Teaching children with disabilities is a special calling in which teachers have the opportunity to equip students with the strategies and tactics needed to make them successful within the classroom. The most notable tactic in this process in the use of inclusion in the general education class setting. Inclusion is a highly controversial subject that represents students with special needs being integrated into general educational classrooms. The reason for the controversy stems from the argument that students with special needs being included in the general educational setting will not meet the standards and goals set by the department of education. The purpose of this research paper is to provide support and specific abstractions to the reasons that are gathered in progressively planning for operative inclusion strategies. As an educational professional, I am for the use of inclusion, and I will state the reasons with substantial research on why it is a great resource for teaching students with disabilities.
The study will give a brief overview of Inclusion, as well as the positive and negative connotations that are derived from the subject matter.
When students with disabilities are placed in the general education classrooms, teachers must be prepared to accommodate them based on their individual needs (Berry, 2006). Inclusion gives students the opportunity to receive general education, with regular educational teachers but, the students with special need will receive accommodations and modifications as they are needed. These accommodations and adjustments will be delivered by the both special and general education teachers. This will provide access to extra learning and opportunities for special educators to remove students from class in order to administer services that may not be provided. Inclusion works simply because it allows general education teachers the convenience to meet with special educators and properly plan lesson that will be conducive for students with disabilities. Inclusion also gives both educators an opportunity to discuss questions, concerns, and suggestions that may be beneficial for teaching students with learning disabilities. The inclusive way of teaching provides an approach in which special services can be approached within the classroom. This design enables teachers to fully support students with disabilities in their least restrictive environment. The world of education provides opportunities for all students to achieve academic success. Students with disabilities will have freedom to learn in an environment in which they are actively engaged in learning outside of what is considered normal.
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The inclusion environment provides a demonstration of what the school’s community portrays. Inclusion is a mixed learning situation in which all students can come together in a learning circumstance that promotes segregated classrooms of students with special needs and those who are considered general education students. Inclusion transcends learning because it “exhibits a classroom where learning often happens in small groups with peers helping and supporting each other (What Does an Inclusive Classroom Look Like?).” Students have an uncanny ability to help uplift each other, and peer teach in ways that advocate learning for all students. Sailor and Roger (2005) proposed that inclusion must be addressed using a school wide model that benefits the maximum number of students both with and without disabilities. The inclusion procedure is the best strategy for students with disabilities because it provides learning opportunities from general educators, special educators, and students that are willing to help peer teach. Inclusion not only provides opportunity for special education students to become more involved, it also promotes an “All In” teaching environment.
The positive effects of inclusion include concrete stimulation for education, positive interaction and growth amongst general education students, more engaged teacher student interactions, exposure to general academic teaching strategies, and relative demands for academic success. These are the strides for education that promotes inclusion in a way that suggest positive interaction for those who are involved with this type of teaching. Inclusion also delivers pure achievement based on the strategies and plans that teachers (general and special education) have conceived in order to make create a conducive learning environment for students with disabilities. Often times, when special education students are removed from the general education classrooms, they will attain a curriculum that could place them negative situation academically. Research reveal that students with disabilities that are put into inclusion programs have more engages instructional time, and have greater exposure to academic activities (Salend, 2001). Inclusion can also endorse extracurricular activities which creates and develops well-rounded students with the ability to become positively exposed within the school. Extracurricular activities add to the experience for special needs students because it exposes them to new friends and teammates that may otherwise be antiquated within the non-segregated self-contain rooms. Having these connections can also bring forth the mastery of teamwork and how to develop proper skills needed to become a team player.
Students that have conquered the inclusion setting will have been exposed to measures that help provide self-esteem, and self-confidence which promotes academic achievement. The achievement and success rolls into goals being met within their IEP (Individualize Education Plan), and that promotes growth for the student. General education students will also receive lessons when dealing with students with disabilities. Formulating peer teaching opportunities and small group instruction will familiarize these students with tactics needed to help create a positive learning environment for these students. Inclusion classrooms also provide demonstrations that will decrease the fear factors that come with dealing with special needs students. The inclusion of students into the general education setting will give general education students an ownership factor that includes sensitivity development towards students with special needs. Thus, creating a dialogue between regular and special education students that will lead to proper relationships being formed.
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Inclusion is such a controversial subject that has it’s negatives and flaws, but the pros far outweigh those situations. There is no such thing as a perfect education, but, I feel that inclusion is the best method used in order to bridge the gap between special education needs and teaching strategies. Being able to provide positive outcomes for student with special needs, as well as those students who are within the general population is a plus. Building relationships, and accomplishing mastery levels on goals that have been set is a tremendous opportunity to develop and discuss inclusion situations within the class setting. Inclusion provides students with the ability to learn within small groups, and to be guided with instructions by their peers (general education students). The understanding of self-worth and self-esteem are communal byproducts that inclusion provides, along with the ability to establish new friends, teammates, and social development and stability. The success of this program stems from students being placed in their least restrictive environment, while generating accountability and academic standards that will help transform students into well-rounded young adults that will benefit their community for years to come.
- Berry, K. (2006). Teacher talk during whole-class lessons: Engagement strategies to support the verbal participation of students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice,21, 211–232.
- Sailor, W., & Roger, B. (2005). Rethinking inclusion: School wide applications.Phi Delta Kappan, 86, 503-509.
- Salend, S. (2001). Creating Inclusive Classrooms: Effective and Reflective Practices. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
- What Does an Inclusion Classroom Look Like? (2004). Retrieved June 14, 2004 from the World Wide Web: http://www.uni.edu/coe/inclusion/strategies/inclusive_classroom.html
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