In most advanced countries, education is public and universal in character. This means that the entire school-age population is educated. This circumstance is related to an evident fact: not all students are equal and that is why it is necessary to attend to this diversity. For this, educational policies are put into practice designed to meet the special needs of students. Thus, the name Special Education is established.
Special education is a pedagogical discipline through which the teacher can attend to all the diversity of students in a school. It should be taken into account that there are different circumstances among students: there are students with disabilities, with high ability (prodigy children), with attention deficit, with problematic social contexts and with dyslexia. Special education tries to respond effectively to this social plurality .
Special education as a tool for equal opportunities in special education
There is a general consensus regarding the idea that equal opportunities is a principle that must be applied in education. For this principle to be put into practice, it is necessary that the plurality and diversity of students are adequately attended to.
In the case of Spain, a teacher of various educational stages pays special attention to this diversity through a tool: special educational needs (SEN). The idea of this strategy is to adapt the teaching process to each student in particular to meet a situation of equality.
The integration of all students to share the same space is not only a mechanism for equality, it also serves to promote coexistence and help in a special way to live together, assuming individual differences.
Special education for disabled students
There are students who have some type of disability, whether physical, sensory or intellectual. Currently, this academic training takes place most of the time in regular schools; this means that these special students attend classes together with other students who do not have any type of disability.
For this school coexistence to be effective and without discrimination, it is necessary to adopt a series of measures: adapting and enabling access to educational materials (for example, in the case of students with visual impairment), enabling the teacher to know the particularities of these students, thus how to direct a class dynamic so that no student is left out. This type of strategy are some of the didactic and pedagogical guidelines that are part of special education.