Inclusion Essay, Research Paper
Inclusion has became a nation wide movement to include more disabled students in regular classes. Inclusion neglects the educational issues of a child and focuses only on the social issues. Besides the lack of education, there are other disadvantages to inclusion. While this program has been successful in some schools, inclusion has only created problems in others and must be stopped. Costs, distracted students, and frustrated special ed students are just a few of the many problems involved.
Often educators look only at the social emphasis children receive by being placed with “regular” kids. “This thing about socialization being the most important factor–I don’t believe in that,” said Barbara DiGiacomo, special education teacher at Wood Park Primary School in Commack (”Schools Divided” 4). Schools are places of learning. Often the child’s social growth improves but, they do not learn as much as they would if placed with other special ed students (”Schools Divided” 4). “Social behavior problems may take the form of inappropriately touching other people, acting impulsively without considering the consequence of the behavior, or throwing temper tantrums (Henson 21).
Inclusion has become a divisive issue among parents, teachers, and school administrators. Many parents do not like the idea of their children attending classes with
special ed students. Parents do not want their children to be distracted by the disable students. Teachers are not fond of the idea on inclusion either. Disabled students only make their jobs harder. When a teacher gives a test they often have to explain each question in depth. This process is rather time consuming. One problem is that most teachers have a lack of training. For example, one boy that was placed in a regular class, threw many tantrums and had difficulty with toilet training (”Schools Divided” 5). The teacher did not have the type of training to deal with this type of behavior. Teachers also were spending more time with their special ed students causing them to have less planning time for the rest of the class (”Schools Divided” 6).
In the past, students with exceptional abilities were placed in classes where they too could go at their own pace (Henson 1). The teachers were trained in the area of teaching exceptional children. In this setting the exceptional students were able to have the “least restrictive educational setting; that is, as close to as possible to their normal peers (students on their same level of education)” (Henson1). I believe if inclusion is being considered for exceptional students it should also be considered for children with learning disabilities. Both types of children can learn better if placed in the correct learning environments. Schools have a duty to provide individually designed, appropriate programs for every child at no cost to their parents.
One of the major reasons inclusion is not a good idea is the cost. “One of our concerns is that a special-education teacher might be replaced by two or three aids to save money, said Bill O’Neil, president of the West Babylon Teachers Association (”Schools Divided” 5)
After considering all of these factors, society should realize inclusion should not be included in our schools. Not every school can afford to provide each student with their own teacher for the hearing impaired or a full time interpreter.
Teachers should not have to go at a slower pace for just a few students. Other students should be able to get an education free from distractions. “You’re trying to hold their attention, and then something like that happens, and you lose them,” said Moreno (”Schools Divided” 5) There are already enough distractions in public schools. How can America expect children to learn in a distractive environment? Schools should decide against inclusion in all of academic classes. If a school is concerned about socialization for the disabled students they should include them in activities such as meals, recess, athletics, and special interest groups and clubs (Anderson 105).
Some people may feel that it is just the right thing to do by letting children with severe disabilities in a regular classroom. There is support from some U.S. government officials, state boards of education, and many advocacy groups to have inclusion in every school. They are deciding this without “regard to the nature or severity of the students’ disabilities, without regard to their ability to behave and function appropriately in a regular classroom, without regard to the educational benefits they derive, and without regard to the impact that that inclusion has on the other students in the classroom.” (Noll 198). “There is no doubt that every child, regardless of abilities, disabilities, problems, or status, has a right to a free public education. But that does not mean that any particular child has a right to a particular child has a right to a particular placement in a particular class or a particular school.” (Noll 198).
Anderson, Winifred, Stephen Chitwood, and Diedre Hayden. Negotiating the Special Education Maze. Maryland: HarperCollins, 1990.
Henson, Ferris O., and Thomas Fairchild. Mainstreaming Children with Learning
Disabilities. Texas: Fairchild, 1976.
Hildebrand, John. “Schools Divided Over ‘Inclusion’.” Newsday Long Island N.Y.
19 Dec. 1993: 6+.
Noll, James. Taking Sides. Connecticut: McGraw-Hill, 1997.