Departmentalizing may help young students with special needs

10/27/2009 | Harvard Education Letter

The pressure for schools to post higher scores on standardized subject tests is resulting in a growing push to departmentalize -- or platoon -- instruction for young students, a practice that some educators say helps students with special needs. While having students change classes to receive instruction from subject specialists is typical in middle and high schools, elementary-school students are typically taught by generalists under the assumption that they benefit from the stability of staying in one classroom.

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