Inclusion Essay Research Paper Inclusion is a

Inclusion Essay, Research Paper

Inclusion is a very controversial idea because it relates to educational and

social values, as well as our sense of individual worth. Inclusion is the

assignment of students with disabilities to regular classrooms in neighborhood

schools for the entire school day. These children participate in all the regular

school activities. It involves bringing the support services to the child rather

than moving the child to the services, and requires only that the child will

benefit from being in the class rather than having to keep up with the other

students. Physical accommodations, sufficient personnel, staff development and

technical assistance, and technical collaboration are all brought into the

classroom to assist the special needs child in a regular classroom. Those who

are for inclusion claim that segregated programs are detrimental to students and

do not meet the original goals for special education. Recent meta-analyses show

a small to moderate beneficial effect of inclusion education on the academic and

social outcome of special needs children. Those who support inclusion believe

that the child always should begin in the regular environment and only be

removed only when appropriate services cannot be provided in the regular

classroom. Another study assessing the effectiveness of inclusion was done at

John Hopkins University. In a school-wide restructuring program called, Success

for All, student achievement was measured and several positive changes were

noticed: a reduced fear of human differences accompanied by increases comfort

and awareness, growth in social cognition, improvement in self- concept of

non-disabled students, development of personal principles and ability to assume

an advocacy role toward their peers and friends with disabilities, and warm and

caring friendships. However, for inclusion to be successful, adequate

supplementary aids and support services must be present. The teacher needs to

prepare students to be accepting of the special needs students by being honest

about the nature of the child?s disability and/or behavior difficulty.

Although inclusion seems like a great idea that should be of some form of

benefit for all involved, if not handled properly it can become a very stressful

situation. As an elementary school student, I remember being in my classroom

about mid-semester and the teacher announcing that we would be having and

additional student joining us. She went on to explain that this particular boy

had had difficulty in his previous school due to behavioral problems but that

she was going to try to work with him. She asked that if he ever acted out

towards us, that we not retaliate but instead go to her or the principle and

tell them. She also asked that we be friendly and not treat him indifferently

because of his behavioral problem, but to instead understand that he could not

help but be this way. Although the teacher probably felt that by arming us with

this knowledge we would be able to handle encounters with this boy better, we

were in no way prepared to deal with the disruptive and sometimes abusive nature

of this boy. The rest of that school year was very hard for all of us. The boy

had no ability to concentrate, sit still or be quiet. The teacher would try to

teach the lesson over his outbursts but needless to say, not much was learned

for the rest of the year. I believe that inclusion is a good idea when all the

proper facilities, services, aids and proper disciplinary strategies are

present. However, if the teacher/classroom/school, are not well equipped to

handle inclusion, it can become a very stressful hardship for all involved. The

regular students will become distracted by the constant disruptions, they can

even resort to acting out themselves because they are seeing the inclusion

student is not being disciplined. The teacher can become frustrated with the

chaos in his/her classroom and feel unable to regain control or not able to

effectively teach the class with constant disruptions occurring. In my opinion,

the best way to deal with children with behavioral problems or learning

disabilities is early intervention. The greatest debate over inclusion versus

special education for children with these kind of problems is that their

academic performance is below those of their agemates. However, many of these

students could have succeeded in school in the first place if they had had

effective prevention and early intervention programs. There is strong evidence

that a substantial portion of students who are now in the special education

system could have been kept out if they had had effective early intervention.

Studies of high quality early childhood programs such as the Perry Preschool,

the Abecedarian Project, and the Milwaukee Project all showed substantial

reductions in special education placements for students with learning

disabilities and mild mental retardation. The program, Success for All, which

combines effective early childhood programs, curriculum reform, and one-to-one

tutoring, has reduced special education placement by more than half. These

findings suggest that special-education services could be greatly reduced if

prevention and early intervention programs were implemented. Ultimately, the key

to the child?s success lay in the hands of the educators. It is their duty to

provide proper assistance and instruction for these children in order for full

inclusion to be successful.


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