Murray State University


Unfortunately, IDEA implementation is still a problem for many schools today (Hill, Martin, & Nelson-Head, 2011). What are the causes of this? Could it be because many teachers do not have knowledge of the law? More and more students with disabilities are being served in the general education program with their peers. This is a result of several federal laws enacted to ensure that students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment. Inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education curriculum is a way to make sure that students are taught in the least restrictive environment with their peers. As more students with special needs are placed in the general curriculum, general education teachers must have knowledge on the legal requirements of IDEA and how to ensure legal rights of students are not violated directly or indirectly. Schools districts and teacher preparation programs have a responsibility to make certain that all teachers are aware of legal issues and laws that protect students with disabilities. One way to ensure that teachers understand the law and can implement the law is to provide teachers with specific training on legal issues in special education. This article will critically review the literature involving the evolution of special education law and the complex nature of preparing teachers for today’s classrooms. Specifically, we examine current research on best practices in inclusion, co-teaching, and teacher preparation.