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Benefits Of Inclusion Essay

2963 words - 12 pages

The Benefits of Inclusion for Exceptional Students
George Santos
Brandman University
EDUU 511

Abstract
Inclusion is a very controversial concept in education today. It is the idea of including special education students in a general education class. This class will provide the special education, or exceptional student, with the support and resources needed to succeed in that environment. This paper will analyze and discuss inclusion. Evidence and support will be provided to defend the position that inclusion provides benefits for both exceptional and non-disabled students.
The Benefits of Inclusion for Exceptional Students
One of the most controversial concepts in all of ...view middle of the document...

Background
The foundation of Inclusion was laid by the passing of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) in 1975. This law was amended in 1990 and became the Individuals with Disabilities Act, or what is commonly referred to as IDEA. In 1997 and again in 2004 this law has been amended, but the basic requirements of the law have not. IDEA gave the right to all exceptional students to attend public education inclusion (Hallahan, Kauffman, & Pullen, 2012). An early form of inclusion, referred to as mainstreaming, was attempted. Mainstreaming is selective inclusion of disabled students is a general education class without a support system (Zionts, 2005). Many people saw mainstreaming as “dumping” exceptional students into regular classrooms without providing them the support they would need to be successful in the classroom.
In order to differentiate inclusion from mainstreaming, supporters emphasized that inclusion provides the necessary support and resources for exceptional students to be successful in a general education environment (Lipsky & Gartner, 1994). Based on this, inclusion can be separated into two groups: full inclusion and selective inclusion. Full inclusion is providing accommodations for all students in all general education classes. Conversely, selective inclusion is when exceptional students attend general education classes as well as certain segregated special education classes. This is different than mainstreaming as support is in place to help students succeed in both special and general education classes (Zionts, 2005). Regardless of which form of inclusion students are involved in, they will receive many benefits to being included than if they are completely segregated.
Social Benefits for Exceptional Students
Exceptional students that are instructed along with their non-disabled peers are provided same age peer role models. Katz & Mirenda (2002) explain “that contact with typical (i.e., nondisabled) peers is likely to increase the social, communication, and behavioral skills of students with developmental disabilities” (p.25). Engaging in contact with non-disabled students will build self-esteem, improve social skills and increase peer acceptance. As special needs students begin to model the behaviors of their non-disabled peers, they will learn and adhere to school rules, routines, and appropriate classroom behavior (Vaidya & Zaslavsky, 2000). Studies have shown that exceptional students learn patience (Cleaver, 2006) and they may also be less likely to misbehave for fear of embarrassment from the general education population (Vaidya & Zaslavsky, 2000). Students have the opportunity to observe and model behaviors both in and out of the classroom context. Because they are included in all aspects of the school environment, they are able to see their non-disabled peers’ behavior in different scenarios. Exceptional students also learn how to communicate with...

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