The shortage of special education teachers in the United States, and the adverse consequences flowing from factors related to this condition provide a unique opportunity for scholars to study these issues through interdisciplinary research. Educational scholars have typically focused their research on educational practice and institutional policy. Although this scholarship frequently acknowledges the statutory and regulatory foundations of the IDEA, the literature does not generally adopt a legal framework for research purposes. This is not a criticism of educational scholars. It is merely an observation that opportunities exist to study special education teacher issues in a broader context. This Article argues for such an approach, and thus, seeks to analyze the psychological and emotional impact of Special Education Law upon special education teachers through the lens of Therapeutic Jurisprudence.

Therapeutic Jurisprudence is one of the vectors of a comprehensive law movement that began during the last few decades as a means to assess ways by which law and its processes could better serve the needs of society. Examples of other vectors of this movement include: collaborative law, creative problem solving, holistic justice, preventive law, problem solving courts, procedural justice, restorative justice, and transformative mediation. The list is not exhaustive, and the vectors are not exclusive. Indeed there have been occasions where the interests among vectors have overlapped creating synergies and opportunities for collaboration found useful to both. An example of this paradigm is the successful collaboration between Preventive Law and Therapeutic Jurisprudence.