Educators must a... ... middle of paper ... .... (2000). The Inclusive Classroom: Educating Exceptional Children. Scarborough: Nelson Thomson Learning. Boscardin, M. L. (2005). The administrative role in transforming secondary schools to support inclusive evedence based practices (Vol.
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For decades the focus of special education has been to “fit” students with disabilities into a program that has not provided them the tools necessary to further succeed in life. Educational standards for students in special education programs are often lowered, and students are not challenged to think critically and expand their knowledge above and beyond these lowered expectations. The implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) began to challenge this standard and demanded free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities (Sands, Kozleski, & French, 2000). Once practices such as mainstreaming and inclusion were set into place, pressure was on teachers to create a curriculum that would encompasses the various learning needs for all the students in their classroom. Teachers began to retro-fit the current curriculum in ways that would meet individual students’ needs (Udvari-Solner et al., 2002); not an easy task considering education is generally taught in a teacher-directed way, to the “average” student.
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Inclusion is a topic that is still at the forefront of educational controversy, in the classroom and also in Congress. According to The Cyclopedic Education Dictionary, inclusion can be defined in two ways: one, inclusion can be defined as the placement of disabled children in a general classroom setting for the entire school day and two, inclusion can be defined as the placement of disabled students into a general classroom setting for part of the day while they are placed in a special setting during the other part of the day (Spafford and Grosser, 1998). Parents and teachers have been debating the issue of full inclusion of disabled students in public schools since the passing of the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975. The social implications of full inclusion can be both positive and negative for the student, with the positive results stemming from adequate and beneficial programs implemented by public schools. Before 1975 all disabled children were included in general education classrooms; however, children with severe disabilities were placed in institutions for educational and living purposes.