The Impact Of Students With Disabilities On The General Education Classroom

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The impact of including students with disabilities into the general education classroom has been extensively documented. Research has demonstrated a positive correlation between including students with disabilities and their academic progress (Daniel & King, 1997; Luster & Durrett, 2003; Peetsma et al., 2001). Including students with disabilities also appears to have a positive effect on their non disabled peers (Huber, Rosenfeld, & Fiorello, 2001; Sharpe, 1994) indicating that inclusion practices benefit all students, especially low achieving students. Social outcomes for students with disabilities are another area with positive correlations when included in the general education classroom. Students report increased friendship quality, peer acceptance and improved self concepts when included in regular education classroom (Vaughn et al., 1998). According to the research, including students with disabilities can have a positive impact on both academic achievement and social outcomes for all students. What are the attitudes and perceptions of teachers towards inclusion? As a new educator this research allows teachers to analyze why inclusion is a benefit for teachers. One of the benefits is a higher salary. The public schools system requires that teachers meet certification standards established by their states. These standards usually include specialized coursework, a college degree, and supervised practicum or student teaching. (Odom, Charles A. Peck, Marci Hanson, Paula J. Beckman, Ann P. Kaiser, Joan Lieber, William H. Brown, Eva M. Horn, Ilene S. Schwartz 1995). Another benefit proclaimed by Creative Educators at Work, confirmed that teachers appreciate the diversity of the human family. Being part of an inclusion... ... middle of paper ... ... According to Minke, Bear, Deemer, and Griffin (1996), experience working in an inclusion setting may have a positive effect on teachers’ attitudes. The researchers surveyed 185 regular education teachers who taught in traditional classrooms and 71 regular education teachers and 64 special education teachers who co-taught in inclusion classrooms. Furthermore, the results indicated the special education and regular education teachers who co-taught in an inclusion setting held the most positive views of inclusion as well as the highest perception of self-efficacy, competency and satisfaction while regular education teachers in traditional settings held the least positive perception (Minke et al., 1996). In addition, Minke et al. concluded that regular education teachers’ attitudes toward inclusion may be affected in a positive manner through successful experience.
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