Date Published: Mar 19, 2015
Source: 
Teacher Education and Special Education
Authors: 
Zirkel, P.A.

[Abstract]

    "Intended as professional development for both new and experienced special educators, this article provides both the basic requirements and nuanced issues for foundational, successive, and overlapping key components under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): (a) child find, (b) eligibility, and (c) free appropriate public education (FAPE). The introductory section identifies ensuing IDEA components along with relatively recent references for each of them. Next, the section for each component includes the pertinent IDEA statutory provisions or regulations, the basic criteria, one or more nuanced issues, and illustrative court decisions of recent vintage. This treatment shows that the key components are not mutually exclusive, scientifically or professionally precise, or clearly uniform in their case law interpretations and applications. The concluding section offers suggestions for teacher educators for improving the relevant and useful legal knowledge of future special educators. It also provides the culminating message that maintaining current legal literacy is challenging but useful within the larger context and primary purpose of achieving effective results for students with disabilities via communication and collaboration with parents."