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Article Title

Empowering Environments

Authors

John R. Wilson

Abstract

The special education system has come to a plateau. Although there have been significant advances in the quality of services delivered by special education teachers, this process can go forward only so far. It is now restricted from further significant advance by the bureaucratic and hierarchical form of education administration in this country. Until this structure is radically changed, special education teachers will not have the experiential knowledge to implement (on a wide scale) the individuality, empowerment, teamwork and overall spirit of the Individual Education Program process as outlined and intended in PL 94-142.

The IEP process has moved through two significant phases since 1975. The first was the "Legality Phase". It is defined by the numerous articles and training manuals that were devoted to the legal aspects of special education. Some were written for parents and advocates (Goldberg, 1982: Strictland, 1983), and other for administrators (Jones, 1981: Turnbull, 1978: Turnbull, 1986). Other authors examined the history of the legal victories concerning the education of children with special needs (Cremins, 1983: Levine & Wexler, 1981) and the impact of the law on educational innovations in the United States (Henning, 1979).