage of minorities in special education. Due to the need at my previous school, I became a special education teacher and limited research within special education. I have had experience with the special education department shortage on teachers. I taught special education with no formal training and no assistance on how educate special needs students. I studied and incorporated different strategies that allowed me to be successful but that was done through trial and error. Some counties like fairfax, pay for interns to study in the field and hires them after they have completed the cohort. The shortage with minorities in education is difficult to asses when teaching in a urban setting that is culturally diverse, however when looking at America, this is a major problem. In the article "Preparing Preservice Educators for Cultural Diversity: How Far Have We Come?" discusses that the teacher population is becoming more White although the schools are becoming more culturally diverse. Most of the studies that were orchestrated in the review were dominated by white teachers, and actually showed the lack of diversity within education. The last problem is the culmination of there being a shortage of education teachers. The lack of research hinders the growth and knowledge of teachers and students. "A huge gap remains between the quantity of studies published in both fields, with the larger number of studies being published by general education researchers" (Trent, CEC, p. 345). Since there is a lack of research, teachers are left to questionnaires and surveys, and these surveys are isolated from other teachers.
The idea of the FIRST program is a great idea and I agree with getting Spanish and Native American teachers interested in obtaining a doctorate degree. However, I do not agree that this great idea is limited to these ethnicities. With the shortage of special education teachers, the objective should be to create an influx of students into this field. By focusing on the microcosm of two ethnicity, the program limits the growth and the research of the effects of this program on special education. Caucassion females dominate the field, but if there was a focus on multicultural education, this would not be a problem but an issue. There is no doubt that there needs to be a diverse population in the education field but the pundits have not figured out how to instigate this growth.
Peterson's research is relevant because it brings to light crucial issues in the special education field and how answers are being developed and exercised to fix this problem. This articles content is not necessarily relevant for this course, but the ideals emerged in the text are very benificial. I will not benifit from the program that was discussed in this article, however the knowledge I gained has strengthened the possibilites about earning a doctorate in education. The focus will be to connect special and general education together. I am not eligible for the FIRST program but I am sure that I will be effected indirectly by the context of this article.
I enjoyed this article although I was not entirely happy that all minorities was not incorperated in the plan. The article was extremely limited and focused on the Native American and Spanish Americans, when the article first discussed the shortage of special eduation teachers in general. I would have loved to see data that discussed all minority teachers compared to white minority teachers in the university setting. This article did peek my curiosity with how many minority students have doctoral degrees and work in the colligiate setting. I believe the more minority professors, the easier ideals on multieducation can spread within the educational sphere. The lack of information about minorities in education allows me to analyze the importance of obtaining a doctorate in the educational feild that focus on special education. I have met six skillful female professors and two interns, one a male who teach at George Washington University. I however have not encountered a minority who has or is pursuing a doctorate. Maybe I will fill this void after I have completed this cohort.