Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 4/4.1.2

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Contents

1. Learning Targets

2. Introduction

3. What is Inclusion?

4. Benefits Resulting from Inclusion in the Classroom

5. Problems Resulting from Inclusion in the Classroom

6. Conclusion

7. TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE, CHALLENGE YOURSELF

8. References


Learning Targets[edit | edit source]

  • Readers should be able to clearly state what inclusion is.
  • Readers should be able to identify and recognize a law that deals with inclusion.
  • Readers should be able to identify 3 benefits resulting from inclusion in the classroom.
  • Readers should be able to identify 3 problems resulting from inclusion in the classroom.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

In 1975 Congress passed an act called the Education for All Handicapped Children. This was commonly referred to as Public Law 94-142. This law established that all children are entitled to a "free appropriate public education" in the "least restrictive environment possible" (Pardini 2002). This law includes, but is not limited to, students with disabilities such as mental retardation, physical handicaps, speech, vision and language problems, emotional and behavioral problems and other learning disorders. This law has since been renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, also known as IDEA. The Department of Education stated that 6 million children obtain special education services from our nation's public schools (Pardini 2002). However, receiving special education was just the beginning to educating children with disabilities.

What is Inclusion?[edit | edit source]

Inclusion was the next big movement and is still a controversial topic among parents, teachers, students, school boards, politicians and governments today. The current policy on inclusion with special education in the regular classroom states that all children should be enrolled and in attendance to regular schools unless there is otherwise overwhelming evidence that they should be enrolled elsewhere (Hornby 1999). In the regulations governing special education programs for children with disabilities in Virginia, section 8 VAC 20-80-64, general least environment requirements, also known as inclusion, include that each local educational agency shall ensure "to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities including those in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children without disabilities" (Education for...2002).

"We are difference: For respecting difference, for allowing difference, for encouraging difference, until difference no longer makes a difference" (Inclusion Benefits 2008).

Benefits Resulting from Inclusion in the Regular Classroom[edit | edit source]

Many benefits come from inclusion of special education students into regular education classrooms. Teachers, regular students and students with disabilities all benefit in ways. The classroom is not only a place for learning academics, but a place where social skills are obtained. Children with disabilities are given the chance to experience normal school experiences when given the chance to be in a regular classroom. In 1963 about sixty-three percent of special education students divided their school day between the special education classroom and the regular education classroom (Osgood 2008). In doing this, special needs children began to experience, as much as possible, the learning and social experiences that other children were able to experience their whole lives. Including special needs children in regular classrooms ensures they receive the core curriculum, the stigmatism and labeling of them among other students is minimized and the increase of relationships and friendships develop between special needs and regular education children. By including these students in regular classrooms, teachers, teacher's aids and even students without disabilities become available to introduce different learning skills. No one child learns the exact same way and educators must realize this. Inclusion helps promote different teaching techniques and strategies to benefit students ("Inclusion Benefits" 2008). According to a study found in a scholarly peer reviewed journal article by Garry Hornby, sixty-five percent of teachers supported the idea of inclusion. Along with this percentage, fifty-four percent believed that these students could benefit from inclusion (Hornby 1999).

Problems Resulting from Inclusion in the Regular Classroom[edit | edit source]

According to Claes Nilholm, a professor at the Orebro University and Jonkoping University in Sweden, "if one identifies groups of Children, one risks stigmatizing them. However, if one does not identify groups of children, one risks neglecting children who need more support" (Nilholm 2006). Once a child is placed with the special education program and label, it follows them throughout their K-12 educational years. This is sometimes frowned upon by students and their parents because they do not want their child or themselves to be considered "different". On the other hand, some believe that inclusion takes away from their children's learning; both regular students and students with disabilities. Many parents of regular education students are afraid that if their child with disabilities is placed in a regular classroom special assistance from teachers will be limited. These parents worry about the amount of quality time a regular education teacher can provide when he or she has twenty some other students to tend to. On the other side of things, parents of regular education children are worried that inclusion will take away from their child's learning experience. They fear that the teacher will have to slow the learning process in order for the child with disabilities to keep up.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Although overall the policy of inclusion is accepted, there is not a policy of inclusion for all students with special education needs. Many groups still support the continuum for placement options among these students; such as the Council for Exceptional Children, American Foundation for the Blind, the Council for Learning Disabilities, American Society for Deaf Children and American Federation for Teachers. These groups are not in support of only offering inclusion for these students. They support inclusion when it is appropriate but also believe there is a great importance in having many placement options available (Hornby 1999). Inclusion, whether we are in favor of it or not, is an ongoing process and debate in the educational system.

References[edit | edit source]

(2002). Education for children in foster care: A Guide for Advocates.. Charlottesville, VA: Legal Aid Justice .

Campus Training School. Retrieved February 4, 2009, from Inclusion benefits Web site: http://www.campusschool.dsu.edu/resourceroom/inclusion/inclusion.htm

Hornby, Gary (Nov. 1999). Education Research Complete. Retrieved February 2, 2008, from Inclusion or delusion: can one size fit all Web site: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=4374518&site=ehost-live

Niholm, Claes (Nov. 2006). Special education, inclusion and democracy. Retrieved February 4, 2009, from European Journal of Special Needs Education Web site: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db.ehh&AN=22564332&site=ehost-live

Osgood, Robert. The History of inclusion in the United States. Retrieved February 4, 2009, Web site: http://www.njc.edu/library/citebksmla.html

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE, CHALLENGE YOURSLEF

1. Which of the following statements clearly identifies inclusion?

    A) Inclusion is allowing children with special education any type of free education.
    B)Inclusion is education children with disabilities in a classroom only with other children with disabilities.
    C) Inclusion is making sure that children with disabilities are educated with children without disabilities to the maximum extent possible.
    D)Inclusion involves placing regular education students into special education classrooms.

2. Robbie has a speech impairment. He is just as capable of doing regular work as other students but slurs his speech when talking aloud. Robbie is placed in a special education classroom for the whole day with no interaction in the regular education classroom. Which special education law does this violate?

    A)Brown vs. Board of Education
    B)Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    C)Inclusion in Public Schools Law
    D)Students with Special Needs Law

3. Receiving a core curriculum, reducing stigmatizing and labeling and increasing relationships and friendships are all examples of what?

    A)Benefits from inclusion
    B)Benefits from special education classrooms
    C)Problems with inclusion
    D)Problems from special education classrooms

4. Sarah has autism. She spends half of her day in the regular classroom and half of her day in the special education classroom. Sarah told her mom that while she is in the regular classroom her teacher can not help her very much with her school work because of all the other distractions taking place in the classroom. This is an example of what?

    A)A student benefiting from inclusion.
    B)A problem resulting from inclusion.
    C)A complaint from a special education student that should be ignored.
    D)An example of students who blame their teachers for everything.

Answers 1.C 2.B 3.A 4.B