Inclusion - Pros and Cons

Essay by stuart34567College, UndergraduateA+, April 2006

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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, 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...