Texas A&M University-Commerce
Examining the Social Interactions of the Elementary Inclusion Classroom: A Grounded Theory
Inclusion has been one of the main focuses in the field of special education for the past two decades. Students with disabilities are being integrated in the general education classrooms at a steady pace. With the focus being on inclusion, educators are increasingly concerned with the social difficulties of students with disabilities (Lewis, Chard, & Scott, 1994). In any child’s life, it is important that they grow socially and academically. So, are disabled students in the inclusion classroom experiencing this growth positively or is it being hindered due to the negative factors involved with the general education student’s acceptance of disabled students?
Review of Literature
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA) all students with disabilities are to have a free and appropriate public education (Woolfolk, 2010). Inclusion falls under this act because IDEA requires states to develop procedures for educating each child in the least restrictive environment (Woolfolk, 2010). Inclusion may be defined as 100% placement in age-appropriate general education classes or the integration of all students including those with severe disabilities (Idol, 1997). With the full inclusion of disabled children in general education classroom issues developed with the social interactions and peer acceptance of both groups. Research has shown that students with disabilities are less likely to be accepted and more likely to be rejected than non-disabled st...
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...ious social environment?
5. Is the general education teacher equipped with effective skills to identify, monitor and intervene when social issues arise in the inclusion classroom?
Significance of the Study
By examining the social context of the inclusion classroom using a grounded theory, we can understand the importance of teachers and students becoming aware of the social interactions that take place in the inclusion classroom, whether positive or negative. It is imperative that all teachers are informed of practices that intervene when social issues occur in the inclusion classroom. General education students should be taught effective social skills that are specialized for interacting with people with disabilities. Finally, students with disabilities should be taught effective social skill to interact with their peers in the inclusion classroom.
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