The Importance of Educational Theories in Special Education

Topic: Special Education
Words: 570 Pages: 2

Exceptional Student Education is one of the ways to help people in need, and while it is a challenge for both a teacher and a student, it is greatly rewarded emotionally. Special education does not put pursuers of the degree in a condition where they can only teach children who experience difficulty in learning due to physical or mental disadvantages. In fact, by learning the principles and concepts of teaching different types of studying approaches, students of ESE faculty can conduct effective lessons for general students as well. In my opinion, special education is the best match for me because I want to help all kinds of children to learn and make their gaining knowledge experience effortless while effective.

Abraham Maslow invented a pyramid of hierarchy of needs, which applies to education through its motivation part. Maslow’s theory suggests that a person must fulfill all of the pyramid branches to gain full potential (Navy, 2020). The learning theory behind the whole hierarchy is that in order to be successful at learning, students have to be motivated (Navy, 2020). To reflect on it, the majority of famous people that have innovated certain things or made an incredible contribution to sciences or arts, talk about reaching their goals without deviations, and being motivated and supported along the way. According to Maslow’s theory, motivation is enough for successful learning, but to unleash the full potential and best results, a student must close all the needs presented in the pyramid (Noltemeyer et al., 2020). This theory helps understand what is important to work on as a student and a teacher if both are directed towards uncovering a true potential of a student.

Lev Vygotsky’s theory is based on the belief that an individual’s intelligence and knowledge are highly impacted by the society and culture they live in. This theory can be used when teaching to build studying based on interactions between the students, such as group projects or discussions (Newman & Latifi, 2021). The theory proposes that a learning experience begins with the interactions, and only after it, in self-reflection. Using discussions can help students to get to know their classmates or interact with their friends while learning the important material in an engaging way. Although, it may be challenging for some students with particular mental disorders.

Howard Gardner developed a Multiple intelligences theory, in which he called nine educational areas, with a help of which every person can be good at subjects. Previously, people based education only on two bits of intelligence — logic and linguistics, but Gardner’s theory expanded them to nine (Cavas & Cavas, 2020). The theory argues that teachers have to use various methodologies, activities, and approaches to reach different learning types of students.

Summing up the theories discussed above, the teacher, especially a special education teacher, has to use various approaches for each student. As the theories say, every individual is different in their perspective on education and learning, and it may be easy for everyone, but hard for that one person in the classroom. Therefore, a teacher should observe the students and be there for every child in the room to help them out with any questions, while also using different educational approaches to see how students respond to each of them. While approaching Exceptional Student Education is challenging, the discussed theories give advice for teaching students in special education, where inclusiveness, concentration, and focus are most important.


Cavas, B. & Cavas, P. (2020). Multiple intelligences theory — Howard Gardner. In Akpan, B., Kennedy, T.J. (Eds.), Science education in theory and practice. Springer.

Navy, S. (2020). Theory of human motivation — Abraham Maslow. In Akpan, B., Kennedy, T.J. (Eds.), Science education in theory and practice. Springer.

Newman, S. & Latifi, A. (2021). Vygotsky, education, teacher education. Journal of Education for Teaching, vol. 47(1), 4-17.

Noltemeyer, A., James, A., Bush, K., Bergen, D., Barrios, V. & Patton, J. (2020). The relationship between deficiency needs and growth needs: The continuing investigation of Maslow’s theory. Child & Youth Services,42(1), 24-42.

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