What is it?● “Inclusion is when a student with special learning and/or behavioral needs is educated full time in the general education program.” (Idol 2006)● “All students regardless of strengths and weakness part of school community” (Obiakor 2012 )● “...students’ attending the same schools as siblings and neighbors, being members in general education classrooms with chronological age-appropriate classmates, having individualized and relevant learning objectives, and being provided with the support necessary to learn.” – Teaching style “strengthened (though not specifically required) by No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and Individuals With Disabilities Act (2004)” (Kimbrough 2012)
What is it?● To me as an educator: – Modifying lessons to accommodate students of all levels, abilities, and learning styles – Special education students are in regular education classroom the entire school day
Challenges and Problems● Do students benefit from placement in regular classrooms?● Often requires more than one teacher per classroom● Teachers must undergo professional development to reach special education students● Individualized Education Programs (IEP) must be well developed (Cromwell 2004)● Effectively teaching all students
Challenges and Problems● Time to collaborate with special education teacher● Special education students disrupting regular education students● Time spent by teacher assisting students with disabilities vs. the rest of the class (Kimbrough 2012)
Educator Perception of InclusionAccording to the article “TowardInclusion of Special Education Students...”by Idol: ● Eight schools evaluated (4 elementary, 4 secondary schools) ● Each school had a well developed special education program ● Data collected regarding staff perception and state test scores
● Findings strongly support inclusionaccording to interviews of staff● Teachers became more skilled atdelivering lessons that accommodatestudents at various levels of learning andperformance● (Idol 2006)
Social Effects● Students create long-term friendships thatwould not be possible without inclusion.● Peers can act as role models for social skills(Inclusion for Special, n.d.)● Teaches “respect, care, recognition, empathy”(Obiakor 2012)● Special education students “happier, moreindependent, and more motivated to go toschool [and] participate in class” (Kimbrough2012)
Academic Effects● Class state test scores not affected (Idol 2006)● Improved post school outcomes, especially invocational programs● Teacher is “more apt to break instructions intofiner parts or repeat instructions”, thusbenefiting all students(Sharpe, n.d.)● Higher expectations for special educationstudents (Inclusion for Special Education, n.d.)
Harbor Beach Middle Schools Approach● Uses the inclusion model● All students attend the same regular education classes(Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies, PE, Technology)● Special Education teacher team teaches with Mathand ELA teachers● Aides assist in Science and Social Studies classrooms● Teachers modify assignments based on students IEPs(less questions, more time, tests read aloud, etc)● Teachers differentiate instruction to accommodatelearning styles● Some professional development provided to assist inunderstanding how to accommodate, modify, anddifferentiate instruction
My Personal Approach● Willing to make necessary accommodations toensure student success● Instruction should be differentiated regardless;all students learn differently● Training is absolutely necessary; I amcontinuing to grow in my ability to reach allstudents● Amount of success also depends on supportfrom administrators, special educationteachers, parents, and instructional aides● Not an easy task, but I feel the benefitsoutweigh the difficulties
Strategies and Solutions to Challenges● Special Education students should be distributedacross all teachers● “Teachers use a variety of strategies, includingcurriculum and instructional adaptations, peertutoring, cooperative learning, and layeredcurriculum” ● (Sharpe, n.d.)● Class size needs to be reduced according toseverity of special education students● Teachers need time to meet, plan, and evaluatestudents progress● IEPs must be well designed ● (Cromwell, 2011)
Conclusion● Inclusion is an effective strategy forteaching special education students. ● Benefits outweigh negative implications when strategy is used properly ● Though it requires intensive preparation on the teachers end, helping students of all ability levels succeed is one of the highlights of teaching
ReferencesCromwell, S. (2011) Inclusion in the classroom: Has it gone too far? Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr034.shtmlIdol, L. (2006) Toward Inclusion of Special Education Students in General Education: Program Evaluation of Eight Schools. Remedial and Special Education, , 77-94.Inclusion for Special Education Students: Advantage and Benefits.(n.d.) Retrieved from http://disabilitynetwork.org/education/inclusion-for-special-education-students- advantages-and-benefits/Kimbrough, R., & Mellen, K. (2012). Research summary: Perceptions of inclusion of students with disabilities in the middle school. Retrieved from http://www.amle.org/portals/0 /pdf/research/Research_Summaries/Inclusion.pdfObiakor, F., Harris, M., Mutua, K., Rotatori, A., Algozzine, B., (2012) Making Inclusion Work in General Education Classrooms. Education and Treatment of Children. , 477-490.Sharpe, Wesley. Special Education Inclusion. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr /curr320.shtml
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