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Inclusion (education)

Inclusion in education refers to a model wherein special needs students spend most or all of their time with non-special (general education) needs students. It arise in the context of special education with an individualized education program or 504 plan, and is built on the notion that it is more effective for students with special needs to have said mixed experience for them to be more successful in social interactions leading to further success in life. Inclusion rejects but still provides the use of special schools or classrooms to separate students with disabilities from students without disabilities. Schools with inclusive classrooms do not believe in separate classrooms. They do not have their own separate world so they have to learn how to operate with students while being less focused on by teachers due to a higher student to teacher ratio.Inclusion has different historical roots which may be integration of students with severe disabilities in the US (who may previously been excluded from schools or even lived in institutions) or an inclusion model from Canada and the US (e.g., Syracuse University, New York) which is very popular with inclusion teachers who believe in participatory learning, cooperative learning, and inclusive classrooms.Fully inclusive schools, which are rare, no longer distinguish between 'general education' and 'special education' programs which refers to the debates and federal initiatives of the 1980s, such as the Community Integration Project and the debates on home schools and special education-regular education classrooms; instead, the school is restructured so that all students learn together. All approaches to inclusive schooling require administrative and managerial changes to move from the traditional approaches to elementary and high school education.Classification of students by disability is standard in educational systems which use diagnostic, educational and psychological testing, among others. However, inclusion has been associated with its own planning, including MAPS which Jack Pearpoint leads with still leads in 2015 and person-centred planning with John O'Brien and Connie Lyle O'Brien who view inclusion as a force for school renewal.The new anti-discriminatory climate has provided the basis for much change in policy and statute, nationally and internationally. Inclusion has been enshrined at the same time that segregation and discrimination have been rejected. Articulations of the new developments in ways of thinking, in policy and in law include:The proportion of students with disabilities who are included varies by place and by type of disability, but it is relatively common for students with milder disabilities and less common with certain kinds of severe disabilities. In Denmark, 99% of students with learning disabilities like 'dyslexia' are placed in general education classrooms. In the United States, three out of five students with learning disabilities spend the majority of their time in the general education classroom.Although once hailed, usually by its opponents, as a way to increase achievement while decreasing costs, full inclusion does not save money, but is more cost-beneficial and cost-effective. It is not designed to reduce students' needs, and its first priority may not even be to improve academic outcomes; in most cases, it merely moves the special education professionals (now dual certified for all students in some states) out of 'their own special education' classrooms and into a corner of the general classroom or as otherwise designed by the 'teacher-in-charge' and 'administrator-in-charge'. To avoid harm to the academic education of students with disabilities, a full panoply of services and resources is required (of education for itself), including:Students in an inclusive classroom are generally placed with their chronological age-mates, regardless of whether the students are working above or below the typical academic level for their age. Also, to encourage a sense of belonging, emphasis is placed on the value of friendships. Teachers often nurture a relationship between a student with special needs and a same-age student without a special educational need. Another common practice is the assignment of a buddy to accompany a student with special needs at all times (for example in the cafeteria, on the playground, on the bus and so on). This is used to show students that a diverse group of people make up a community, that no one type of student is better than another, and to remove any barriers to a friendship that may occur if a student is viewed as 'helpless.' Such practices reduce the chance for elitism among students in later grades and encourage cooperation among groups.Inclusion settings allow children with and without disabilities to play and interact every day, even when they are receiving therapeutic services. When a child displays fine motor difficulty, his ability to fully participate in common classroom activities, such as cutting, coloring, and zipping a jacket may be hindered. While occupational therapists are often called to assess and implement strategies outside of school, it is frequently left up to classroom teachers to implement strategies in school. Collaborating with occupational therapists will help classroom teachers use intervention strategies and increase teachers' awareness about students' needs within school settings and enhance teachers' independence in implementation of occupational therapy strategies.Educators generally say that some students with special needs are not good candidates for inclusion. Many schools expect a fully included student to be working at or near grade level, but more fundamental requirements exist: First, being included requires that the student is able to attend school. Students that are entirely excluded from school (for example, due to long-term hospitalization), or who are educated outside of schools (for example, due to enrollment in a distance education program) cannot attempt inclusion.Some advocates of inclusion promote the adoption of progressive education practices. In the progressive education or inclusive classroom, everyone is exposed to a 'rich set of activities', and each student does what he or she can do, or what he or she wishes to do and learns whatever comes from that experience. Maria Montessori's schools are sometimes named as an example of inclusive education.Advocates say that even partial non-inclusion is morally unacceptable. Proponents believe that non-inclusion reduces the disabled students' social importance and that maintaining their social visibility is more important than their academic achievement. Proponents say that society accords disabled people less human dignity when they are less visible in general education classrooms. Advocates say that even if typical students are harmed academically by the full inclusion of certain special needs students, that the non-inclusion of these students would still be morally unacceptable, as advocates believe that the harm to typical students' education is always less important than the social harm caused by making people with disabilities less visible in society.There are many positive effects of inclusions where both the students with special needs along with the other students in the classroom both benefit. Research has shown positive effects for children with disabilities in areas such as reaching individualized education program (IEP) goal, improving communication and social skills, increasing positive peer interactions, many educational outcomes, and post school adjustments. Positive effects on children without disabilities include the development of positive attitudes and perceptions of persons with disabilities and the enhancement of social status with non-disabled peers. While becoming less discriminatory, children without disabilities that learn in inclusive classrooms also develop communication and leadership skills more rapidly.Several studies have been done on the effects of inclusion of children with disabilities in general education classrooms. A study on inclusion compared integrated and segregated (special education only) preschool students. The study determined that children in the integrated sites progressed in social skills development while the segregated children actually regressed. Another study shows the effect on inclusion in grades 2 to 5. The study determined that students with specific learning disabilities made some academic and affective gains at a pace comparable to that of normal achieving students. Specific learning disabilities students also showed an improvement in self-esteem and in some cases improved motivation.Critics of full and partial inclusion include educators, administrators and parents. Full and partial inclusion approaches neglect to acknowledge the fact that most students with significant special needs require individualized instruction or highly controlled environments. Thus, general education classroom teachers often are teaching a curriculum while the special education teacher is remediating instruction at the same time. Similarly, a child with serious inattention problems may be unable to focus in a classroom that contains twenty or more active children. Although with the increase of incidence of disabilities in the student population, this is a circumstance all teachers must contend with, and is not a direct result of inclusion as a concept.As used by UNESCO, inclusion refers to far more than students with special educational needs. It is centered on the inclusion of marginalized groups, such as religious, racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities, immigrants, girls, the poor, students with disabilities, HIV/AIDS patients, remote populations, and more. In some places, these people are not actively included in education and learning processes. In the U.S. this broader definition is also known as 'culturally responsive' education, which differs from the 1980s-1990s cultural diversity and cultural competency approaches, and is promoted among the ten equity assistance centers of the U.S. Department of Education, for example in Region IX (AZ, CA, NV), by the Equity Alliance at ASU. Gloria Ladson-Billings points out that teachers who are culturally responsive know how to base learning experiences on the cultural realities of the child (e.g. home life, community experiences, language background, belief systems). Proponents argue that culturally responsive pedagogy is good for all students because it builds a caring community where everyone's experiences and abilities are valued.

[ "Special education", "Pedagogy", "Algebra", "inclusive practice", "Special education in the United States", "Least restrictive environment", "inclusive learning", "special educational needs" ]
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