Inclusion vs. integrations in the classroom. Inclusion in the classroom is, to me, one of the most important social justice challenge in the field of education. I have often reflected on the concept of inclusion and wondered if our inclusive classroom are in fact inclusive. Have our schools truly moved from the integrated classrooms that I experienced in grade school to inclusive ones? Like Rodriguez and Garro-Gil (2015), I wonder if our schools’ inclusive approach to special education continues to pursue an integrative model instead. Semantically, the term inclusion is a contrast to exclusion, while integration is a contrast to differentiation. In those senses, I believe that our schools are successful in not excluding children and in integrating each child into the classroom. I say “not excluding” instead of “inclusive” because I have doubts about whether or not all children are completely included in the classroom. Harman (2009) differentiates the two approaches to special education by explaining that when school personnel address “extra adaptations or services to help the child fit into a classroom, it is integration” (p. 1) while inclusive schools and classrooms “talk a...
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...i Reynolds as a guest speaker in one of my classes. Her ‘in your face’ language and ‘fight the system’ attitude really resonated with me. I felt a fire ignite inside of me. Her presentation showed the reality of the work that needed to be done in our communities, and that fueled me to take action. I became angry when noticing injustices, but felt powerless in front of them. How can one person make a change? Social justice is a social responsibility. Ms. Reynolds strongly identified to the feminist theory’s philosophies. In her own words she explained how fighting the institution is not a simple task. She spoke of the importance of solidarity in the face of a social challenge. She explained that as practitioners we might organize social action, but that individuals are always ready to participate in change. I take from Ms. Reynolds a sense of hope for social justice.
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