Inclusion in the Classroom
The umbrella of special needs issues covers children with many different issues. These children face vast disability concerns. Some of their disabilities relate to developmental problems. In other cases children may have experienced an accident or undergone surgery. Because of these issues, they are now considered a part of the special needs community.
Schools around the country have applied studied approaches to these issues. They work hard to find the right educational setting for each child. Understanding special needs requires you to also understand the specifics of each case. Children and their individual experiences will be different. Their requirements will also be specific to their needs.
Inclusion is commonly defined as a complete integration of special needs children into the classroom. These could be traditional classrooms or those dedicated to teaching children with disabilities. Most often however these special needs students are incorporated into general classrooms. This means that they are a part of classes where their classmates are not disabled.
Many schools apply this specific approach under certain scenarios. Other schools do not consider this approach productive for all of the students in the classroom. There are both positive and negative discussions on these topics and opinions. Studies have proven that children with disabilities can be benefited by this teaching style. They are held at a higher standard, and in some cases perform that way.
There are cases also where this type of teaching is not as successful. The threat of children with certain disabilities becoming a distraction is real. As we look at educational approaches of the past, we see some surprising techniques. Disabled children decades ago had two possible choices for education. They were either taught at home or went into the general population of students in public school.
Educators were expected to use teacher resources, lesson plans, and other tools to instruct every student. These scenarios received the most success for children that were moderately disabled or high functioning individuals. As the years passed, special education teachers were added to school staffs. These teachers worked with special needs children at specific levels.
Schools then began to bus severely disabled students to other facilities for certain hours during the day. This was all before inclusion techniques began to resurface. Teaching in this way holds a lot of benefit to special needs students. Barriers are removed between them and their fellow classmates. This is something that will help them progress in the future outside of the school setting.
The major concern with this process is its effect on non-special needs children. If there are distractions in the classroom schools will likely determine that inclusion will not be used. It is possible, however, to compromise with inclusion approaches. Certain classes can be targets for this approach. There are positive benefits for all children in the classroom. They are able to experience a true reflection of the world through inclusion class settings. This makes students respect those that are different from them in a greater way.
More Information On Inclusion
- Axis Disability Rights Website
- Inclusion Press
- Inclusion... Yours, Mine, Ours
- Kids Together
- Mainstreaming Strategies- Exemplary lessons for inclusion classrooms.