časopis pro pedagogiku v souvislostech * journal of education in contexts
Ročník: 2016Volume: 2016
Číslo: 2Issue: 2
Vyšlo: 17. ledna 2017Published: January 17th, 2017
Xinrui, Li. Recenze: Special Education in Today’s Schools: Inclusion of students with disabilities . Paidagogos, [Actualized: 2017-01-17], [Cited: 2024-05-18], 2016, 2, #14. P. . Availiable at: <>


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Recenze: Special Education in Today’s Schools: Inclusion of students with disabilities

Review: Special Education in Today’s Schools: Inclusion of students with disabilities

Li Xinrui

Inclusion has become the central issue of current education. It relies on entirely accessible, receptive school environment, close cooperation among schools, parents and professionals, offering of supports concerning learning resources and the construction of capabilities to cope with diversified learning needs. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a research-based framework that aims to give all students equal opportunities to learn. Inclusion in the classroom for all students is greatly enhanced when teachers consider and use the UDL framework in their planning and teaching. Under UDL principles, teachers use methods that allow them to reach curriculum goals while meeting the needs of students with diverse needs and learning styles.

This book “Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today’s Schools” written by Turnbull et al. has been developed to the seventh edition. In the most recent edition, the concept of inclusion and Universal Design for Learning are introduced. In the preface of this book, the authors have listed and described the additions of the seventh edition to the sixth edition in each chapter, so as to facilitate readers to gain new knowledge and grasp the key points. In order to quickly give readers the panorama of the current situation, the educational field and the future development trend of special education, the first four chapters are arranged to introduce the key concepts of special education. In Chapter 1, “Overview of Today’s Special Education”, the US federal education law and how it influence exceptional children are introduced. In Chapter 2, “Ensuring Progress in the General Education Curriculum”, how can exceptional children make progress in ordinary courses and how to realize UDL for students are discussed through case studies. In Chapter 3, “Today’s Multicultural, Bilingual, and Diverse Schools”, the social context of US especial education, the factors influencing educational equity and diversified schools are analyzed. The fourth Chapter is called “Families and Their Partnerships with Professionals”. Through reading this chapter, readers can have a good understanding of the characteristics of exceptional students’ families, how should parents cooperate with professionals, and the strategies for being partners with parents. In the following twelve chapters, the authors introduce the definition, diagnosis, IEP design, effective teaching strategies and evaluation specific to different students with disabilities, including children with Intellectual Disability, Emotional or Behavioral Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and so on. By reading this book, readers can learn how to identify students, how to make assessment, how to design IEP, how to apply teaching strategies, how to implement inclusion, and how to assess the progress of students.

The greatest highlight of this book is that it selects real students, takes real stories and gives real solutions. The opening narratives tell the stories of students and their families, friends, teachers, and other educators and service providers. The outcomes of a large number of case studies are provided to describe how exceptional students could be inclusive into ordinary schools. This book reflects three themes, including Inclusion, Partnerships, and Universal Design for Progress. These three themes run through all chapters. The authors integrate the three guiding themes into practice, and clearly put forward specific, practicable and operable suggestions. Specifically the following features: “Inclusion Tips” provides helpfull advice and strategies for including students in the general curriculum and information about universally designed learning and self-determination; “Partnership Tips” provides practical, workable ways to develop and maintain effective partnerships between professionals, families, and educators. “Universal Design for Progress” provides a technology that teachers can use in the classroom to help meet the educational needs of students with disabilities; “Into Practice” describes practical, step-by-step examples of how to use universal design, secure inclusion, and respond to the multicultural nature of American schools, and practice collaboration and partnerships. There also has some “IEP Tips” that help inform teachers of their role in the IEP process in relation to chapter content.

This book is closely reasoned and logically written, which is easy to understand. Besides, rich online curricula are also provided as assistive resources. Professors can download PPTs, videos and test papers on Instructor Resource Center ( to facilitate their lesson preparation, classroom teaching and curriculum evaluation. Students can also develop their own learning plans and do self-test and exercises through MyEducationLab (, which is very conducive to their course learning and self-improvement.

To sum up, in terms of teacher training in the context of the inclusion, all the education majors should take the course of “Introduction to Special Education”. The book is a combination of theory and practice, which has been widely applied in the United States. For those who are aspiring or about to engage in educational undertakings, this book is undoubtedly a rare entry guide that is worth recommending.


[1] Turnbull, Ann. - Turnbull, Rud. - Wehmeyer, Michael L. - Shogren, Karrie A. Exceptional lives : special education in today’s schools. (7th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc, 2013. ISBN 978-0-13-282177-3. 

Kontaktní informace / Contact information

Mgr. Li Xinrui

Institute of Special Education Studies, Faculty of Education, Palacky University in Olomouc

Žižkovo nám. 5

771 47 Olomouc

Czech Republic

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