Special Education Inclusion
March 8, 2014
Special Education Inclusion
The process towards inclusive educations is just that – a process. It can be a rewarding, yet challenging journey to create an educational system where excellence and equality walk hand in hand (Frost & Pearpoint, 2004). Throughout the last several years, the topic of inclusion has been at the epicenter of debate among educators, administrators, and parents. Inclusion remains a controversial concept because it relates to educational and social values, as well as to our understanding of personal worth ("Special Education Inclusion", 2001). Placing students with ...view middle of the document...
(p. 7) Reflective Practice- effective inclusion requires reflective educators to modify their attitudes, teaching and classroom management practices, and curriculum to accommodate different needs. (p.7) Collaboration- school districts provide support, training, time, and resources to restructure their programs to support individuals in working collaboratively to address students' needs. (p.7)
With the issue of inclusion, there are advocates on both sides of the issue. "Inclusion proponents claim that segregated programs are detrimental to students and do not meet the original goals of special education." ("Special Education Inclusion", 2001) Recent research has confirmed that there are many beneficial effects of inclusion education for students with disabilities when these students are put into regular education classrooms. ("Special Education Inclusion", 2001) When a student with a disability is put into regular education classroom, there are many positives that can come about for that student. Typically, it can provide a more stimulating environment versus the traditional special education classroom environment ("Rationale for and Benefits of Inclusion", 2004). This environment often leads to enriched growing and learning for the special education student. ("What Does an Inclusive Classroom Look Like?" 2004) Research reveals that students with disabilities that are put into inclusion programs have more engaged instructional time, and have greater exposure to educational activities (Salend, 2001). The stimulating environment hopefully will lead to greater academic success for all people involved. There are also role models, in the regular education students, who can facilitate communication, social, and adaptive behaviors. (“Rationale for and Benefits of Inclusion”, 2004). The regular education students can provide examples for appropriate classroom behavior, and appropriate social behavior for the special education student. This modeling often happens naturally since the expectations in the regular education classroom are quite high. Often, if students with disabilities are isolated in the special education classroom, they are not exposed to any type of appropriate student modeling. Another benefit of inclusion for special education student is the opportunity to make new friends and share new experiences ("Rationale for and Benefits of Inclusion", 2004). The student is exposed to a whole new sector of the student population that they are typically not exposed to in the special education classroom. They are able to develop friendships with their same age peers, which leads to greater acceptance by their peers in and out of the school community. This also enables students with disabilities to develop friendships in their neighborhoods. Improved competence in IEP objectives is another advantage of inclusion for a student with a disability. Literature has documented that a student with a disability can make strong academic gains...