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Inclusion or Special Education?

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by

Jessica Burdge

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of Inclusion or Special Education?

Notes
Inclusion or Special Education?
Special Education
Inclusion
Inclusion: A movement seeking to create schools that meet the needs of all students by establishing learning communities for students with and without disabilities, educated together in age appropriate general education classrooms in neighborhood schools
In the past 25 years, inclusion has become the norm across the country, with approximately 95% of students with disabilities being served in general education settings
But is it always the best option for all of these students?
Is either one the best solution for students with disabilities?
Both have their positive aspects:
Inclusion allows students with disabilities to learn in a traditional classroom with peers all the same age as them
Traditional Special Education (self-contained classroom) allows students to be in an environment with a good student to teacher ratio, with specially trained teachers, and more individualized instruction
Neither Special Education or Inclusion is the perfect solution
Determining the LRE
"The law demands education in the LRE, but difficulties have resulted from this provision coming to be interpreted as solely the general education classroom, particularly for all students regardless of type and level of disability"
"The reality of the general education classroom suggests that the requisite attitudes, accommodations, and adaptations for students with disabilities are not yet in place"
Conclusion
Neither the inclusive classroom or the self-contained special education classroom offer the best education for students with disabilities
self-contained classrooms offer the individualization that students with disabilities need, but none of the socialization that is present in the general education classroom
Inclusive classrooms are a great way for students with disabilities to be able to interact with lots of other children, but often lacks the special attention that they would receive in a self contained classroom
The use of pull out programs offer the positive aspects of both traditional special education and an inclusive classroom
Special Education: the traditional method of educating children with disabilities developed as a specialized program separate from general education and was embodied in the categorical "special class"
This system was considered advantageous because of the low teacher-pupil ratios, specially trained teachers, and greater individualization of instruction in a homogenous classroom
These types of classrooms have become increasingly less common since the passage of Education for All Handicapped Children Act (1975), which is now known as IDEA
Modern vs. Postmodern Perspective
"Those of a modern conviction seek to isolate elements, specify relationships and formulate a synthesis"
Incremental approach with a lot of research is key
" ... post modernists do the opposite. They offer indeterminacy rather than unity, difference rather than synthesis, complexity rather than simplification ..."
Special education is an "evil" enterprise
Radical change is needed immediately
Contextual Realities within the General Education Classroom
Postmodernism and Inclusion
Influences on the success or failure of integration
Teachers: devotion and previous training
"Teachers cared about children and were conscientious about their jobs - but their mindset was conformity, not accommodation. In these regular education classses, any student who could not conform would likely be unsuccessful"
Students: Preference of accommodation
"In fact, many students with disabilities preferred special education pull-out programs (i.e. resource rooms) over delivered exclusively in the general education setting"
Ideological Influence
Ideology: a system that derives ideas exclusively from sensation
... Ideally this seems to be the best solution
not always the best answer ... nature vs nurture debate in relation to intelligence
"Special education appears to have drawn such a line between "us" and "them" over the question of inclusion ... Some full inclusionists talk as though they are in battle pitting the forces of mortality against the forces of immortality" (Kavale)
Even in an inclusive classroom, there still seems to be a clear separation between the students with disabilities and those without
"It appears unwise to advocate for inclusion without ensuring that it has been carried out effectively"
"The focus on inclusion must not simply be an access to general education, but rather the assurance that when inclusion is deemed appropriate it is to have the proper attitudes and adaptations"
Full transcript