usually be agreed upon that inclusion is a movement to merge regular and
special education so that all students can be educated together in a general
education classroom. Because of the lack of consensus, inclusion is a hotly
debated topic in education today. Mainstreaming and Inclusion are used
interchangably for many people. This is where the confusion may lie. For
the purpose of this paper I will be using the term inclusion. I interpret
to mean: "meeting the needs of the student with disabilities through
regular education classes, with the assistance of special education." (Dover,
section 1) Included in the definition of inclusion, it is important to note
there are a continuum of placement options for the child. I found the main
difference between mainstreaming and inclusion to be the approach taken
towards each one. Mainstreaming asks the question: "WHERE can this child
be successful?" Whereas, inclusion asks: Where does this child or regular
classroom teacher need support?"
The Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA), was signed into law in
1975. IDEA requires that schools educate students with disabilities in the
least restrictive environment possible, and it also ensures to the maximum
extent possible, children with disabilities be educated with those who are
nondisabled. This implies that the least restrictive environment is the
general education classroom.
Historically, we have separated exceptional children from the rest of
society. This act has served to reinforce society's view that to be
exceptinal is to be bad. The truth is, separate is not equal.
In this paper I intend to address what complications surround the
practice of inclusion, and also to give examples of how inclusion has been
beneficial to students.
WHY NOT INCLUSION?
Even for those that support inclusion philosophically, there are
questions and concerns about issues when inclusion is put into practice.
Some schools interpret inclusion to mean that all students shall receive
special education services in the regular classroom, without individual
consideration that such placement would meet the needs of that particular
student with disabilities. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
president, Albert Shanker, warned members against placement of all
disabled students in...
... middle of paper ...
...vel academically, but has a behavior disorder,
the regular classroom may be perfectly suited for this child. My feelings
are different regarding a child that is severely mentally retarded. I think
more time with a specialist, outside of the classroom, may be more
productive for the student and the general ed. teacher. I think that there
is a lot of responsibility placed on the general education teacher, and they
do not have the training like specialists. Special ed. teachers are trained
especially for these children, they should be able to work with them. At the
same time general education teachers make modifications for typical kids
by trying different techniques and strategies, so as to help the child
understand. So why not be willing to make modifications for children with
special needs? In school we are taught-ALL CHILDREN LEARN
DIFFERENTLY! This is why I think I fit into the category that supports
inclusion philosophically, but has trouble putting it into practice. I read
book that if we can think of all children as being special and having special
needs, then special will no longer apply to only disabled children. We need
change the language to support role change.
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