How Inclusion Came to Be

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How Inclusion Came to Be

When children have a learning disability there are two different ways for them to be taught. One is an out of the classroom approach where children with disabilities receive extra help with a specialist separate from the regular classroom. There are also schools that only have children that are disabled and cater to only the different needs of a child with a disability. In the approach where children with disabilities are separated from non-disabled children, the child spends half the day in the mainstream classroom and half of the day separated and excluded from the mainstream classroom (Odom 2002). As a result of this approach schools did not have the appropriate funding for the extra teachers needed to provide a separate learning classroom. This problem leads to public schools denying children with disabilities access to the facilities that are offered in a regular classroom, hence segregating the children with disabilities from the mainstream children (Lewis, 1999). In 1975 the Education for all Handicapped Children’s Act (later renamed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act abbreviated IDEA) was passed in reaction the problem of students being segregated. This act was written to make sure that all handicapped children would have access to free education including special education. The law emphasizes that children with disabilities be educated with non-disabled children (Daniel 1997). The act gave parents the right to choose how their disabled child will be educated whether it be a pull out program or and inclusive program with non-disabled children (Become 2003). This act gave way to inclusion, which is the second approach to educating children with disabilities. Inclusion is the "integration of a disabled student in a regular classroom with the necessary aids and services" (Daniel 1997).

Student Views on Inclusion

Since inclusion started there has been controversy on whether or not inclusion helps the children more than the pull-out program. There have been many different experiments that have studied the effects of student’s performances in inclusion programs and in pull out programs. In one specific study done in Iowa by the Council for Exceptional Children, students with a specific learning disability were sent to two different middle schools to participate in an 8th grade classroom. The two schools differed in only one way, and that was one was an inclusive school, the Enterprise, and one was a regular mainstream school, the Voyager.
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