Steve St-Pierre

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Sherbrooke, PQ

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tracking for Special Ed Schools

Tracking as a means of monitoring students has a two-sided perspective in as far as education is concerned.  Like in other systems, tracking has its share of advantageous and disadvantageous factors that may involve both mainstream education and special education. As such, it is an approach where faculty would be able to assess the specific needs of students and apply the necessary methods of teaching so as to achieve the objectives of his or her development through the academe. For special ed schools, tracking is applicable in order to properly assess students with special needs because even with their status as a homogenous group, assessment of their skills must be done so that teachers would know what to do and how to approach the education of such person.

In terms of advantages, "tracking may be beneficial for strong students is helpful for everybody if heterogeneous classes make it difficult to teach at a level appropriate to most students" (Duflo, Dupas, and Kremer, 2008). In this case, it is beneficial in as far as a specific group of students are involved where everyone has the same level of proficiency and academic skills because appropriate methods of teaching in terms of advancement and pace can be applied. This would be helpful for students with special needs as they need specific approaches given the various profiles of SpLD present for these individuals. Consequently, tracking is not entirely a prerequisite "especially when a class only involves a small number of students where such would only allow a tailored instruction especially if there are extra resources such as remedial education, computer-assisted learning, and special education programs are involved because tracking is not beneficial for such environments"  (Duflo, Dupas, and Kremer, 2008). Hence, students with special needs may not need to undergo tracking because of this point.

In another perspective, tracking would considerably be disadvantageous "especially for students that are considered weak and where students with SpLD falls under such category since the effect of tracking would not entirely show the real performance of students"  (Duflo, Dupas, and Kremer, 2008). In most special ed schools, the number of students per class is ideally limited to a significant number where a teacher can accommodate all the needs of such students. Unless such is in an integrated system, tracking system would be multi-academic and such would further cause damage to the learning abilities of students with special needs. In this case, tracking would be disadvantageous.

In conclusion, the advantages and disadvantages of tracking are applicable to both normal students and students with special needs. The benefits of such approach would be acceptable as long as students are within the same homogeneous setting and the number of students is more than the acceptable or ideal set-up for teachers and the entire classroom as a whole. In this manner, tracking must be properly assessed in order to achieve its overall benefits while considering the disadvantages that it may give to students with special needs. Special ed schools must always consider and weigh both instances in order to achieve the main objective of properly assessing and evaluating their students based on their capacities and intellectual capacities.

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special ed schools and learning environment for students with special needs

                                                            References

 Duflo, Esther, Pascaline Dupas, and Michael Kremer (2008).  Peer Effects and the Impact of

Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya. November 3, 2008.

http://www.studentneeds.info/index.php/fr/articles/248-special-ed-schools-and-the-challenges-of-globalization.html

http://www.studentneeds.info/index.php/en/articles/243-choosing-a-learning-environment-for-students-with-special-needs.html

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